Components of an Information System

Information system refers to a system of computers and people that process or interpret various data. Any information system has five components. These include hardware, software, data, procedures, and people. Hardware refers to the machinery. As such, hardware includes computers, which also referred to as the central processing unit. Hardware also includes all support equipment. Support equipment includes input and output devices, storage devices and devices for communication (Kroenke, 2015).

Software refers to computer programs that run the information system. The programs are machine-readable instructions that guide the computer how to produce useful information from various data. The programs are stored in storage devices. Data refers to facts that various programs use to produce useful information. Data are also stored in machine-readable form until the computer requires them. Procedures refer to policies that govern the use of the information system. In essence, just as software needs hardware, so do people need procedures for any information system to function effectively (Kroenke, 2015).

Any information system needs people to be useful. However, this is the most overlooked component of the information system. People have a significant influence on the success or failure of any information system. The term ‘people’ refers to not only the users of the information system; it also includes parties that operate and service computers in the information system. It also includes parties that maintain data and support the network of computers within the information system (Kroenke, 2015).

The five component model of the information system helps in providing a clear definition of information systems. It shows the importance of various components in the functioning of an information system. In the contemporary world, there are different types of information systems.

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