Open access

Introductory Chapter: Information Systems

Written By

Denis Reilly

Published: 07 September 2022

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.101787

From the Edited Volume

Contemporary Issues in Information Systems - A Global Perspective

Edited by Denis Reilly

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1. Introduction

Information systems (IS) are abundant and crucial for the functioning of society and day-to-day living. IS are often misunderstood and confused with databases, serving as simply a repository for data. It is important to realize that IS embody the following:

  • Hardware/networks

  • Software

  • Data

  • Procedures

  • People

IS may be used in different ways, but a fundamental role is to take data and turn it into information, and then transform the information into organizational knowledge [1].

IS are used for a variety of different applications, ranging from business operations and management information through to decision support [2]. They have evolved from the initial static database systems to highly distributed cloud-based systems that incorporate AI, machine learning, and edge computing. Many organizations use information systems to manage resources, improve efficiency, and compete in global markets. Public services (e.g., healthcare, transport) rely on information systems for day-to-day operation as well as the management of resources and capacity planning.

It is important to realize the role that people play in IS [3]. People are often overlooked in areas of computing and IT, but their inclusion in all aspects of the IS cycle is crucial. People are involved in IS at different levels, namely the following:

  • Identifying the need for IS

  • Developing IS

  • Supporting IS

  • Using IS

The systems analyst and the team of developers play a crucial role in the design and development of IS. Equally, database administrators, information officers, support analysts, and security specialists are essential to keep IS operational. Finally, it is important to not lose sight of the users of IS, which is an issue reflected in the book.


  1. 1. Irani Z, Sharif AM, Love PE. Linking knowledge transformation to information systems evaluation. European Journal of Information Systems. 2005;14(3):213-228
  2. 2. Al-Mamary YH, Shamsuddin A, Aziati N. The role of different types of information systems in business organizations: A review. International Journal of Research. 2014;1(7):333-339
  3. 3. Dumas M, Van der Aalst WM, Ter Hofstede AH. Process-Aware Information Systems: Bridging People and Software Through Process Technology. New Jersey, US: John Wiley & Sons; 2005. DOI: 10.1002/0471741442. ISBN: 9780471741442

Written By

Denis Reilly

Published: 07 September 2022