This book is written as an introductory text, meant for those with little or no experience with computers or information systems. While sometimes the descriptions can get a bit technical, every effort has been made to convey the information essential to understanding a topic while not getting overly focused in detailed terminology.
The text is organized around thirteen chapters divided into three major parts, as follows:
• Part 1: What Is an Information System?
◦ Chapter 1: What Is an Information System? – This chapter provides an overview of information systems, including the history of how information systems got to where it is today.
◦ Chapter 2: Hardware – This is a discussion of information systems hardware and how it works. You will look at different computer parts and learn how they interact.
Chapter 3: Software – Without software, hardware is useless. This chapter covers software and the role it plays in an organization.
◦ Chapter 4: Data and Databases – This chapter explores how organizations use information systems to turn data into information that can then be used for competitive advantage. Special attention is paid to the role of databases.
◦ Chapter 5: Networking and Communication – Today’s computers are expected to also be communication devices. This chapter reviews the history of networking, how the Internet works, and the use of networks in organizations today.
◦ Chapter 6: Information Systems Security – This chapter discusses the information security triad of confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Different security technologies are reviewed, and the chapter concludes with a primer on personal information security.
• Part 2: Information Systems for Strategic Advantage:
◦ Chapter 7: Does IT Matter? – This chapter examines the impact that information systems have on an organization. Can IT give a company a competitive advantage? This chapter discusses the seminal works by Brynjolfsson, Carr, and Porter as they relate to IT and competitive advantage.
◦ Chapter 8: Business Processes – Business processes are the essence of what a business does, and information systems play an important role in making them work. This chapter will discuss business process management, business process reengineering, and ERP systems.
◦ Chapter 9: The People in Information Systems – This chapter will provide an overview of the different types of people involved in information systems. This includes people who create information systems, those who operate and administer information systems, those who manage information systems, and those who use information systems.
◦ Chapter 10: Information Systems Development – How are information systems created? This chapter will review the concept of programming, look at different methods of software development, review website and mobile application development, discuss end-user computing, and look at the “build vs. buy” decision that many companies face. • Part 3: Information Systems beyond the Organization
◦ Chapter 11: Globalization and the Digital Divide – The rapid rise of the Internet has made it easier than ever to do business worldwide. This chapter will look at the impact that the Internet is having on the globalization of business and the issues that firms must face because of it. It will also cover the concept of the digital divide and some of the steps being taken to alleviate it.
◦ Chapter 12: The Ethical and Legal Implications of Information Systems – The rapid changes in information and communication technology in the past few decades have brought a broad array of new capabilities and powers to governments, organizations, and individuals alike. This chapter will discuss the effects that these new capabilities have had and the legal and regulatory changes that have been put in place in response.
◦ Chapter 13: Future Trends in Information Systems – This final chapter will present an overview of some of the new technologies that are on the horizon. From wearable technology to 3-D printing, this chapter will provide a look forward to what the next few years will bring.
Information Systems for Business and Beyond was written by Dr. David Bourgeois and originally published in 2014 as part of the Open Textbook Challenge at the Saylor Foundation. Since then, it has been accessed thousands of time and used in many courses worldwide. This 2019 update to the textbook brings it up to date and adds many new topics. True to its open textbook roots, many of the updates have come from the community of instructors and practitioners who are passionate about information systems.
Updates for the 2019 edition were graciously contributed by: • James L. Smith Ph.D. (all chapters) • Shouhong Wong, Ph.D. (chapters 4 and 8) • Joseph Mortati, MBA (chapter 10)
Information storage and retrieval systems; Software; Hardware;
Databases and Information Systems | Information Security | Management Information Systems | Programming Languages and Compilers | Systems Architecture
Information Systems for Business and Beyond (2019) by David Bourgeois is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
Bourgeois, David T.; Smith, James L.; Wang, Shouhong; and Mortati, Joseph, "Information Systems for Business and Beyond" (2019). Open Textbooks. 1.