The Information Systems Revolution

Chapter 1

information system

a set of interrelated components that collect, process, store, retrieve and distribute information to support decision making and control in an organization


streams of raw facts representing events occurring in organizations or the physical environment


data that has been shaped into a form that is meaningful and useful to humans


collects raw data from an organization or its external environment


converts input data into more meaningful form


transfers processed information to people who may use it or to the activities for which it may be used


is output that is returned to appropriate members of an organization to help them evaluate or correct other stages of the information flow

computer based information systems (CBIS)

are information systems that rely on computers for collecting, storing, processing, disseminating and using data

standard operating procedures

are rules, either written or unwritten, that have been developed over time for accomplishing tasks

knowledge workers

design products or services and create new knowledge

data workers

process the organizations transactions and paperwork

computer hardware

is the physical equipment used for input, processing and output activities

computer software

consists of detailed preprogrammed instructions that control and coordinate the computer hardware components of a computer information system

storage technology

includes both the physical devices for storing data, such as disks or tapes, and the software governing the organization of the data on these physical media

communication technology

consists of both physical devices and software that links the various pieces of hardware and transfers data from one physical location to another


link two or more computers to share data or resources


is an international network of networks that are both commercially and publicly owned

world wide web

is a particular system with universally accepted standards for storing, retrieving, formatting and displaying information in a networked environment. A major aspect of this is called the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

networked organizations

coordinate their geographically distributed capabilities and sometimes coordinate with other organizations through a variety of networks

virtual organizations

these are network organizations that do not exist in the usual sense of brick and mortar businesses

electronic market

is an information system that links together buyers and sellers to exchange information, products, services and payments


are internets that are completely internal to an organization


are internets that allow restricted access to users outside the organization, usually for selling products or transferring information


 The Strategic Role of Information Systems

Chapter 2

operational level systems

monitor the elementary activities and transactions of the organization

knowledge level systems

support knowledge and data workers in an organization

management level systems

support the monitoring, controlling, decision making and administrative activities of middle managers

strategic level systems

support the long run planning activities

transaction processing systems

perform and record the daily routine transactions necessary to conduct the business

office automation systems

such as word processing and e-mail facilitate the productivity of data workers

knowledge work systems

aid knowledge workers in the creation and integration of new knowledge in the organization

decision support systems

combine data and sophisticated analytical models or data analysis tools to support decision making

executive support systems

use advanced graphics and communications to facilitate decision making at the strategic level of organizations

product differentiation

is a strategy for creating brand loyalty by developing products that are not easily duplicated by competitors

focussed differentiation

involves creating specialized products for market niches so the firm can better compete in more narrowly focussed target areas


analysis of large pools of data to find patterns and rules that can be used to aid decision making and predict future behavior

supply chain

is a collection of physical entities such as manufacturing plants, distribution centers, retail outlets, people and information that are linked together into processes supplying goods and services from source through consumption

switching costs

the expense a customer or company incurs in lost time and resources when changing suppliers or systems

information partnership

is an alliance formed between corporations in order to share information to gain strategic advantage

network economics

in a network, the marginal costs of adding another participant are very small, where the marginal gains are much larger

vendor managed inventory

are where the supplier assumes the responsibility to make inventory replenishments based order, point-of-sale, or warehouse data supplied by the customer



Info Systems, Organizations and Business Processes

Chapter 3

business processes

the unique ways in which organizations coordinate and organize work activities, information and knowledge to produce a viable good or service


highly trained technical specialists who write computer software instructions

systems analysts

translate business problems and requirements into information requirements and systems, acting as liaisons between IS&T and the rest of the organization

information systems managers

leaders of various specialists

end users

representatives of departments outside of IS&T for whom systems applications are developed

chief information officer

is the senior manager in charge of the IS&T function in the firm




Information, Management and Decision Making

Chapter 4

management control

monitoring how efficiently or effectively resources are utilized and how well operational units are functioning

operational control

relates to deciding how to carry out specific tasks determined by upper and middle management and establishing criteria for completion and resource allocation

unstructured decisions

non-routine decisions in which the decision maker must provide judgment, evaluation and insights into the problem. There is no agreed on procedure for making such decisions.

structured decisions

these are repetitive, routine and have definite procedures for handling them

semistructured decisions

only part of the problem has a clear cut approach provided by an accepted procedure



Ethical and Social Impact of Information Systems  

Chapter 5

information rights

the rights that individuals and organizations have with respect to information that pertains to themselves


accepting potential costs, duties and obligations for the decisions one makes


the mechanisms for assessing responsibility


the existence of laws that permit individuals to recover damages done to them by other actors, systems or organizations

due process

is when laws are well known and understood and there is an ability to appeal to higher authorities to ensure that laws are correctly applied


the claim of individuals to be left alone, free from surveillance or interference from other individuals, organizations or state

Fair Information Practices

are a set of principles first set forth in 1973 that governs the collection and use of information about individuals and forms the basis of most U.S. and European privacy laws


sending unsolicited e-mail and other electronic communication

intellectual property

intangible property created by individuals or corporations that is subject to protections under trade secret, copyright and patent law

trade secret

an intellectual work or product used for a business purpose that can be classified as belonging to that business, provided it is not based on information in the public domain


a statutory grant that protects creators of intellectual property against copying by others for any purpose for a period of 28 years


a legal document that grants the owner an exclusive monopoly on the ideas behind an invention for 17 years

computer crime

the commission of illegal acts through the use of a computer or against a computer system

computer abuse

the commission of acts that may not be illegal but are considered unethical


exploits weaknesses in network security to obtain access to proprietary data such as customer information and passwords


uses software to tie up computers hosting a Web site so that legitimate visitors can't visit the site

malicious software

software transmitted through networks or secondary storage that can disable or inhibit computing


electronic eavesdropping by intercepting information moving on a network


a fraudulent misrepresentation as an organization, setting up false Web sites to collect confidential information from unsuspecting visitors



Computers and Information Processing  

Chapter 6


A binary digit representing the smallest unit of data in a computer system. It can have only one of two states usually denoted by 0 or 1.


a group/series of bits, usually eight, used to store one number or character


an eight digit binary code used to represent 256 basic characters. This is almost always the standard used for data transmission.


an augmented set of codes developed by IBM and used in many mainframes


an approach to use sixteen bits to represent each 256 x 256 = 65,536 different characters so that all modern languages can have characters represented more easily


the smallest unit of data for defining an image on the computer. A computer reduces an image to a grid of pixels.


one-millionth of a second


one billionth of a second


approximately 1000 bytes


approximately one million bytes


approximately one billion bytes


approximately one trillion bytes


a very large scale integrated circuit technology that integrates the computer's memory, logic and control on a single chip

central processing unit

area of the computer system that manipulates symbols, numbers, and letters, and controls the other parts of the computer system

primary storage

part of the computer that temporarily stores program instructions and data being used by instructions


random access memory is primary storage of data or program instructions that can directly access any randomly chosen location in the same amount of time


an integrated circuit made by printing thousands (millions?) of tiny transistors on a small silicon chip


read only memory is semiconductor memory chips that contain program instructions


a highly sophisticated and powerful computer that can perform very complex computations extremely rapidly


largest category of computer used for major business processing


middle range computer

personal computer

small desktop or portable computer


desktop computer with powerful graphics and mathematical capabilities and the ability to perform several complicated tasks at once

network server

a computer that is specifically optimized to provide software and other resources to other computers over a network

sequential processing

instructions are executed one-at-a-time in sequence

parallel processing

instructions can be executed simultaneously by breaking down the task into smaller parts and then executing each of these simultaneously with multiple processors

word length

the number of bits that can be processed at one time by a computer


a measure of cycle speed or the pacing of events in a computer


complex instruction set computers typically based on Intel processors. Every upgrade in chip contains all the old instructions so there are now more than 300 distinct machine language instructions


reduced instruction set computers

distributed processing

the distribution of computer processing work among multiple computers linked by a communications network

centralized processing

processing that is accomplished by one large central computer

client/server computing

a model for computing that splits between "clients" and "servers" on a network, assigning functions to the machine most able to perform the function


the user point-of-entry, normally a desktop, workstation ot laptop


the component that satisfies some or all of the user's requests for data and/or functionality and that performs back-end functions not visible to users such as managing network activities

secondary storage

relatively long term non-volatile storage of data outside the CPU and primary storage

magnetic disk

a secondary storage device in which data are stored by means of magnetized spots on a hard or floppy disk

hard disk

magnetic disk resembling a thin steel platter with an iron oxide coating

floppy disk

removable magnetic disk storage primarily used with personal computers


read only optical disk storage with massive amounts of unchanging data

computer mouse

handheld input device whose movement on the desktop controls the movement of the cursor on the screen

touch screen

allows input by selecting things on a sensitized video display monitor with a finger or a pointer

source data automation

input technology that captures data in computer readable form at the time and place the data are created

optical character recognition

optical scanning devices read specifically designed data off source documents and translate the data into digital form for the computer

bar code

form of OCR technology widely used at supermarkets and retail stores in which identification data are coded into a series of bars

magnetic ink character recognition (MICR)

input technology that translates characters written in magnetic ink into digital codes for processing

pen-based input

input devices such as tablets, notebooks and notepads consisting of a flat screen display and stylus that digitizes handwriting

digital scanner

input devices that translate images such as pictures or documents into digital form

voice input devices

technology that converts the spoken word into digital form


Cathode Ray Tube monitor


Liquid Crystal Display monitor


an output device that provides paper hard-copy output in the form of text or graphics


output device that uses multicolored pens to draw high quality graphic documents

voice output device

a converter of digital output data into spoken words


technologies that facilitate the integrated use of two or more media such as text, graphics, sound, voice, video or animation into computer based applications

streaming technology

technology for transferring data so that they can be processed as a steady and continuous stream


compression standard that can compress audio files for transfer over the Internet with virtually no loss in quality

massively parallel computing

computers that simultaneously use hundreds of thousands of processing chips to attack large computing problems



Information Systems Software  

Chapter 7


 the detailed instructions that control the operation of a computer system


a series of statements or instructions to the computer

system software

generalized programs that manage the resources of the computer, such as the CPU, communications links and peripherals

application software

written for a specific application to perform functions specified by end users

operating system

the system software that manages and controls the activities of the computer


a method of executing two or more programs concurrently using the same computer


the multiprogramming capability of primarily single user operating systems

virtual storage

a way of handling programs more efficiently by dividing the program into small portions with only a few of these stored in primary storage at any one time

time sharing

the sharing of computer resources by many users simultaneously by having the CPU spend a fixed amount of time on each user's program before proceeding to the next


corresponds to executing two or more instructions simultaneously in a single computer by using multiple CPUs

source code

program instructions written in a high level language


translates a high level language into machine language for execution by the computer

utility program

system software consisting of programs for routine, repetitive tasks such as virus scanning, disk performance enhancement

graphical user interface (GUI)

users interact with graphic icons and the computer mouse to issue commands and make selections


operating system for PCs based on IBM PC standards

Windows 95, 98

version of windows operating system for stand alone PCs

Windows NT

operating system which is largely used in platforms based on Intel microprocessors. It supports networking, multitasking and multiprocessing.

Windows CE

portable and compact operating system designed to run on small hand held computers, personal digital assistants or wireless communication devices


IBM/PC based operating system that provides multitasking and networking


operating system which is machine independent and supports multi-user processing, multitasking and networking


a free or very low cost offshoot of UNIX which is portable for many platforms

open source software

provides free access to the program code


operating system for the MacIntosh

machine language

a programming language consisting of the 0s and 1s of binary code

assembly language

developed in the 1950s that resembles machine language but that uses mnemonics in place of numeric codes

high-level language

each source code statement generates multiple statements at the machine language level

query language

a high-level computer language used to retrieve information from databases or files

natural language

programming language that is very close to human language

report generator

creates customized reports in a wide range of formats that are not routinely produced by an information system


a programming language that requires much fewer instructions than a conventional language

software package

a prewritten, precoded commercially available set of programs

word processing

software handles electronic storage, editing, formatting, and printing of documents


displays data in a grid of columns and rows with the capability of easily recalculating numerical data

data management software

used for creating and managing lists, creating files and databases to store data and combining information for reports

presentation graphics

software to create professional quality graphics presentations that can incorporate charts, sound, animation, photos and video clips

integrated software package

provides two or more applications, such as word processing and spreadsheets, providing easy transfer of data between them


the computer-to-computer exchange of messages

web browser

an easy to use software tool for accessing the World Wide Web and the Internet


software that provides functions and services to support collaborative activities of work groups

object oriented programming

an approach to software development that combines data and procedures into a single object

visual programming

the construction of user interfaces by selecting and arranging predeveloped objects rather than by writing code

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)

page description language for creating webpages and other hypermedia documents


software that allows two different applications to exchange data




Managing Data Resources 

Chapter 8


a person, place or thing about which information must be kept


a piece of information describing a particular entity


a group of bytes focussed on characterizing an attribute of an entity, typically associated with a column in a table


a group of related fields for an entity, typically a row in a table


a group of records of the same type

primary key

a unique identifier for each record used to retrieve, update or sort

key field

a field in a table that can be used to sort the data

sequential file organization

data must be retrieved in the same order as it is stored

direct or random file organization

a method of storing data so that it can be accessed in any sequence without regard to their actual physical order on the storage media

flat file organization

when each functional area or division creates its own data files and programs with little coordination between areas

data redundancy

duplicate data appears in multiple data files

program data dependence

when there is a close relationship between the data and programs that can not be easily outmaneuvered


a collection of data organized to service many applications at the same time by storing and managing data so that it appears to be in one location

database management system (DBMS)

software to create and maintain a database and enable applications to extract data efficiently

data manipulation language

used in a DBMS by end users and programmers to manipulate data in a particular database

data dictionary

gives an overview of how the data is stored an organized

relational data model

a type of logical database design that treats data as if it was stored in two dimensional tables where the data in one table can be related to data in another as long as the two tables have a common field

Structured Query Language (SQL)

the standard data manipulation language for relational database management systems

logical view

a representation of data as they would appear to an application programmer or end user

physical view

the representation of data as they would be actually organized on physical storage media

distributed database

is stored in more than one physical location

hypermedia database

organizes data as a network of nodes linked in a pattern established by the user; the nodes can contain text, graphics, sound, video or executable programs

on line analytical processing

ability to manipulate and analyze large amounts of data from multiple perspectives

data warehouse

a database with reporting and query tools that stores current and historical data extracted from various operational systems and consolidated for reporting and analysis

data mart

a small data warehouse consisting of a portion of the organization's data for a specified function or user group

information policy

formal rules governing the maintenance, distribution and use of information in an organization




Telecommunications and Networks 

Chapter 9


the communication of information via electronic means

information superhighway

high speed open access digital telecommunications that are national or worldwide in scope


a set of rules and procedures that govern transmission between components in a network

analog signal

a continuous waveform that passes through a telecommunications medium

digital signal

a discrete wave form used for data communication that transmits data coded into 0s and 1s or on-off electronic pulses


a device for translating digital signals into analog and vice versa


the links by which data or voice are transmitted


part of the network handling the major traffic

mobile data networks

wireless networks that enable two way transmission of data


a change in signal that is used to measure transmission speed


the capacity of a communications channel as measured by the difference between the highest and lowest frequencies that can be transmitted by the channel

front end processor

a small computer managing communications for the host computer in a network


telecommunications computer that collects and temporarily stores messages from terminals for batch transmission to a host computer


specialized computer that supervises communication between a CPU and the peripheral devices in a telecommunications system


a device that allows a single transmission channel to carry data transmissions from multiple sources simultaneously

local area network (LAN)

a telecommunications network that requires its own dedicated channels and that encompasses a limited distance, usually one building or a few more in close proximity

wide area network (WAN)

telecommunications network that spans a large geographical distance


a communications processor that connects dissimilar networks by providing translation from one set of protocols to another


device that forwards packets of data from LAN or Wan to another

switched lines

telephone lines that a person can access from a terminal to transmit data to another computer, the data being routed or switched through paths

dedicated lines

telephone lines that are continuously available for transmission by a lessee

value added network

private, multipath, data only third party network that is used by multiple organizations on a subscription basis

enterprise networking

an organization's hardware, software, telecommunications and data resources are arranged to put more computing power on a desktop and create a company-wide network


linking separate networks, each of which maintains its identity, into an interconnected network

open systems

software systems that can operate on different hardware platforms because they are built on public nonproprietary operating systems, user interfaces, application standards and networking protocols


U.S. Department of Defense reference model for linking different types of computers and networks used as the basis for the Internet


periods of time in which an information system is not operational



The Internet

Chapter 10


Internet Service Provider

a commercial organization with a permanent connection to the Internet that sells temporary connections to subscribers

domain name

the unique name of a collection of computers connected to the Internet

uniform resource locator (URL)

the address of a specific resource on the Internet

hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP)

the communications standard used to transfer pages on the web

search engine

a tool for locating specific sites or information on the Internet


web site or service providing an initial point of entry to the web


transmission of data to a selected group of recipients


hardware and software placed between an organization's internal network and an external network to prevent outsiders from invading private networks

information page

a typical webpage that contains information and only requies interaction with the server when it is loaded on the client browser

active server page

a webpage that continually demands the active processing of the server.  These are often used to get client information for things such as shipping and credit cards.


private intranet that has limited accessibility to selected outsiders

internet telephony

the use of the Internet for telephone voice service

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

a secure connection between two points across the Internet to transmit private data which provides a low cost alternative to a private network


the removal of organizations or business process layers responsible for certain intermediary steps in a value chain


an entry into the log file of a web server generated by each request for a page

web hosting service

a company maintaining large web servers to maintain web sites for fee paying customers

electronic payment system

the use of digital technologies such as electronic fund transfers, credit cards and Internet based payment systems

channel conflict

competition between two or more different distribution chains used to sell the products or services of the same company



Redesigning the Organization with Info Systems

Chapter 11

information systems plan

a road map indicating the direction of systems development, the rationale, the current situation, the management strategy, the implementation plan and the budget

enterprise analysis

an analysis of organization-wide information requirements by looking at organizational units, functions, processes and data elements and identifying key entities and attributes in the organization's data

critical success factors

a small number of identifiable operational goals that are believed to ensure the success of an organization


use of the computer to speed up existing tasks

rationalization of procedures

the streamlining of standard operating procedures and eliminating obvious bottlenecks so that automation improves efficiency

work flow management

streamlining business procedures so that documents can be handled more easily


setting strict standards for products, services or activities and measuring performance against those standards

systems development

the activities that go into producing an information systems solution to an organizational challenge

systems analysis

the analysis of a challenge that an organization will try to solve using information systems

feasibility study

during systems analysis this is used to determine whether the solution is achievable given an organization's resources and constraints

technical feasibility

can an approach be implemented with available hardware, software and technical resources

economic feasibility

do the benefits for a proposed solution outweigh the costs

operational feasibility

is a proposed solution desirable within the existing managerial and organizational framework

information requirements

a detailed statement of the information needs that a new system must satisfy; identifies who needs what information and when, where and how the information is needed

systems design

details of how a system will meet the information requirements as determined by the systems analysis

logical design

lays out the components of the information system and their relationships to each from the point of view of a user

physical design

the specific technical design that will actuate a particular logical design


translating system specifications into program code


the process that determines whether the system produces the desired results under known conditions


the process of changing from the old system to the new system

parallel strategy

both the old system and the potential replacement are run simultaneously for some time until users are assured the new system functions correctly

direct cutover strategy

new system completely replaces the old one at an appointed time

pilot study strategy

introduce the new system in a limited area until it is proven to be fully functional, then convert the rest of the organization

phased approach strategy

introduces the new system in stages by functions or organizational units


description of how an information system works both from a technical and end-user perspective


after the new system is installed and the conversion is complete


changes in hardware, software, documentation or procedures to correct errors, meet new requirements or improve processing efficiency

tangible benefits

benefits that can be quantified and assigned monetary value

intangible benefits

benefits that can't be easily quantified



Approaches to Systems Building

Chapter 12

systems lifecycle

a traditional methodology for developing information systems that partitions the systems development process into formal stages that must be completed sequentially with a formal division between end users and information systems specialists

project definition

the stage in the systems lifecycle that determines whether there is a problem that can be solved by a systems project

systems study

during this stage the problems of the existing system are analyzed and the definitions for what is to be attained by a solution are determined. There is also some evaluation of various solution approaches.


a stage in systems lifecycle that produces the logical and physical design specifications for the system solution


translates design specifications into software program code


testing, training and conversion and other final steps to put a system into operation


the system is used and evaluated and modified to make improvements and meet new requirements


building an experimental system quickly and inexpensively for demonstration and evaluation to assist in determining information requirements


the preliminary working version for demonstration and evaluation purposes


the process of repeating the steps to build a system

end user interface

the part of the information system through which the end user interacts with the system

application software package

a set of prewritten, precoded software programs that are available for purchase or lease


modification of a package to meet the unique needs of an organization

Request for Proposal

a detailed list of questions submitted to vendors to determine how the vendors software can meet the needs of an organization

end user development

information systems developed by end users with little or no assistance from technical specialists

information center

provides information and training for end users


contracting computer center operations, networks or application development to external vendors

solution centers

provided by outsourcing vendors to help with common information systems problems

structured analysis

a method for defining system inputs, processes and outputs and for partitioning systems into subsystems that show a logical graphical model of information flow

data flow diagram

graphically illustrates the system component processes and the flow of data between them

process specifications

the logic of the processes occurring at the lowest levels of data flow diagrams

structured design and programming

a top down, hierarchical approach for designing and building systems

system flowchart

a graphic design tool that depicts the physical media and the sequence of processing used in an information system

object oriented software development

emphasizes combining data and procedures to create classes and objects

rapid application development (RAD)

using prototyping, fourth generation languages and teamwork to quickly develop systems

joint application development (JAD)

having end users and information systems specialists working together in interactive design sessions

software reengineering

avoids replacement of old software by salvaging and upgrading it

reverse engineering

converting existing programs, files and database descriptions into design level components so that they can be used to create new applications

forward engineering

the final step in reverse engineering when revised specifications are used to create new code



System Success and Failure: Implementation

Chapter 13

system failure

an information system that doesn't perform as intended, isn't operational at a specified time

user interface

the part of the system through which the end user interacts


all organizational activities working toward adoption, management and routinization of an innovation

change agent

the individual acting as the catalyst during the change process to ensure successful implementation and adoption

user - designer communications gap

the difference in backgrounds, interests and priorities that impede communication and problem solving between end users and information systems specialists


the traditional unit of measurement used to estimate the length of time to complete a project. the amount of work a person can be expected to complete in a month.

external integration tools

project management technique that links the work of the implementation team to that of the users at all levels of the organization

internal integration tools

project management technique that ensures the implementation team works as a cohesive unit

formal planning tools

structure and sequence tasks, budgeting time, money and technical resources

formal control tools

helps monitor the progress towards completion


a deliberate strategy to thwart the implementation of an information system or innovation in an organization

people oriented resistance

user resistance focussing on factors internal to users

system oriented resistance

user resistance focussing on factors inherent in the design of the system

interaction theory

user resistance is caused by the interaction of people and systems factors

organizational impact analysis

study of the ways a proposed system will affect organizational structure, attitudes, decision making and operations


the study of the interaction of people and machines



Managing Knowledge

Chapter 14

knowledge management

the process of systematically and actively managing and leveraging the stores of knowledge in an organization

tacit knowledge

expertise and experience that has not been formally documented

document imaging systems

systems that convert documents into digital form so they can be accessed by the computer

knowledge work systems

aid knowledge workers in the creation and integration of knowledge in an organization

computer aided design

assists the creation and revision of designs using sophisticated graphics software

virtual reality systems

interactive hardware and software that create computer generated simulations that provide sensations that emulate the real world

virtual reality modeling language VRML

a set of specifications for interactive 3-D modeling on the WWW

investment workstation

desktop computer optimized for accessing and manipulating large amounts of financial data

artificial intelligence

the ability to develop computer based systems that behave like humans in that they can learn languages, accomplish physical tasks, use perceptual apparatus, and emulate human expertise in decision making

expert system

knowledge intensive computer program that captures the expertise of people in limited domains of knowledge

knowledge base

model of human knowledge that is used by expert systems

rule based expert systems

a program that has a large number of interconnected and nested If - Then statements or rules used for the basis for knowledge

rule base

the collection of knowledge that is represented in the form of If - Then rules

knowledge frames

a method of organizing expert system knowledge into chunks

AI Shell

the programming environment of the expert system

inference engine

the strategy used to search through the rule base, which can be forward or backward

case based reasoning (CBR)

AI approach that represents knowledge as a database of cases and solutions

neural network

hardware or software that attempts to emulate the processing patterns of the biological brain

fuzzy logic

rule based AI that tolerates imprecision by using non-specific terms in membership functions

genetic algorithms

problem solving methods that promote the evolution of solutions to specified problems using the model of living organisms as they adapt to their environment

hybrid AI systems

integration of multiple AI technologies

intelligent agent

programs that work in the background to carry out specific, repetitive and predictable tasks for a user, business or application



Enhancing Management Decision Making

Chapter 15

model driven DSS

a primarily stand alone system that uses some type of model to perform "what-if" or other kinds of analyses

data driven DSS

supports decision making by allowing users to extract and analyze useful information that was previously buried in large databases


technology for finding hidden patterns and relationships in large databases and inferring rules from them for predicting future behavior

sensitivity analysis

models that ask "what-if" questions repeatedly to determine the impact on outcomes of changes in one or more input factors

geographic information system

systems that can analyze and display data using digitized maps to enhance planning and decision making

customer decision support system

system to support the decision making of an existing or potential customer

group decision support system

an interactive computer based system to facilitate the solution of unstructured problems by decision makers working as a group

executive support system

system used at the strategic level of decision making to address unstructured decision making through advanced graphics and communication

drill down

the ability to move from summary data to lower and lower levels of data



Security and Control

Chapter 16


a person who gains unauthorized access to a computer network for profit, personal pleasure or criminal mischief

computer virus

rogue software programs that are difficult to detect that spread rapidly through computer systems, destroying data or disrupting processing and memory systems

antivirus software

designed to detect and often eliminate computer viruses from an information system

fault tolerant computer systems

contain extra hardware, software and power supply components that can back a system up and keep it running to prevent system failure


policies, procedures and technical measures used to prevent unauthorized access, alteration, theft or damage to information systems


program code defects or errors


all of the methods, policies and procedures that ensure protection of an organization's assets, accuracy and reliability of its records and operational adherence to standards

executive support system

system used at the strategic level of decision making to address unstructured decision making through advanced graphics and communication

segregation of functions

principle of internal control that divides responsibilities and assigns tasks so that job functions don't overlap, to minimize risk of errors and fraudulent manipulation of an organization's assets


the coding and scrambling of messages to prevent unauthorized access


the ability of each person in a transaction to ascertain the identity of the other party

message integrity

the ability to ascertain whether a transmitted message has been copied or altered

digital signature

a code that can be attached to an electronically transmitted message to uniquely identify its contents and sender

secure electronic transaction (SET)

a standard for securing credit card transactions

electronic cash (e-cash)

currency represented in electronic form that moves outside the normal networks of money and preserves the anonymity of its users

risk assessment

determining the potential frequency of a problem and the potential damage


a review of specification or design documents by a small group of carefully selected capable people


the process of discovering and eliminating errors and defects in program code

data quality audit

a survey of files and sample files for accuracy and completeness of data



International Information Systems

Chapter 17

international information systems infrastructure

the basic information systems required by organizations to coordinate world-wide trade and other activities

business driver

a force in the environment to which businesses must respond that influences the direction of business

transborder data flow

the movement of data across international boundaries

domestic exporter

heavy centralization of corporate activities in the home country of origin


concentrates financial management and control in a central home base while decentralizing production, sales and marketing in other countries


the product is created, designed, financed and initially produced in the home country, but for product specific reasons must rely heavily on foreign personnel for further production, marketing and human resources


truly globally managed firms that have no national headquarters, value adding activities are managed from a global perspective, optimizing sources of supply and demand and taking advantage of any local competitive advantage

core systems

systems that support functions that are absolutely critical to the organization


bringing the opposition into the design and implementation without giving up control over the direction and nature of the change



Firm Infrastructure and Enterprise Systems

Chapter 18

application specific view

building systems based on the requirements of specific applications, often as piecemeal solutions

enterprise computing

firmwide information systems that integrate key business processes

information technology investment portfolio

capital investment comprising all of the firm's spending on information technology

industrial networks

networks linking the systems of multiple firms in an industry, also called extended enterprises