What is the difference between information system and information technology? We’ll cover the answer in this article. Let’s dive in.
A lot of people still confuse these two terms: information systems and information technology. Some are even wrong and reversed using both of these terms. They use IT name for Information System, and vice versa.
In brief, the difference between the information systems and information technology lies in the process between them. IT or information technology is the infrastructure. Meanwhile IS or, information system, focusing at the end-use of IT to produce a structured data system.
What is Information Technology?
IT is the use of computers to store, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data. Contrary to personal or entertainment technology, IT is usually used in the context of business operations. It also considered a subset of information and communication technology (ICT).
Since the Mesopotamian Sumerians developed writing around 3000 BC, humans have been storing, retrieving, manipulating, and exchanging information. The term information technology in the modern sense first appeared in the Harvard Business Review in 1958. Their definition includes three categories: processing technology, the application of statistical and mathematical methods in decision-making, and higher-order thinking simulated by computer programs.
This category includes any hardware or software involved in the process of information. A device such as simple calculator, to a supercomputer, fall into this category as well as the software, such as a simple calculator program, to the complex software, is the part of processing technology.
With this in mind, we can conclude that the term IT includes tools that we use every day. Of course, not all the tools. But every device that can be processing information.
Statistical & Mathematical Methods in Decission Making
A scientist who conducts research must be familiar with statistics. The method of making research conclusions using statistics is one of the categories in Information Technology.
Not only used for serious things, but this method also used for practical items like polling on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media. Even fun quizzes use this method to draw conclusions whether you include figures Doraemon, Nobita, or Giant.
Higher Order Thinking
With the development of artificial intelligence, this method also shows more concrete examples. If you familiar with the works of Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory, you surely understand how IT helps us find answers to Grand Unified Theory.
Even programming like Python and R has now been able to create applications that replace human tasks.
For more information about information technology, you can read our previous article: Technology Information Definition & 10 Careers Opportunities
What is an Information System?
An information system is an academic study of the system, specifically a supplementary network of information and hardware and software used by people and organisations to collect, filter, process, create, and distribute data. The focus is on information systems with defined boundaries, users, processors, memory, inputs, outputs, and the aforementioned communication network.
According to Wikipedia, there are six components build the Information System. These components are essential and must come together to produce an information system. What are they? Let’s find out.
The term hardware refers to machinery. This category includes the computer itself (often called the central processing unit (CPU)) and all its supporting equipment. In support, devices include input and output devices, storage devices and communication devices.
The term software refers to computer programs and manuals supporting them (if any). Computer programs are machine-readable instructions that direct circuits in the hardware portion of the system to function in a way that produces useful information from the data. Applications are usually stored on some input/output media, typically disk or tape.
Data is the fact that programs use to produce useful information. Like programs, data is usually stored on disk or tape in machine-readable form until the computer needs them.
Procedures are strategies that control the operation of computer systems. “Process is for people; the software is for hardware” is a common analogy used to illustrate the role of processes in the system.
Every system needs people if it is to be useful. Usually, the most easily overlooked element in the system is the personnel, which may be the most crucial factor affecting the success or failure of the information system. This includes not only “users, but also those who operate and service computers, those who maintain data, and those who support computer networks.”
It is another component of Information System, which defines that it can provide feedback to IS (although this component does not have to work).
Data is the bridge between hardware and personnel. This means that the data we collect is only the data before the people involved. At that time, data was information.
Difference Between Information System and Information Technology
From the above explanation, can you conclude the difference between information system and information technology? Or do you need another clue?
Well, if you need to be spoon feed, we can give you several aspects of these differences. We conclude that there are three aspects which distinguish between information technology and information system. There are focus discussions, scope, and relationships among those two-term.
The focus of IT is on the technology itself. Every form of technology is part of IT. Whether we use it as a system or not. Whenever we use technology, use data and information with it, then we use IT stuff.
Whereas IS is focus in the system. Information system more precisely. It can be trace in the 14 century, when people use ledger and ink to make an accounting system. Without advanced technology that we know today, that accounting system is part of IS.
As we mentioned before, IT scope includes processing technology, the application of statistical and mathematical methods in decision-making, and higher-order thinking simulated by computer programs.
Meanwhile, IS scope includes hardware, software, data, procedures, people and feedback. There are some linkages between these two terms, especially in the use of hardware and software.
Relationship Between IT and IS
Information systems usually include an IT component, but not just related to IT. IS focus on the end use of information technology, especially matters relating to data management systems.
On the other hand, IT needs data to work well. Not just random data, but well-structured data. We can get these well-structured data by applying the principles in the Information System.
So, have you been able to conclude the difference between information system and information technology? Are you still confuse with our explanation? Feel free to ask and put your opinion in the comment section.