What is Information Society? Information is a basic resource In today’s; society. We are living in a global information society, with a global economy that is increasingly dependent on the creation,’ Information Society management and distribution of Information resources. People in many nations no longer live in agricultural society and composed primarily farmers, or even industrial societies, where a majority of the workforce consists of factory’ workers. Instead, the workforce many nations consists primarily of workers In service occupations or knowledge workers that are people who spend most of their workday creating> using and distributing information.
Knowledge ‘workers include executives, managers. and supervisors: professionals such as accountants. engineers, scientists, stockbrokers, and teachers; and staff personnel such as secretaries and clerical office personnel. Most of them are end users who make their living using information systems to create, distribute, manage, and use information resources. Thus, information systems help them manage the human. financial, material. energy, and other resources involved in their work responsibilities. This brings up the question Of what your responsibilities are in the ethical use of information technology As a prospective, managerial end user and worker, you should begin to. think about what ethical responsibilities are generated by the use of information systems. For example, what uses of information technology might be considered proper or irresponsible to other individuals or to society? What is the proper use of an organization’s information resources? What does it take to be an end user -of information technology and protect yourself from computer crime? These are some of the questions that outline the ethical dimensions or information systems.
Information and information systems, then, are valuable resources (or knowledge workers, their organizations. and society A major challenge or our global information society is to manage its information resources to benefit all members of society while meeting the strategic goals of organizations and nations. This means, for example, using information systems to find more efficient profitable, and socially responsible ways of using the world limited supplies of material. energy, and other resources, Since the information systems, .0f so many organizations are interconnected by local, regional, and global telecommunications networks,’ knowledge workers can now access and distribute information and manage resources all over the world. For these reasons, information Systems play an increasingly vital role in our global economy.
CHARACTERISTICS OF INFORMATION SOCIETY
ANALYZING GE PLASTICS
The marketing managers at GE Plastics asked themselves how they could better communicate with their worldwide base of customers. They knew that the pace of change in information technology had been rapid, as were the dynamic changes occurring in the global business environment. So they decided to try something new—establish a computer connection on the Internet for their customers. Now, over 12.000 times a month, customers and prospects from all over the world access their Internet database to inquire. about GE Plastics products. They reel it definitely gives them a competitive advantage.
More and more businesses are establishing ways for their customers or prospects to communicate with them via computers and telecommunications net This may involve global telecommunications networks like the Internet, public information services like CompuServe, Prodigy, or America Online, or local and regional networks they establish themselves or with other businesses. This taps into new markets and prospective customers, as well as making it easier for many current customers to communicate and access information about’ a company & products and services.
TECHNICAL AND BEHAVIORAL DIMENSIONS OF INFORMATION SYSTEM
Computer science, engineering, and mathematics are disciplines that contribute to the technological aspects of information systems in business. It is these disciplines, along with the information systems discipline: whose research drives developments in computer hardware, software, telecommunications, database management, and other information technologies. For example, much technological research and -development focuses on designing better computer processors, operating system software, telecommunications network architectures, and new database structures. Areas such as psychology, sociology, and political science, on the other hand, contribute to the behavioral aspects of information systems in organizations. The research findings of these behavioral disciplines and the discipline of information systems shed light on how individuals and organizations can effectively use and manage information technology. For. example, research in. psychology and sociology help in the design of information .technologies which support individual and group communications, Decision Making, and cooperative work. Some of the research drawn from political science. on the other hand, focuses on the politics and governance issues involved in managing the introduction and the use of information technology in organizations.
Both of these aspects, the technological and the behavioral, are important for business end users. That; because computer-based information systems, though heavily dependent on information technologies, are designed, operated, and used by people in a variety of organizational settings. Thus, the success of an information system should not be measured only by its efficiency in terms of minimizing costs, time, and the use of information resources. Success should also be measured by the effectiveness of the information technology in supporting and meeting the goals of end users and their work groups and organizations. emphasizes this interplay of technological and behavioral components in a business enterprise. In this sociotechnical enterprise model, a business is viewed as consisting of..five basic behavioral and technological components. These are people and their cultures, organizational structures, management strategies, business processes, and information ‘systems and technologies.’ These components. interact with each other as the enterprise is subjected to influences from the external socio-technological environment, For example, a new development in. information technology’, workplace cultures, or marketplace competition could affect all five components of the business. The job of the organization# managers would be to ensure that adjustments are made to each basic component, including information systems and technologies so that the goals of the enterprise and its people are accomplished.