The Internet and Web Technologies have significantly changed our perception, understanding and dealings with information. In the early days, information was considered to be document- centric model. Information is embedded in a document that requires a lot of software to produce. Documents are believed to be composed of static information. But those were the days. Now, information concept has shifted to a dynamic model, meaning structured and unstructured information are being presented in a web browser. Information system serves as the window to view data from a vast and still growing number of sources such as: database management systems, client-server networks, internet websites, intranet sites, and syndicated services or information feeds.
With the great number of information sources that are available within our grasp, our expectations on the quality of information we interact with changes. We now want our information to be timely, sorted, filtered and ordered in relevance. We now look for data that are contextual, hyper-linked to additional and related information. We even sometimes go over the meta-data to see the author, sources and other information about the source of the data. Information systems really have gone a long way from its inception.
The change from manual to computerized systems in the 1950s was more technical. It is more of an automation of office works such as word processing and payroll computations.
During the 1960s, the concept of Management Information Systems (MIS) began. Efficiency was used as the driving force of information systems. Productivity and successful operations were being measured with the cost savings and manpower reduction.
Information System can be defined in its technical sense as group of interrelated components that gathers (retrieve), process, stores and disseminates or provides information to support decision making, coordination, and control. Information systems are obviously designed mainly to support the head of a particular area of responsibility.
In the 1970s, Effectiveness was the focal point of organizations. Management Support Systems such as Departmental and Distributed data processing (DDP), client-server systems, end-user computing, information data centre, and decision support systems (DSS) were established.
The 1980s was the start of the technological competition. Information systems were now used to compete and gain advantage over other organizations. All information systems now require knowledge and learning. This was the advent of new information-based services such as CNN, America Online and others.
The ‘E’ services were established in the 1990s. E-Business, E-Commerce, E-Government, E-Polls and just about anything have now been prefixed with ‘E’. Since then, Digital technology has significantly changed the way organizations run their business.
With the ever increasing power and decreasing costs of Web-based information systems, it has driven organizations to tap this type of system into their business strategies for a more efficient, low-cost and more profitable way of running the business. Computing power is estimated to double every 15 months, thus improving the performance of hardware since their invention more than 40 years ago. Information systems have significantly changed the way management plans and decides.
The inevitable growth in the power of information technology has generated powerful communication networks that organizations can utilize to expand their business with less time and effort. This networks shapes up new information systems that we are using now and in the future.