Unit 2: MIS Basics – Hardware, Software, Networking, and Security
Much of MIS is now centered on technology. Accordingly, MIS capabilities are mostly limited to the hardware and software capabilities of a given system. Ten years ago, it took the average Internet user a few minutes to download an MP3 music file over a cable connection. This can now be done in seconds wirelessly from just about anywhere in the developed world thanks to improvements in hardware and software. While it is nearly impossible to remain in front of technology developments, it is possible to analyze trends in technology advancements and identify what hardware and software may give you a competitive advantage.
This unit will first discuss the hardware component of technology, followed by the software component. We will finish the unit with a discussion of networking as a component of technology.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 11 hours.
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- compare and contrast hardware and software;
- identify the primary components of a computer and the functions they perform;
- describe the two primary categories of software;
- describe the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing for companies;
- define the term open-source and identify its primary characteristics;
- identify the types of networks and their general functions;
- identify the information security triad; and
- describe the tools used to secure information technologies.
Watch this lecture on information systems hardware. The personal computer is the primary device that has driven the information systems revolution in the past thirty years.
This chapter focuses on how the personal computer works and then addresses other hardware devices. Be sure to read the section on Moore's Law carefully. As you read, focus on how Moore's Law might describe all of the different components and devices discussed in this chapter.
As you read this chapter, focus on how software differs from hardware. There are several ways to categorize software; the most significant difference is between systems software and application software. This chapter will introduce you to the concept of open-source software and cloud computing, two important concepts in business right now.
This lecture accompanies the chapter you just read on software.
After you review these materials, post and respond to this topic on the course discussion board. Also, feel free to start your own related posts and respond to other students' posts.
If you were running a small business with limited funds for information technology, would you consider using cloud computing? Find some web-based resources that support your decision. Explain your decision in at least two paragraphs. Hint: you can find materials about this decision by searching on the term "cloud computing for small business".
In this chapter, you will read about how communications technologies allow our computers to send messages to each other. The evolution of these technologies has brought us the Internet and all of the wireless communications we use today.
This chapter focuses on several important concepts related to information security. Be sure you understand the components of the information security triad. This chapter also considers how you might want to review your personal information security – you are highly encouraged to take stock of your efforts to stay secure!
This video discusses the CIA Information Security Triad in more detail. Pay attention to each of the components of the triad. After you watch, consider how you apply these components in your work life or personal life. For example, if you work at a bank, you might consider how you try to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and accessibility of one kind of data.
Unit 2 Assessment
- Receive a grade
Take this assessment to see how well you understood this unit.
- This assessment does not count towards your grade. It is just for practice!
- You will see the correct answers when you submit your answers. Use this to help you study for the final exam!
- You can take this assessment as many times as you want, whenever you want.