Topics • A one-person business: what types of information need and what types of system might it have? • Differences in types of business • Types of software • Components in an information system • Integration and pressures of e-commerce
One person business: example • Cashflow (for own information) : Accounts (for tax man) • Information on contacts • Produce CV, business cards • Write letters inc. mailmerge • Produce camera-ready publications, brochures • Create & update web pages • Scan photos, graphics for above • Communicate (phone, fax, email) • Run discussion list
Zip drives (backup etc.) Web page editor Spreadsheet Desktop Publishing Name & Address database Fax Email client Internet browser PC Word Processing Ansaphone Phone line Modem Flatbed scanner Printer • Internet Service Provider • Access to internet • Web site • Email Discussion list site Rest of the world
Costs of software & hardware (year 1) • PC bundled with MS Office, inc. voice/fax modem & ansaphone £1,500 • Printer, scanner, zip drives £350 • Desktop Publishing + web design s/ware £850 • Website & email addresses £300 a year • Phone charges • £110 web domain name • Paper, disks, maintenance, insurance etc.
Plus a lot of staff timelearning, troubleshooting, creating & updating web pages, answering emails...
Generic Can be used for different things Excel - Spreadsheet - used for accounts, attendance (this class) etc, Applications-specific Used for one type of thing Accounting package Payroll Travel bookings Types of software I
Off the shelf Ready made, no tailoring to your needs Packages you are familiar with e.g. Word, Excel, Netscape Cheaper, but may not do exactly what you want Custom Tailored or designed just for you May need to fit with other systems, unique requirements etc More expensive, but should exactly meet your needs Types of software 2
One-person business • All off-the shelf • Some generic (word processor etc.) • Some specific (fax, DTP, web editor) NB no digital links to clients or suppliers, except via public networks, and using software applications hosted by others (Internet Service Provider)
What helps to make this business relatively simple in terms of business systems? • Relatively few transactions, each different • Product is self, no major supplier or need for inventory • No staff • Client lists relatively small, communications need to be personalised
Becomes more complex as you get: • More transactions • More clients • Requirement to keep track of and communicate with suppliers • Requirement to keep track of your product (inventory) • Staff (communicate; keep records; monitor; share information) • More costs and revenue
Recap from semester 1: Components in an Information System • Inputs • Processing • Data files • Outputs • People
Inputs Processing Data files Outputs People Contact addresses Searching, formatting etc. Name, address, phone etc Labels, single phone no. Entering input, using output Example: one-person business
Databases URL http://homepages.strath.ac.uk/ ~hbs99101/core.htm Title Integrative Studies Text Integrative Studies Welcome to the home page. Here is ... A record A field in a record Title Integrative Studies
Index And (text 2) Arts (text 2) Business (text 2) Computers (text 2) Entertainment (text 2) Here (text 1) Home (text 1) Integrative (title 1, text 1) Internet (text 2) Is (text 1) Page (text 1) Scotland.org (title 2) Studies (title 1, text 1) The (text 1) To (text 1) Welcome (text 1) 1 URL http://homepages.strath.ac.uk/ ~hbs99101/core.htm Title Integrative Studies Text Integrative Studies Welcome to the home page. Here is ... 2 URL http://www.scotland.org/ index.html Title Scotland.org Text Arts and entertainment Business Computers and internet ...
Inputs include Customer details Flight details Availability details Processing includes Searching flight database Changing seat availability Existing client? Listed as prospect? Transfer of details between databases Credit card check & update Adding record of sales Example: travel agent
Databases include Customer Prospect Flights Financial Staff (commission) Outputs include Flight availability Prices Customer details Travel agent details Credit charge confirmation Paperwork for customer Instruction to generate tickets Example: travel agent 2
Example travel agent 3 People e.g. • Input original client and flight data • Set up customer accounts • Don’t e.g.: change flight availability, compile list of customers on that flight, change pricing, check credit card status
Software applications • Likely to be custom packages • A lot of applications-specific software • Need IT support people, backup arrangements • Systems are mission-critical
Integration, Communication • Relies heavily on software applications talking to each other via networks (Flight operator, travel agent (various locations), credit card operator) Electronic Data Interchange • Use of IT creates cost savings and improves speed of transactions
Four ways of using information to create value Add value (customer and market orientation) Minimise risks (management reporting and monitoring Reduce costs (transactions and processes Orna, E. Practical information policies. 2nd ed. Gower, 1999. P141. Create new reality (intelligence: social, political etc)
Impact of e-commerce • More software applications needed • More need to integrate applications, within companies and between companies • Therefore: more need for interchange standards; may have to spend more money on changing systems to suit suppliers & customers • Changed customer expectations (24x7 hour service, online booking etc.)
More opportunities Impact of e-commerce 2
Some questions for a business • What are your needs? (essential/desirable) • What type of software packages e.g. off-the shelf or custom? • Do you need compatibility with suppliers, customers? What are their expectations? • How many transactions (purchases, sales etc) are you going to process? • Implications for administration & support staff