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Chapter 13
Building Information Systems

| Four kinds of structural organizational change which are enabled by information technology are: |
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|Automation: Enables employees to perform their tasks more efficiently andeffectively |
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|Rationalization of procedures: The streamlining of standard operation procedures, eliminating obvious bottlenecks, so that automation |
|can make operating procedures more efficient|
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|Business process reengineering: Analyzes, simplifieds, and redesigns business processes with a mind to radically reduce business costs |
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|Paradigm shift: A radical reconceptualization of the nature of the business and the nature of the organization |

Business process reengineering involves radical restructuring of business processes before applying information technology to make them more efficient.

Themortgage industry has benefited from extensive reengineering of the mortgage application process to replace "desk-to-desk" sequential work on documents with a "work cell" approach in which many people work on the same document simultaneously.

Reengineering sometimes uses workflow management software to move documents easily and efficiently between different users and locations.

Systemsdevelopment refers to all the activities that go into producing an information systems solution to an organizational problem or opportunity. Systems development is a structured kind of problem solving with distinct activities consisting of:

Systems analysis

Systems design

Programming

Testing

Conversion

Production and maintenance.

Systems analysis involves defining the problem,identifying its causes, specifying the solution, and identifying the information requirements that must be met by a system solution.

System analysis also involves a feasibility study used to determine whether the proposed solution is achievable, from a financial, technical, and organizational standpoint, given the organization's resources and constraints.

The systems design is the overall plan ormodel that shows how the system will meet its information requirements.

Like a blueprint of a building or house, a system design consists of all the specifications that give the system its form and structure.

The system designer details the systems specifications that should address all of the managerial, organizational, and technical components of the system solution.

User informationrequirements drive the entire system building effort, so information system design often demands a very high level of end-user participation.

Thorough testing must be conducted to confirm that the system produces the right results. Testing an information system involves three types of activities:

Unit testing tests each program separately in the system.

System testing checks the informationsystem as a whole to determine if it works as intended.

Acceptance testing results in user and management final certification that the system is ready to be used in a production setting.

Conversion is the process of changing from the old system to the new one. There are four main conversion strategies:

Parallel strategy: Both the new and old systems are run together until everyone is...
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