An information system may be defined as a form of a system that accepts data as an input resource and processes it into an information product, which is the output. Depending on the requirement of the user, information systems are uniquely developed (Shelly, Cashman & Rosenblatt, 2010). However, each of the system must contain the principle components of an information system.
The main components of a system include resources of software, hardware, people, data, and networks. These resources perform input, process data, give the output, store the information and manage activities that renovate data resources into products in the form of information (Walls, Widmeyer & Sawy, 2012).
People resources are also known as the end users and IS Specialists. These people are needed for the operation of all information systems. End users are clients and are the natives who exploit an information system and or the information produced by the system. Most people are end users of information systems. These people may include salespersons, clerks, managers or accountants among other people. IS Specialists are individuals who develop and operate information systems. They include analysts, programmers, and computer operators (Shelly, Cashman & Rosenblatt, 2010). They are designers for information systems depending on the requirements of the end user.
Hardware resources include all physical materials and devices used in information processing. It includes data media as well as machines like computers. Computer-based information systems contain different hardware like computer systems, which includes central processing units entails of microprocessors as well as interconnected peripheral devices.
Software resources are the set of information processing instructions. This resource contains programs and procedures, which dictate how these systems work (Shelly, Cashman & Rosenblatt, 2010). Even systems that do not use computer systems have software resources.
Data is the raw material of information systems. Data contains a valuable organization resource. Thus, data must be effectively managed to be of benefit to all end users in any organization. Data may be of different forms it may be composed of numbers, traditional alphanumeric data and characters that dictate business transactions (Oz, 2009).
Network resources include telecommunication elements such as intranets, internet and extranets. They are extremely useful in ample operations of information systems. Telecommunication networks are made of computers, and communications processors, which are interconnected by communications media and governed by communications software.
These resources are fundamental in enhancing proper information systems. Each of the elements plays a distinctive role, which integrates these resources to each other for satisfaction to the end user. Therefore, expertise must be employed to any resource for maximum utility for the user.
Walls, J., Widmeyer, G., & Sawy, . E. (2012, September 21). Building an Information System Design Theory for Vigilant EIS . Information Systems Research . Retrieved January 20, 2013, from http://infosys.highwire.org/content/3/1/36.short
Oz, E. (2009). Management information systems (6th ed.). Boston, Mass.: Thomson/Course Technology.
Shelly, G. B., Cashman, T. J., & Rosenblatt, H. J. (2010). Systems analysis and design (8th ed.). Boston, Mass.: Thomson Course Technology.