Introduction to Information Systems

The "Harry Potter" example that leads off this reading provides an excellent example of pre-planning, organized business processes, and the need for flexibility in information systems. Each Potter volume increased the pre-orders exponentially, and Amazon used its prior experiences to create policies and practices designed to improve customer experience. As you will see, business processes are a blueprint for success, supported by technology, information systems, and a range of other required services.


Companies survive or fail these days based in large part on how well they conduct their business processes. In the business world, information technology and Information Systems play a pivotal role in how effectively and efficiently companies perform. It is not sufficient to have a flashy Web site or the cheapest product line. Customers expect quality service, accurate and timely delivery of orders, and a well-run organization behind the flashy Web site. This textbook is written to give you the background you need to understand how to succeed as a business professional in providing high-quality products and services while collecting and managing the data a profitable organization needs to plan, organize and control its people, processes, and systems.

Business professionals can no longer hide in a functional silo within a company. Companies do not separate product development and manufacturing into well-defined pieces; the accountants need to talk to the product development team, who need to connect with marketing people, who need to understand production cycles. All business professionals must share common information, information that is collected centrally and made available via integrated Information Systems to all company users. Since these users need to share the output of their Information Systems, they will also have to coordinate the systems' design and control to make sure all users have access to the highest quality information possible.

As you read each chapter of this book, take with you an understanding of how topics fit together as the pieces of a puzzle whose objective is to create the best possible structure in which to run a business. The challenge of this puzzle, however, is that the pieces keep changing, and the shape of the puzzle does, too. These changes are what will make your career both challenging and rewarding. The more you know about working with interchangeable pieces, the better prepared you will be to succeed as a business professional.