More and more overwhelmed by the relentless competitive pressure and customer orientation have led companies to re engineer business processes to make them more effective and efficient. In this regard play a decisive role information systems are essential to correlate and coordinate the many existing internal capabilities. The information system can be defined as “an ordered set of elements, also very different, that collect, process, store and exchange data in order to produce and distribute information at the time and place suitable for people who farm it they need “. The information, therefore, are managed, collected, stored, processed, exchanged and communicated quickly and safely dodging the possibility of easy loss of data processed. The components of an information system can be divided into two main categories:
- Transactional Applications: systems and procedures to support the daily activities (ERP System)
- Decision Support System (DDS) systems and procedures to support the strategic choices for the direction (Data Mining and Data Warehouse).
Starting from the information system, through a sequence of phases of the design, you can get to the computer system. This will change over time with the evolution of the company and the technology. The computer then at company level, is seen as production technology and working tool (automation, reduction of media transformation, reduction of parasitic functions, speed, timeliness) at the first level and then at the second level as coordination and control technology (division into subtasks specialist to ensure fulfillment of the overall activity, reduce the need for information processing …).
It is interesting to learn about the ways in which information systems are able to evolve over time, becoming today, the most important management tool of a company. Managers and companies invest in information systems because these represent a real economic value for the company. The decision to implement and maintain an information system assumes that the returns on this investment (increased productivity, increased profits …) will be higher than other investments such as real estate, machinery and other assets. An example is the purchase of a book on Amazon: after buying the book is always suggested that other users have found to associate a second book. This is possible thanks to an information system. In time information systems have increased in complexity and size. The causes of this are mainly attributable to the increased quantity and quality of information; improved knowledge and management techniques and technological evolution. In the historical course of the development of information systems it is possible to identify three main phases. The first step was the transition from the manual to the automated management of the information. Information systems were developed in the mid 60s to the electronic data processing. The computers were used mainly for administration and classification of data, preparation of reports and summaries. The aim was to replace the tedious manual procedures to simplify and speed up operations. The second phase coincides with the transition from mainframes to MIS systems. In the mid 70s and 80s we have developed information systems for managerial control. They were born at the time the first MIS (Management Information System) designed to simplify the collection and management of centralized information, to make them available in an easy and fast the whole company. In the third phase, which is the modern one, the top management has the need to make timely decisions by consulting the existing data and create complex scenarios simulation. Arise therefore ERP systems and DDS.