Information Management
Lecture 3
Software for Information
 [1] Dave Chaffey, Steve Wood - Business Information
Management : Improving Performance Using
Infomation Systems, 2005, Prentice Hall/Financial
Times, (734 pages)
 [2] Benson V., Tribe K. – Business Information
Management, 2008, Ventus Publishing (83 pages)
 [3] G. Somasundaram, Alok Shrivastava, Eds. Information Storage and Management: Storing,
Managing and Protecting Digital Information, 2009,
Wiley Publishing, Inc (478 pages)
 [4] Wikipedia
The main categories of software
Applications software
Systems software
Selecting appropriate software
E-business applications
From the Internet to intranets and extranets
Customer relationship management applications
Supply chain management applications
 Information System is the combination of hardware and
software technology used by an individual to perform
tasks including information management[1, pg. 58].
 Software can be:
Local programs for interacting with the hardware
External programs or web services -> e-commerce
 Whereas the selection of hardware isn’t so important in
the process of IM, the selection of the software
applications and the approaches to information
management are the most important to return-oninvestment in information systems.
Worldwide und-user spending on IT products and
services (in billions of dollars) [1,59]
Applications software Software programs used by business users to
support their work [1, pg. 59].
Operating systems software Software that interacts with the
hardware and applications software of a computer system to control its
operation [1, pg. 60].
Enterprise applications Integrated applications used across large
parts of an organization [1, pg. 63]
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software Enterprise
applications used to manage information about organizational
resources such as raw materials, products, staff and customers as part
of delivery of a product or service [1, pg. 63]
Applications portfolio The mix of software applications used in an
organization or department [1, pg. 59].
E-business applications Information management applications
supporting business processes which are enabled through Internet
technology [1, pg. 59].
Main categories of application
Classifications of applications
by the level of decision making
 Strategic applications – support the decisions
taken by the senior managers (frequence: long
term perspective > 6 months)
 Tactical applications - support the decisions
taken by the departamental managers which
control plannig to achieve strategic objectives
(frequence: medium term perspective, one
month to 12 months)
 Operational applications - support the decisions
taken by all types of employees (frequence:
Forms of applications used to support
management decisions making within an
organization [1,62]
ERP (Enterprise Resource
Planning) software
 Ranging from millions of $ to small accounting programs
 Ranging from open source solutions to proprietary
 Contain databases, can provide a “single view of the
customer” (all information related to a customer can be
accessed through an integrated system)
 Examples of proprietary software: SAP, Baan,
Peoplesoft, Oracle
 Implementation of a complete SAP system could take
 Possible that not all the modules are needed
 Best results when all the modules are designed by a
single vendor
 It is estimated that "for a Fortune 500 company,
software, hardware, and consulting costs can easily
exceed $100 million (around $50 million to $500
 Large companies can also spend $50 million to $100
million on upgrades. Full implementation of all modules
can take years," which also adds to the end price.
 Midsized companies (fewer than 1,000 employees) are
more likely to spend around $10 million to $20 million at
most, and small companies are not likely to have the
need for a fully integrated SAP ERP system unless they
have the likelihood of becoming midsized and then the
same data applies as would a midsized company[4]
 SAP and Oracle were the leaders in ERP
software sales in 2006 with 9.4 billion
Euro respectively 11.4 billion $ in
 SAP had over 18,000 customers in more
than 120 countries and nearly 30,000
employees worldwide [3, pg. 64] and is
only one of the many ERP suppliers.
Modules of SAP
Desktop applications, office support
CRM (customer relationship management)
SCM (supply chain management)
SRM (supplier relationship management)
PLM (product lifecycle management)
HRM (human resource management)
Documents and records
management systems
 Electronic document management system (EDMS) are
used to create, distribute and maintain organizational
 Content management systems (CMS) (tools for
accessing, editing and creating documents through
intranet or internet) are used when is necessary to
publish hundreds of online records each day.
 Generally CMS tend to be the EDMS used.
 Information lifecycle management (ILM) – workflow
systems to control the creation, storage, modification
and deletion of documents [3, pg. 67]. They became
necessary because of the legislation.
 In the US, the Sarbanes–Oxley regulations and in
Europe, the Basel II regulations require capabilities to
address the lifecycle of financial reporting, from the
initial audit working papers through to the final approval
and submittal to the SEC (the Securities and Exchange
Commission. [3, pg. 67]
 ILM is closely related to existing solutions such as EDMS
and CMS for records management, but it unites the
software applications for managing documents and
records with the storage hardware solutions. [3, pg. 68]
Departamental applications
 Special application typically used within a departament
 Examples of specialist departmental applications include:
Computer-aided design (CAD) software for producing product or
architectural plans
Computer-aided engineering (CAE)
Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM)
Financial modeling software for assessing company growth
Analysis software to assess the performance of marketing
Software for keeping an inventory or audit of IT equipment within
a company.
Personal productivity or office
 Office software - Basic document management
applications including word-processor, spreadsheet,
database, presentation-package and e-mail software [3,
pg. 68]. Examples: Microsoft Office, Star Office
 Personal productivity software - Software application
to support staff in administrative tasks [3, pg. 68].
Office software is sometimes referred as personal
productivity software.
 The tendency is to move to e-business so ERP systems
can be accessed through web browsers and no longer
the office software has to be installed on every PC.
 Software supporting group working
and collaboration.
 It provides key group functions such
 Communication
 Collaboration and
 Coordination
Main applications of groupware
[3, 70]
Database systems (DBMS)
 Software for managing structured
data. Example: Oracle, Microsoft SQL
Server, Sybase
 Middleware communications
software is used to mediate between
the database and different client
Operating Systems Software
The best known are Microsoft Windows and Linux.
Market shares vary depending on the domain
Desktop systems 1% to 5% Linux and 85% Windows in 2007
In September 2008 Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admitted that
60% of web-servers run Linux versus 40% that run Windows
Server [4].
According to the Linux Movies Group, more than 95% of the
servers and desktops at large animation and visual effects
companies use Linux [4:].
The problems are the integration of various parts of an ERP on
a certain OS.
They are generally solved in our days so a lot of companies or
government structures “go linux”.
Main functions of an OS
Managing the GUI (Graphical User Interface)
Managing data transfer with hardware.
Managing the file system.
Provide restricted access to files and
 Managing system resources for different
applications – multitasking
 Providing utilities for systems management.
Ex. Disk defragmentation
Network Software
 Or Network Operating System (NOS) are OS used to
control the access to and flow of information on a
network [4, pg. 75]
 Main functions:
Managing shared hardware resources. Ex. File servers and
backup devices
Managing shared data resources.
Managing communications between different systems.
Managing access control.
 In the past NOS were installed separately, in our days
their functions were included in the OS
 Directory services such as Microsoft Active
Directory or Novell Directory or Open LDAP on
Linux are the most common used. They are
part of the NOS and are used to manage
objects associated with the network.
 They use a hierarchical organization similar to
that for the folders on a single computer that
provides a single point of access for
management of user accounts, clients, servers,
printers and applications.
Development software
 are used by programmers to develop
new applications and systems
 Programming languages are in this
category. Tools used for better and
easier programming are the IDE’s
(Integrated development
environment). Examples Eclipse,
Microsoft Visual Studio.
The software selection process
 Identify criteria and functionality for
new system
 Take the make-rent-or-buy decision
 Identify possible suppliers
 Produce a shortlist of preferred
 Select supplier from shortlist [3, pg.
Criteria for selecting the
Functionality – how well the software meets the business
Ease of use – minimize the time used for learning to use the
Performance – the speed of the application to perform
differrent tasks.
Scalability – how well a system adapts to higher workloads
Compatibility or interoperability with other applications
Extensibility – how easy is to add new modules to the
Stability or reliability – as free of bugs as possible
Support from the software vendor and the cost of it
The decision to make, buy or
rent the software
 Bespoke development – a completely new, unique
application is designed to meet the company’s needs
 Off-the-shelf or packaged implementation – a
standard existing system is purchased
 Hosted solution (packaged) – a standard system is
used, but is not inside the company. The services or
software are rented.
 Tailored development – an off-the-shelf system is
tailored for a company’s needs
 Open source software – software or systems free to
The transformation of key business processes through the use
of Internet technologies [3, pg. 92].
E-commerce – buying and selling using the Internet. It also
includes other activities such as pre-selling and post-sales
E-commerce is a subset of e-business.
Sell-side e-commerce refers to transactions involved with
selling products to an organization’s customers.
Buy-side e-commerce refers to business-to-business
transactions to procure resources needed by an organization
from its suppliers.
 E-commerce can be business-to-consumer (B2C) or
business-to-business (B2B)
Tangible and intangible benefits from
e-commerce and e-business [3, 95]
Intranet and extranet
 Intranet is the part of Internet technologies used inside
the company.
 Extranet is the part outside the company, formed by
extending the intranet beyond a company to customers,
suppliers, collaborators or even competitors. This is
again password-protected to prevent access by all
Internet users [3, pg. 97].
 Extranet is not the whole Internet.
 Intranet applications:
Phone directories
Staff newslitters
Company procedures or quality manuals
Extranet benefits [3, 102]
 Information sharing in secure
 Cost reduction
 Order processing and
 Improved customer service.
Web Logs (blogs)
 Give an easy way of publishing
information about events, personal
opinions, also a good way to interact
with the customers.
Customer relationship
management (CRM)
An approach to building and sustaining long-term business with
A CRM system supports the following marketing applications [3, 105]:
Sales force automation (SFA). Sales representatives are supported in
their account management through tools to arrange and record customer
Customer service management. Representatives in contact centers
respond to customer requests for information by using an intranet to access
databases containing information on the customer, products and previous
Managing the sales process. This can be achieved through e-commerce
sites, or in a B2B context by supporting sales representatives by recording
the sales process (SFA).
Campaign management. Managing ad, direct mail, e-mail and other
Analysis. Through technologies such as data warehouses and approaches
such as data mining, customers’ characteristics, their purchase behaviour
and campaigns can be analysed in order to optimize the marketing mix.
Information gathered about the
customers in CRM’s
 Personal and profile data – age, sex,
socio-economic group (for B2C) or role
in decision making (for B2B)
 Transaction data – what, when, where
and in what quantities have the
customers bought something and using
what chanels
 Communications data – response from
customers targeted by campaigns
Data mining
 Data mining - A technique used to identify patterns
within data that may prove valuable in understanding
customer behavior or enable targeting [3, pg. 106].
 Data warehousing - Data related to customer
characteristics and transactions are stored separately
from the operational systems to enable analysis and
targeting of future communications [3, pg. 106].
Supply chain management
 SCM is the coordination of all supply activities of an
organization from its suppliers and delivery of products
to its customers [3, pg. 107].
 Value chain A model for analysis of how supply chain
activities can add value to products and services
delivered to the customer [3, pg. 107].
 Value network The links between an organization and
its strategic and non-strategic partners that form its
external value chain [3, pg. 107].
Information Systems’ benefits
for SCM
 Increased efficiency of individual
 Reduced complexity of the supply
 Improved data integration between
elements of the supply chain.
 Reduced cost through outsourcing.
 Innovation.
Managing the resources in the
production process
 This type of application includes:
MRP or materials requirements planning,
computer-aided design (CAD),
computer-aided manufacture (CAM),
computer-integrated manufacture (CIM),
flexible manufacturing systems (FMS).

Information Management - West University of Timișoara