BUS206 Study Guide

Site: Saylor Academy
Course: BUS206: Management Information Systems
Book: BUS206 Study Guide
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Date: Saturday, April 20, 2024, 10:14 AM

Unit 1: Introduction to Management Information Systems

1a. Define what an information system is by identifying its major components

1. You cannot escape technology information systems in today's world of business. In Unit 1 you learned the fundamentals of business information systems. Information systems include a combination of hardware, software, databases, networking, and security.

  • List three definitions of information systems.
  • Define the five components of an information system.

If these tasks did not come easily for you, consider re-reading the sections labeled "Defining Information Systems" and "The Components of Information Systems" in What Is an Information System?.


2. Understanding how hardware and software play a role in management information systems is essential. Every component in an information system is important; however, hardware, software, and data provide the technical backbone of these systems.

  • What type of components make up the hardware of an information system?
  • What are the two main categories of software and how do they interact with each other?
  • Describe the type of information categorized as data.


3. Network communication is sometimes considered the fourth piece of technology in an information system. Without communication, the other three components are useless pieces in an information system.

  • One role of information systems is to turn data into usable information.
  • Explain how people and processes fit into an information management system.

Read "The Role of Information Systems" and "Networking Communication: A Fourth Technology Piece" from What is an Information System? to prepare for the final exam.


1b. Describe the basic history of information systems

Information systems play a vital role in today's organizations. The components of an information system collect, organize, and distribute data across an entire organization. In the mainframe era of the 1960s, computers were owned by large businesses, universities, and governments to perform calculations. Early computers were used to calculate data that a mainframe served to dozens of users.

During the PC revolution of the 1970s, the first microcomputer, the Altair 8800, was released. Entrepreneurs jumped at making personal computers, which were first thought of as a hobby. In the 1980s, more businesses began to see a practical use for computers and networking. The World Wide Web and e-commerce shed new light on how businesses could operate and serve customers in a new non-traditional sense of business.

  • List some of the main functions computers performed for organizations in the 1960s.
  • What functionality did the PC revolution of the 1970s bring to mainstream businesses?
  • How did the client-server architecture change the way organizations did business in the 1980s?
  • How did e-commerce change the way organizations do business?

What is an Information System? gives a great overview of the history of information systems. You may choose to re-read sections on "The Mainframe Era", "The PC Revolution", "Client-Server", "The World Wide Web and E-Commerce", "Web 2.0", and/or "The Post-PC World", depending on the concepts for which you feel you have a stronger or weaker grasp.


1c. Describe what innovation is and how technology contributes to it

Businesses have been able to develop innovative processes and procedures through advances in information technology. These innovations have sparked new ideas in globalization and e-commerce.

  • What current technology trends do you think will continue to grow and inspire businesses in the future?
  • What successes and failures have businesses seen during the growth of technology?

For a deeper look at how technology has changed every aspect of business, watch Turning Technology into Business Transformation Re-visit Exercise: Walmart Case Study to understand how the world's leading retailer became successful through the use of technology.


Unit 1 Vocabulary

This vocabulary list includes terms that might help you answer some of the review items above and some terms you should be familiar with to be successful in completing the final exam for the course.

  • Client-Server
  • Communication
  • Data
  • Databases
  • Ecommerce
  • Hardware
  • Information Systems
  • Innovation
  • Mainframe
  • People
  • Process
  • Software

Unit 2: MIS Basics: Hardware, Software, Networking, and Security

2a. Compare and contrast hardware and software

1. Hardware is the physical component of computing and includes technology like the keyboard, mouse, monitor, hard drive, etc. You looked at the hardware in a management information system. Without physical hardware, software cannot perform the function it is programmed for.

  • Random Access Memory (RAM) is the working memory a computer uses to process software programs.
  • A hard disk is the physical device used to store data on a computer.
  • Explain the role of a motherboard in a computer. What is its function?

Prepare for the final exam by reviewing the sections for "Motherboard", "Random-Access Memory", "Hard Disk", and "Removable Media" in Hardware.


2. Software is the second component of a management information system. Software is designed to perform a certain function and relies on the compatibility of the hardware to perform that function.

  • Software is dependent on hardware. Explain how outdated hardware affects software performance.
  • Utility software helps users modify a computer. Programming software is used to create new programs and applications.
  • Explain the role and purpose of ERP in business.

Refer to "Types of Software" and "Utility Software and Programming Software" in Software for more information and details about various software types.


2b. Identify the primary components of a computer and the functions they perform

The basic components of a computer are the CPU, memory, circuit board, storage, and input and output devices. Every digital device uses the same type of components. The CPU is known as the brains of a device; it carries out the commands performed in software by returning a result to be acted upon.

  • Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) are the two main CPU manufacturers for most computers.
  • Network connections make it possible to transmit data between computer networks without the need for removable media.
  • Explain how Moore's Law describes the processing power of computers.

Read the following sections in Hardware to refresh your memory about the various components of a computer: "Network Connection", "Removable Media", "Sidebar: Moore's Law", and "Processing Data: The CPU".


2c. Describe the two primary categories of software

1. Software can be divided into two main categories: operating systems software and application software. Both types of software serve as interfaces between the user and the hardware.

  • Operating systems manage hardware resources, provide user interface components, and provide the platform for software applications.
  • List the most popular operating systems for personal computers.


2. Application software provides a solution to a computer user's need or goal. For example, Microsoft Word is a piece of application software for writing papers, letters, articles, and other forms of written text.

  • A killer application is one that makes a person want to buy a device just to use that particular application.
  • Productivity software applications are business and workplace tools, such as the Microsoft Office suite of programs.


3. Two subcategories of application software are utility software and programming software. Diagnostic applications and antivirus software are examples of utility software that help users fix their computers. Programming software, like compilers, is used to create new applications.

  • Operating systems contain utility software integrated into the operating system.
  • How is programming software useful to business?

Watch The Software Component again to review operating systems and application software. Additionally, review the sections "Types of Software", "Operating Systems", "Application Software", "The Killer App", "Productivity Software", and "Utility Software and Programming Software" from Software for a deeper look at the two main types of software.


2d. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing for companies

1. Before the invention of cloud computing, software had to be installed on a computer either from a disk or file download. In many cases, purchased software was limited to a single installation per license. With the traditional Microsoft Office suite, you can only install one instance of the suite of programs on one device, but with the cloud-based Office 365, you can run the suite on up to five devices for one monthly subscription rate.

The cloud consists of online applications, services, and data storage. Cloud service providers maintain giant server farms with massive amounts of storage, all connected through Internet protocols.

  • Cloud computing saves businesses money because service providers absorb the cost to purchase and maintain the hardware components.
  • The cloud offers users access to all their data through the Internet from any connected device.
  • Security is still a main concern for users since information is trusted to a service provider.


2. Private clouds help relieve some of the skepticism around cloud computing. Private clouds are specific sections of server space set aside for an organization through the service provider.

  • An organization has complete control over their data with a private cloud.
  • List some of the disadvantages a business might see from a private cloud.


3. Virtualization is one technology that is used as part of cloud computing. Virtualization involves creating "virtual machines" that can connect to the Internet or exist on a closed network. With virtualization, a single computer can be used to perform the functions of multiple computers with multiple operating systems.

  • A virtual computer is called a "virtual machine" (VM).
  • What are some of the benefits of virtualization?

Read more about virtualization from VMware. To prepare for the final exam, consider how familiar you are with the content about "Using a Private Cloud" and "Virtualization" in Software.


2e. Define the term open-source and identify its primary characteristics

Open-source software is the result of many programmers who create and share programs they build with the solutions they have discovered. This allows open-source programmers to develop innovative programs and fix errors.

  • Linux is a version of the Unix operating system used on large minicomputers and serves as an example of open-source software.
  • Describe some of the advantages of open-source software over closed-source software.

Refer to the sections "Operating Systems", "Software Creation", and "Open-Source Software" in Software for a deeper look at open-source software. Make sure to read the last paragraph under the "Operating Systems" for an overview of the Linux operating system.


2f. Identify the types of networks and their general functions

Organizational networking consists of four main types of networks: LAN/WAN, Client-Server, Intranet, and Extranet. Each of these networks serves a specific role to organizations to help them reach out to their customers and perform daily operations.

  • Wireless networking is one way people can stay connected to the Internet without a hard-wired connection to the Internet.
  • How have Bluetooth and VoIP technology changed the world of business communications?

Review "Wireless Networking", "Bluetooth", "VoIP", and the four subsections under "Organizational Networking" in Networking and Communication for a review of the types of networks and networking available for organizations to do business.


2g. Identify the information security triad

Confidentiality, integrity, and availability are the three components that make up the information security triad. Confidentiality ensures access to information is restricted to those who are allowed to view it. Integrity is the assurance that the information has not been changed and represents what it is intended to represent. Availability means that information can be accessed and modified by those authorized to do so.

  • Federal law requires universities to restrict access to student information.
  • Integrity ensures that only trusted individuals have access to information.
  • Authorized individuals must be able to gain access to information when they need it. This is the availability of information.

Re-read the section "Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability (CIA)" in Information Systems Security to review the security triad. Watch The CIA Triad again to prepare for the final exam.


2h. Describe the tools used to secure information technologies

1. To ensure the components of the security triad can be integrated into a management information system, various security tools should be used to ensure the overall information security of the system is in place. Authentication, access control, and encryption tools are the main categories of information security tools.

  • A. Once authentication and access control are established, encryption is used to transmit information over the Internet securely.
  • B. Describe the three factors of authentication.
  • C. What are the two primary types of access control?

If these tasks were difficult for you, you might like to revisit the three subsections under "Tools for Information Security" in Information Systems Security before you attempt the final exam.


2. Backups, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems are also essential tools in information security. Backup plans help protect information in the event of corrupted, deleted, or lost files due to power loss or network intrusion.

  • Backup data can be stored on a separate part of the network, on separate hard drives, or in the cloud.
  • Firewalls are devices connected to the network and filter packets based on rules to support the security triad.
  • An Intrusion Detection System monitors the network for certain activity and sends an alert to security personnel of suspicious traffic going over a network.

In Information Systems Security, re-visit the sections on "Backups", "Firewalls", and "Intrusion Detection Systems".


3. Physical security is just as important as network security. Organizations should implement the best layers of physical security possible. Physical security includes the security of physical hardware and networking components on a network. 

  • A locked door is the first step to physical security. The main building doors and server room doors should have locks on them.
  • Security cameras serve as a deterrent against break-ins.
  • Employees should be trained to secure their equipment while at home and work.

Read the sections "Physical Security" and "Security Policies" in Information Systems Security for more details.


4. Personal information security helps protect individuals to secure their computing technologies. Individuals can take several steps to help protect their information and physical devices from being compromised.

  • Software should be patched as often as possible. These patches include security updates that can protect data against new security threats.
  • Antivirus software helps protect software against malware, spyware, viruses, worms, and other malicious intent on the Internet.
  • Secure accounts with two-factor authentication so nobody else can log into your account without your consent.

Read what some of your fellow students said by visiting the discussion forum. Read the section on "Personal Information Security" in Information Systems Security to learn more steps to take in personal information security.


Unit 2 Vocabulary

This vocabulary list includes terms that might help you answer some of the review items above and some terms you should be familiar with to be successful in completing the final exam for the course.

  • Application software
  • Availability
  • Backups
  • Circuit board
  • Client-server
  • Confidentiality
  • CPU
  • Enterprise Resource Planning
  • Extranet
  • Firewalls
  • Hard disk
  • Integrity
  • Intranet
  • Intrusion detection systems
  • Motherboard
  • Open-source software
  • Operating Systems
  • Personal information security
  • Physical security
  • Productivity software
  • Programming software
  • Random Access Memory
  • Removable media
  • Utility software
  • Virtualization

Unit 3: Data and Databases

3a. Define metadata

Metadata is "data about data". When you look up a person's birth date, social security number, student ID number, name, etc., in a database, the data may say 1990, but the metadata about that would be the field name, "year of birth". Another example is a document file; file name, date modified, file type, and file size are metadata.

  • Data dictionaries hold metadata. Data dictionaries define databases' structure and data fields.
  • If you were to create a works cited page for an essay in your College Writing course, the author name, publisher, year of publication, page numbers, volume number, etc. are metadata about the book or article in the works cited page.
  • List a few other examples of metadata.

Prepare for the final exam by reading "Sidebar: What is Metadata?" in Data and Databases.


3b. Describe the differences between data, information, and knowledge

Data is raw bits of information such as plain numbers or names. Information is a context given to data. For instance, being told "1955, 1972, 1966, and 1960" are birth years of leaders in an organization would be information. After information is analyzed and aggregated to make decisions, this information produces knowledge.

  • Word processing programs, databases, and spreadsheets are all used to create and manipulate data.
  • Databases organize data in a collection where it is described and associated with other data.
  • Study the DIKW pyramid to understand the hierarchy between data and wisdom.

Prepare for the final exam by reading the sections "Data, Information, and Knowledge", "Examples of Data", and "Databases" in Data and Databases for a better understanding of the differences between data, information, and knowledge.


3c. Define the term database and identify the steps to creating one

1. Databases organize related information and associate it with other data.

  • All database information should be related; unrelated information should be filed to separate databases. For example, a database that contains information about employees should not also hold information about company stock values.
  • When designing a database, consider the data you need to separate into tables and how those tables can relate to each other.
  • Design a set of four or five tables for a database used for an organization of your choosing. Consider creating a table for each department or function. Provide a list of data for each table.

Prepare for the final exam by reading the following sections in Data and Databases: "Databases", "Relational Databases", "Designing a database", and "Sidebar: The difference between a database and a spreadsheet". Focus on material that still seems difficult to you.


2. When creating relationships in databases, a primary key must be selected for each table. The key serves as the table's unique identifier and is often represented as a number by default unless a key is specified.

  • The primary key in a table can never change. Consider selecting data that will not change to serve as a primary key, for example, a social security number.
  • When designing tables within a database, make sure you create the proper key per table to allow you to relate multiple fields to multiple tables as required.


3. The concept of normalization in databases means the design should reduce duplication of data between tables and add flexibility to the database.

  • Add fields in separate tables that can relate to each other to reduce redundancy. If one entry may be listed in multiple tables, create a field in one table that can be related to the other.
  • How would you apply normalization to a database with tables for a club? Consider creating a membership table and member information table.

Read the section "Normalization" in Data and Databases.


3d. Describe the purpose of a database management system

1. Database management systems help users create a database, change a database structure, and perform analysis within a database. Database management systems provide the interface to view and change a database's design, create queries, and generate reports.

  • Microsoft Access is a database application where users can create, modify, and analyze data.
  • In relational databases, tables are made from columns and rows where columns define the data type of a field, and rows are data sets for a single item.
  • ACID properties of a relational database help ensure the consistency of data transactions.

If you feel less confident in this area, watch Relational vs. NoSQL Databases to prepare for the final exam. Read the "Database Management Systems" section in Data and Databases.


2. Enterprise databases are large scale databases accessed by millions of people over the Internet. These databases are sometimes stored on a single computer or can be installed over multiple servers.

  • A relational database like Microsoft Access meets the needs of organizations with smaller amounts of data to manage, but this kind of database is not as effective with large datasets.
  • NoSQL is an ideal model to follow for large-scale database solutions. Oracle Coherence is an example of a NoSQL database designed to offer reliability and scalability to organizations needing to store large amounts of data.

To prepare for the final exam, read the section "Enterprise Databases" in Data and Databases.


3e. Describe the characteristics of a data warehouse

Data warehouses serve as storage for an organization's historical data. In an organization's daily operations, it is not feasible to analyze large amounts of data collected over time.

  • Data warehouses should use non-operational, time-variant, and standardized data extracted from active databases within an organization.
  • Bottom-up and top-down are the two main approaches when designing a data warehouse.
  • Create a data warehouse process using both top-down and bottom-up approaches.

Read the "Warehouse" and "Benefits of Data Warehouses" sections from Data and Databases.


3f. Define data mining and describe its role in an organization

Data mining involves analyzing data to find trends, patterns, and associations to make decisions. Data mining is accomplished through automated means in large datasets, such as those in a data warehouse.

  • Retailers may analyze sales on a certain product's purchase frequency at a certain time or day of the year. A grocery store could determine the need to stock more eggs the week of Easter through data mining analysis. This is the process of multidimensional sales analysis.
  • Meaningful data and patterns are extracted from aggregate data in a data warehouse.

Read the sections "Example – Facebook" and "Retail Industry" in Data Warehouses and Data Mining, and "Data Mining" from Data and Databases to strengthen your understanding of these concepts.


3g. List the components of knowledge management

Knowledge management formalizes the capture, indexing, and storage of a company's knowledge. Knowledge management helps companies benefit from insights gleaned from the data it has collected over the course of the company's existence.

  • Companies can benefit from the vast amount of knowledge that has been accumulated over the course of their existence.
  • How can knowledge management help a company make decisions in the future?

Review the section "Knowledge Management" from Data and Databases.


Unit 3 Vocabulary

This vocabulary list includes terms that might help you answer some of the review items above and some terms you should be familiar with to be successful in completing the final exam for the course.

  • ACID
  • Data
  • Data mining
  • Data warehouse
  • Database management system
  • Information
  • Knowledge
  • Knowledge management
  • Metadata
  • Normalization
  • Primary key
  • Relational database

Unit 4: Information Systems and Organization Strategy

4a. Describe how information systems can provide businesses with competitive advantage

Cost advantage and differentiation advantage are the two main methods companies can obtain competitive advantage.

  • Information technology plays a role in creating value by contributing to cost advantage or differentiation advantage, or both.

Read Strategy and the Internet to see how Michael E. Porter urged business planners not to lose focus on strategic development and competitive advantage. Read "Competitive Advantage" in Does IT Matter? to prepare for the final exam.


4b. Describe how information technology influences Porter's Five Forces and the Value Chain model

1. Porter's Five Forces model was developed as a framework for industry analysis. The model helps companies understand the competition in their industry and helps companies analyze their strengths and weaknesses.

  • The "Bargaining Power of Customers" force tells us that the Internet has given customers the upper hand in industry by making available many options.
  • Price becomes a huge factor when the number of competitors grows. In the force Porter called "Rivalry among competitors", the Internet expands markets geographically and lowers the cost of doing business.
  • What are the other three forces? Which force helps answer the question, "How easy it for a company to replace a product or service?"


2. Value is built through the value chain – a series of activities undertaken by a company to produce a product or service. Each step in the value chain contributes to the overall value of a product or service.

  • Primary activities and support activities are the two main activities that make up the value chain.
  • Support activities are functions that support and cut across all primary activities in an organization.
  • How do primary functions directly impact the creation of a product or service? How can companies benefit from the firm infrastructure support activity? 

To prepare for the final exam, read "The Value Chain" and "Porter's Five Forces" in Does IT Matter? to find out how each of the five forces is used to analyze an industry to gain competitive advantage and a definition of each of the primary and support activities in the value chain.


4c. Identify the different systems needed to support business processes in an organization

1. Information systems that support business processes can give companies a competitive advantage over their rivals. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is a process that works as a computer-to-computer exchange of business documents in standard electronic format between business partners.

  • EDI helps reduce the process of manually ordering supplies, which can be complex and time-consuming. EDI simplifies the process through an internal computer system.
  • How does EDI reduce the resources required to manage relevant information?

To help prepare for the exam, read the section "Electronic Data Interchange" in Does IT Matter?.


2. Collaborative systems help employees brainstorm ideas without the need to have face-to-face meetings.

  • Social networks, instant messaging, and shared document drives are all forms of collaboration tools that help multiple users interact.
  • List a few specific collaboration tools available for businesses today.

Read the section "Collaborative Systems" in Does IT Matter? to understand tools and features that help employees interact whether they are physically present or working remotely.


3. A Decision Support System (DSS) is an information system built to help organizations make specific decisions or sets of decisions. A DSS can assist each level of the decision-making process of an organization from the CEO to first-level managers and team leaders.

  • Decisions can be structured or unstructured. Structured decisions include the necessary information to make the decision. Unstructured decisions involve unknowns.
  • Semi-structured decisions are a middle ground in a DSS because they include most of the factors needed to make a decision and influence experience and other external factors.

Read the section "Decision Support Systems" in Does IT Matter? to read more about the different formats a DSS can come in. This will be handy as you prepare for the final exam.


4d. Understand how information technology combined with business processes can bring an organization competitive advantage

When combined with existing business processes, IT can make a difference in giving companies a competitive advantage. Technology can accelerate and amplify how a company selects, adopts, and exploits innovations.

  • To successfully implement technology, qualified vendors, consultants, and IT departments are necessary in an organization. The real value of IT is the innovations that can be delivered in an organization.
  • Organizations need to have a firm grasp on how they can use information systems to their advantage by knowing how to differentiate themselves and use technology to accomplish that differentiation.
  • What types of tools and applications can companies use to gain competitive advantage?
  • In the value chain, what activities that directly impact the creation of products or services can be used to add value and provide a competitive advantage?

To prepare for the exam, "Investing in IT for Competitive Advantage" and the primary activities in "The Value Chain" from Does IT Matter?.


4e. Describe each of the different roles that people play in the design, development, and use of information systems

People are the final component in an information system. Without people to use a management information system, all the hardware, software, data, and business processes sit alone unused.

  • Systems analysts have two main roles: identifying business needs and developing methods for computing systems to fit those needs.
  • Computer engineers' work falls into four main categories: hardware, software, systems, and networks.

Read the following sections in The People in Information Systems to prepare for the final exam: "Systems Analyst", "Computer Engineer", "Information-Systems Operations and Administration", and "Computer Operator".


4f. Describe the career paths available to those who work with information systems

There are a variety of types of careers one may choose within information systems. Problem-solving, critical thinking, a strong work ethic, and the ability to handle "burst stress" are all common attributes of successful employees in IT.

  • Individuals who have a combined skill set that includes technical and managerial expertise could pursue a systems analyst career.
  • A career in IT typically begins as an IT generalist and can change into a more refined role depending on what a person's interests are.

Read So You Want to Get a Job in Information Technology? to see some of the possible IT career paths available. To prepare for the exam, read "Systems Analyst" and "Project Managers" in The People in Information Systems.


4g. Explain the importance of where the information-systems function is placed in an organization

Before organizations had dedicated information systems functions, computing was placed in the finance or account department and was referred to as "data processing". As technology crept into daily business operations and practices, information systems were classified as a separate function, but it was still under the domain of the CFO.

  • As the use of business computers grew in the 1980s, the information systems function of an organization was combined with telecommunications to form an information technology department.
  • With the addition of a separate IT department came a new role known as the Chief Information Officer (CIO), who reports directly to the organization's CEO.

Read "Organizing the Information Systems Function" and "Where in the Organization should IS be?" in The People in Information Systems. Refer to the Find the IT Function on Organization Charts task.


4h. Describe the different types of users of information systems

Other than those who create, administer, and manage information systems, users are the largest category involved in a management information system. Users must be able to operate an information system successfully; otherwise, the system fails its primary intended purpose: to be useful to people.

  • Innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards are the five types of technology adopters.
  • Each type of adopter can be turned into an information technology user who can provide insight into how new information systems can be implemented in an organization.

Read each subsection under "Information-Systems Users – Types of Users" in The People in Information Systems to learn more about what each type of technology adopter is to prepare for the final exam.


Unit 4 Vocabulary

This vocabulary list includes terms that might help you answer some of the review items above and some terms you should be familiar with to be successful in completing the final exam for the course.

  • Adopter
  • Collaborative systems
  • Competitive advantage
  • Computer Engineer
  • Computer Operator
  • Decision Support System (DSS)
  • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
  • Five Forces
  • Innovators
  • Primary activities
  • Project Manager
  • Support activities
  • Systems Analyst
  • Value chain

Unit 5: Information Systems Development

5a. Explain the overall process of developing a new software application

Developing a new software application involves planning, designing, coding, and several other activities. Software development involves several groups of people throughout an organization in addition to a programmer.

  • Time, cost, and quality are major factors in the software development process.
  • Investors, stakeholders, users, and programmers are all involved in the process of software development.
  • What should a business owner consider at the beginning and end of a software development life cycle?


5b. Explain the differences between software development methodologies

There are several methodologies available to an organization for developing new software. Organizations choose a methodology based upon variables like the size of the company and the desired turnaround time.

  • The Systems-Development Life Cycle was developed to manage large software projects in corporate systems to run on mainframes.
  • The Rapid Application Development (RAD) methodology focuses on quickly building a working model of software, getting feedback from users, and using that feedback to update the working model.
  • Agile methodologies are groups of methodologies that incorporate incremental changes with a focus on quality and attention to detail.
  • Lean methodology focuses on taking an initial idea and developing a minimum viable product (MVP). The MVP is a working software application with just enough capability to display the idea behind the project.

Depending on which methodologies you feel more or less comfortable with, you may consider refreshing your knowledge by reading the following sections from Information Systems Development: "Systems-Development Life Cycle", "Rapid Application Development", "Agile Methodologies", and "Lean Methodology".


5c. Differentiate among types of programming languages used to develop software

Software developers create software using one of several programming languages. Programming languages are artificial languages that provide a way for programmers to create structured codes, which need to be compiled to run the newly developed application.

  • Early programming languages were developed specifically for a certain type of hardware that had to be programmed.
  • Each generation of programming languages offered different classes of programming tools.

Read "Generations of Programming Languages" in Information Systems Development to understand the differences between each generation of programming languages and prepare for the final exam.


5d. Name and describe the major phases in the development of websites and mobile applications

In the early days of the World Wide Web, developers needed to understand hypertext markup language (HTML). Many websites come with a variety of tools to help simplify the process of building a basic website, and the HTML is performed in the background.

  • HTML is used to define the components of a web page, and cascading style sheets (CSS) are used to define the styles of the components on a page.
  • End-user computing brings the development of applications closer to those who will use them.
  • Mobile applications run on mobile devices and have to be designed to function on a smaller screen, which means the development of mobile apps has certain limitations traditional computer applications do not have.

These concepts were covered in the sections labeled "Building a Website", "Web Services", "End-User Computing", and "Sidebar: Building A Mobile App" in Information Systems Development. Then, refer to the tutorial in the Hour of Code assignment.


5e. Identify the four primary implementation policies

After a new system is developed, an organization must determine the best method to implement it. Four of the most popular implementation methodologies include direct cutover, pilot implementation, parallel operation, and phased implementation.

  • In a direct-cutover implementation, the organization selects a specific date the old system is shut off, and the new system is implemented.
  • In a pilot implementation, a "pilot group" begins using the new system before all users are let into the new system.
  • In a parallel operation, both old and new systems are used simultaneously for a period of time before the new system completely replaces the old one.
  • In a phased implementation, different functions of the new system are used as old functions are shut off. This implementation allows an organization to phase into the new system over time.

Re-read "Implementation Methodologies" from Information Systems Development to prepare for the final exam.


Unit 5 Vocabulary

This vocabulary list includes terms that might help you answer some of the review items above and some terms you should be familiar with to be successful in completing the final exam for the course.

  • Agile methodology
  • Direct cutover
  • End-user computing
  • Hypertext markup language (HTML)
  • Lean methodology
  • Minimum viable product
  • Parallel operation
  • Phased implementation
  • Pilot implementation
  • Rapid Application Development
  • Systems Development Life Cycle

Unit 6: Information Systems in Society and the World

6a. Explain the concept of globalization

Advances in telecommunication and transportation have accelerated globalization through information technology.

  • Technology has provided the gateway to connecting people through the network society.
  • According to Friedman, the third era of globalization introduced the graphical user interface of the personal computer, the build-out of the Internet infrastructure during the dot com boom, and software to automate and integrate business processes.

To prepare for the final exam, read the specific technologies Friedman noted in the third era of globalization under "The World is Flat" in Globalization and Information Systems.


6b. Describe the role of information technology in globalization

In addition to the specific technologies that Friedman noted in the flat-world platform, the open-source movement and advent of mobile technologies have helped global collaboration evolve.

  • SMTP, HTML, and TCP/IP are Internet protocols that became standards widely used by everyone during the late 1990s.
  • According to Friedman, workflow software allows people to work together easily and allows the integration of different software packages and databases.
  • Globalization 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 are the three eras of globalization, according to Friedman. Define each era of globalization.

Definitions of the three eras of globalization may be found in the section labeled "The World is Flat" in Globalization and Information Systems. How do your definitions of each era compare to what the textbook says?


6c. Identify the issues experienced by firms as they face a global economy

The latest era of globalization allows any business to become international. Castell's vision of working together as a unit in real-time can become a reality soon. Companies need to understand what challenges await them in dealing with employees and customers from different cultures to take advantage of new capabilities driven by technology.

  • Infrastructure differences, labor laws and regulations, legal restrictions, language, customs, and preferences all present challenges companies must be aware of in the latest era of globalization.
  • Advantages of globalization include the ability to operate 24 hours a day, locate expertise and labor globally, and a larger market to distribute and sell products.
  • Should new business owners stay local or expand globally as they grow their business? What are the pros and cons of each approach?

Read about globalization's advantages and disadvantages in "The Global Firm" in Globalization and Information Systems to understand the considerations businesses must include in a globalization plan.


6d. Describe Nielsen's three stages of the digital divide

The digital divide results from a separation between those who have access to a global network and those who do not. Those who do not have access to a global network are largely missing out on the benefits and often feel the worst of globalization's negative effects. The digital divide can occur between countries, regions, or neighborhoods.

  • An attempt to remedy the digital divide issue was the One Laptop per Child effort, which was designed to empower children in developing countries by issuing technology they otherwise would note have been able to access.
  • Jakob Nielsen noted there are actually three factors at play in the digital divide: an economic divide, a usability divide, and an empowerment divide.
  • What does each of these three factors of the digital divide mean to you? How does each contribute to there being a digital divide?

Read "The Digital Divide", "One Laptop per Child", and "A New Understanding of the Digital Divide" in Globalization and Information Systems to prepare for the final exam. Review Bridging the Digital Divide.


6e. Describe what the term information systems ethics means

Information technology has a profound effect on human behavior. New technologies provide capabilities we did not have before and present new situations that have not previously been addressed in ethical terms. New power as a result of new technology and may involve compromises. For example, when Henry Ford invented the assembly line, he reduced the value of humans as part of the production process.

  • A code of ethics outlines acceptable behaviors for professional or social groups and is agreed to by all group members.
  • What are the possible results of violating the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)?

Read "Information Systems Ethics" and "Code of Ethics" in The Ethical and Legal Implications of Information Systems to prepare for the final exam. Then, review Ethics.


6f. Identify criteria for the ethical use of information systems

The ACM Code of Ethics contains many straightforward ethical instructions, such as the admonition to be honest and trustworthy.

  • Under the ACM code of ethics, nobody should use someone else's computer system, software, or data without consent.
  • Individuals should not design or implement a system that deliberately or inadvertently demeans an individual or group.
  • Organizational leaders are responsible for ensuring their computer systems enhance, not degrade, the quality of working life for employees.

Read the section "Code of Ethics" in The Ethical and Legal Implications of Information Systems, which explains the ACM code of ethics in more detail. You will want to be confident in your understanding of ethics in information systems before you attempt the final exam.


6g. Define intellectual property

Digital technologies have influenced the domain of intellectual property. Intellectual property is much more difficult to defend in today's digital world.

  • Intellectual property is any idea, invention, or process derived from someone else's work or intellect.
  • Intellectual property laws are written to protect the tangible results of an idea. (If you think of a song in your head, you need to actually write it down to protect it.)
  • Intellectual property laws offer protection that gives people an incentive to release their creative ideas.
  • How can you protect your inventions or ideas in the event someone hacks into your computer and steals them?

Read the section "Intellectual Property" in The Ethical and Legal Implications of Information Systems to prepare for the final exam and discover ways intellectual property protect ideas.


6h. Explain the protections provided by copyright, patent, and trademark

1. Copyright, patent, and trademark are methods to protect inventions and intellectual property. Each of these protection methods covers products, services, ideas, inventions, and other information from being copied and used without the consent of the originating group or individual.

  • Copyright helps content creators retain their rights over their work and helps them answer questions about who can make copies of it, who can make derivative works from it, who can share it and how, and more.
  • Sometimes a work is owned by a publisher who has an agreement with the author.

Read the sections "Copyright", "Obtaining Copyright Protection", and "Fair Use" in The Ethical and Legal Implications of Information Systems to prepare for the final exam.


2. A patent creates protection for someone who invents a new product or process. Many works may qualify as inventions, including firearms, locks, plumbing, engines, etc. However, business processes are also often invented and should thus be protected under patent law.

  • After obtaining a patent, the inventor has protection from others infringing on their patent.
  • A patent holder can exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the US or importing the invention into the US.
  • What is the limit of time a patent can protect someone's invention?

Read "Patent" and "Obtaining Patent Protection" in The Ethical and Legal Implications of Information Systems to prepare for the exam.


3. A trademark is a word, phrase, logo, shape, or sound that identifies a source of goods or services. Taco Bell's purple bell logo, Coca-Cola's iconic bottle shape, and Chevrolet's bowtie logo are examples of trademarks.

  • Two types of trademarks exist: a common-law trademark and a registered trademark.
  • Much like with a copyright, a trademark protects an individual or organization if it is used in the normal course of business.
  • Do trademarks ever expire or need to be re-registered?
  • Can companies legally use a similar logo or phrase that already has trademark protection?

Read "Trademark" in The Ethical and Legal Implications of Information Systems to prepare for the final exam.


6i. Describe the challenges that information technology brings to individual privacy

Privacy has several definitions; for this course, privacy means the ability to control information about oneself. Our ability to maintain our privacy through technology has eroded greatly over the past few decades.

  • Personally identifiable information is information that can be used to establish a person's identity. This includes name, social security number, place of birth, medical records, and mother's maiden name.
  • Information entered in online forms, our tagged location in social media, and other information are susceptible to monitoring and can be aggregated to create a profile of someone.

Read "Privacy", "Personally Identifiable Information", and "Non-Obvious Relationship Awareness" in The Ethical and Legal Implications of Information Systems to prepare for the final exam. Revisit Youth, Privacy, and Online Media to see how privacy expectations have changed in the past few generations.


6j. Describe future trends in information systems

Information technology innovations have changed the world of business and everyday life. New trends, ideas, and innovations are constantly being developed by groups and individuals and continue to change everyday life.

  • The first trend of the future of information systems is the ever-expanding globalization that closes the gap between countries through the Internet.
  • Through the advent of Web 2.0 and e-commerce, information systems use has expected to modify their experiences to meet personal tastes.
  • What current trends in information systems technology were only a faint idea just a few years ago?

Read "Global", "Social", "Personal", "Mobile", "Wearable", and "Printable" in Future Trends in Information Systems to get a better sense of these future trends. Revisit A Tour through Mary Meeker's 2016 Internet Trends Report to see research on current and upcoming trends in Internet technologies.


Unit 6 Vocabulary

This vocabulary list includes terms that might help you answer some of the review items above and some terms you should be familiar with to be successful in completing the final exam for the course.

  • Aggregate data
  • Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
  • Copyright
  • Fair use
  • Globalization
  • Information systems ethics
  • Intellectual property
  • Patent
  • Personally identifiable information
  • The digital divide
  • Trademark