A2 Module 4
Information Systems within
13.1 Organisational Structure
Understand the basic concepts of organisational structure as they
impact on/affect ICT systems.
13.2 Information Systems and Organisations
- Understand the difference between an information system and a data processing system.
- Understand the role and relevance of an information system in aiding decision making.
Definition of a management information system (MIS)
- Recall that an MIS is a system to convert data from internal and external sources into information.
- This is communicated in an
appropriate form to managers at different levels, enabling them to make effective decisions for planning, directing and controlling
activities for which they are responsible.
The development and life
cycle of an information
- Recognise the existence of formal methods, the need for clear time
scales, agreed deliverables and approval to proceed.
Success or failure of a
Understand the factors influencing the success or failure of an
information system, e.g.
- inadequate analysis;
- lack of management
involvement in design;
- emphasis on computer system;
on low-level data processing;
- lack of management knowledge of ICT
systems and capabilities;
- inappropriate/excessive management demands;
- lack of teamwork;
- lack of professional standards.
13.3 Corporate Information
Describe the factors influencing an information system within an
- organisation and functions of management,
- methods for
planning and decision-making,
- legal and audit requirement,
- generalorganisation structure,
- responsibility for the information system
within an organisation, information flow,
- hardware and software,
- standards and behavioural factors, e.g. personalities, motivation,
ability to adapt to change.
Describe the methods and mechanisms of information flow within an organisation, both formal and informal, and the constraints imposed
upon that flow by organisational structures.
Understand the levels of task/personnel within an organisation:
strategic; implementation; operational. Relate the needs of these three
levels to the information system.
13.4 Information and Data
Understand that data may require translation or transcription prior to entry into the system. This can affect the accuracy of the data.
Discuss the impact of quantity and quality of data on the method of data capture together with the control and audit mechanisms required
to manage data capture.
Understand management information needs: the concept of relevance and methods of interpretation.
Understand that information has many characteristics and can be classified in many ways. Examples include:
- Source - internal, external, primary, secondary
- Nature - quantitative, qualitative, formal, informal
- Level - strategic, tactical, operational
- Time - historical, current, future
- Frequency - real-time, hourly, daily, monthly
- Use - planning, control, decision
- Form - written, visual, aural, sensory
- Type - disaggregated, aggregated, sampled.
- Discuss the value of information in aiding the decision making process.
- Understand the difference between internal and external information requirements.
Describe the characteristics of good information and delivery, e.g.
- user confidence;
- to right person;
- at right
- in right detail;
- via correct channel of communication;
Describe the advantages and characteristics of good information
within an applications context.
Understand the effect that the method and style of presentation has upon the message/design in relation to the intended audience.
13.5 The Management of Change
Understand that the introduction or development of an information system will result in change which must be managed. Changes could
occur in relation to re-skilling, attitude, organisational structure, employment pattern and conditions, internal procedures.
13.6 Legal Aspects
Understand the need for a corporate information system security policy and the rôle it would fill within an organisation.
- prevention of misuse,
- detection, investigation, procedures,
- staff responsibilities,
- disciplinary procedures.
Describe the content of a corporate information system security policy.
Describe methods of improving awareness of security policy within an organisation, cross-referencing to training and standards.
- Understand that many information systems are subject to audit.
- Understand the impact of audit on data and information control.
- Describe the need for audit and the role of audit management/software tools in information systems.
- Understand the function of audit trails and describe applications of use, e.g. ordering systems; student tracking; police vehicle enquiries.
- Disaster recovery management
- Describe the various potential threats to information systems, e.g.
- physical security;
- document security;
- personnel security;
- hardware security;
- communications security;
- software security.
Understand the concept of risk analysis.
Understand the commercial need to ensure that an information
system is protected from threat.
Describe a range of contingency plans to recover from disasters and
relate these to identified threats.
Describe the criteria used to select a contingency plan appropriate to
the scale of an organisation and installation.
Understand that implementation of legislation will impact on procedures within an organisation.
Describe the methods of enforcing and controlling data protection legislation within an organisation.
Describe the methods of enforcing and controlling software misuse legislation within an organisation.
Describe the methods of enforcing and controlling health and safety legislation within an organisation.
Discuss the implications of the various types of legislation.
13.7 User Support
Describe the ways in which software houses provide user support, relating these to cost and package credibility.
Describe the range of user support options available with industry standard packages.
These could include
- existing user base,
- support articles,
- specialist bulletin boards,
- communications systems, e.g. Internet; e-mail.
- Select and justify an appropriate user support system for a particularcontext.
- Explain the need for different levels of documentation related to user and task.
- Training Explain the need for different levels of training related to user and task.
- Understand the need for continual skill updating and refreshing.
- Describe the methods by which users can gain expertise in software use and discuss the relative merits.
- Understand the need to develop training strategies to respond to growing user awareness.
- Understand why projects are often sub-divided into tasks and allocated to teams.
- Describe the characteristics of a good team, e.g.
- appropriate allocation of tasks;
- adherence to standards;
13.9 Information and the
Discuss the social, moral and ethical issues associated with the introduction and use of information and communication technology
systems, which affect a professional working within the industry.
- Understand that codes of practice exist which are separate from any
legal requirements with which professional organisations are expected to comply.
- Understand the need for a code of practice for ICT users in an organisation.
Employee code of practice Understand what is meant by an employee code of practice or acceptable use policy.
- Describe the contents of such a code of practice e.g.
- penalties for misuse.