Information Systems or Information Services

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What Does Information Systems or Information Services Mean?

Information systems (IS) is an integrated set of components used for gathering, processing, storing and communicating multiple types of information for improved societal and organizational efficiency.


Information system components cover academic and professional disciplines spanning the fields of business and computer science. Typical information systems include data about people, software, hardware and procedures. Collected digital data is used for study and analysis.

In many organizations, IS is known as information services (IS).

Techopedia Explains Information Systems or Information Services

Information systems include the following interactions:

  • Between technology and algorithmic processes within the boundaries of an enterprise
  • Organizational interaction with technology and vice versa
  • Between society and technology

The history of information systems predates the emergence of modern computer science in the 20th century. A number of legacy information systems still exist and are continually updated to ensure data security and longevity, promote ethnographic approaches and improve the social effectiveness and efficiency of information processing.

Types of information systems include:

  • Transaction Process Systems (TPS)
  • Office and office automation
  • Enterprise Collaboration Systems (ECS)
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  • Expert Systems
  • Global Information Systems (GIS)
  • Management Information Systems (MIS)
  • Decision Support Systems (DSS)
  • Data Warehouses (DW)
  • Executive Support Systems (ESS)

Many of these systems are designed to accomplish tasks that are more advanced than most human brain capabilities, such as storing large quantities of data and executing complex calculations and simultaneous processes.

Emerging information systems include those used for geographic areas and disasters, which are broadly classified as spatial information systems.

The IS development approach varies according to requirements. For example, an organization may use an engineering approach, in which a systematic process utilizes sequential development stages. This occurs inside an organization, by outsourcing or outsourcing only certain IS components.

IS development stages include:

  • Recognizing issues, problems or required specifications
  • Collecting information
  • Determining new system specifications
  • Designing the system
  • Constructing the system
  • Implementing the system
  • Evaluating and maintaining the system

Like records and information management, ISs have evolved for over 30 years. Foundations were set by the manual organization of data and information in physical formats, such as paper, microfilm, photographs, negatives, and audio/video recordings.

However, IS research continues to be the subject of scholarly debate. The Association for Information Systems (AIS) is an international organization of IS researchers that has published several relevant journals.


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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.