Although manual information system is still being used, the advent of computerized information system has immensely influenced the growth of most business and institutions such as banks, hospitals and schools.
What is the difference between manual and computerized information systems? You might have pondered over this question. Well, read the entire post and get an answer to the question.
In this post I explain:
- What manual and computerized information systems are
- The advantages and disadvantages of both systems.
What Is Manual Information System?
A manual information system is a system where records are maintained by hand, without using a computer system. Instead, records are written on paper, books, journals, etc. Examples of manual information systems include the following:
- A telephone directory – All we need to know to find a person’s telephone number in the telephone book is their name and address (INPUT). We look up the name and the address (PROCESS), and we find their telephone number (OUTPUT).
- Card catalogs in a library – Designed to store data about the books in an organized manner that allows readers to locate a particular book by its title, author name, subject, or a variety of other approaches.
- Book bag, day planner, notebooks, and file folders – Are all part of an information system designed to help you organize the inputs provided to you via handouts, lectures, presentations, and discussions. They also help you process these inputs into useful outputs: homework and good exam grades.
- A cash register – is part of a large information system that tracks the products sold, the time of a sale, inventory levels, and the amount of money in the cash drawer
- A paper-based accounting ledger – was used before the advent of computer-based accounting systems is an iconic example of an information system. Businesses used this type of system for centuries to record the daily transactions and to keep a record of the balances in their various business and customer accounts.
There are five major components of manual information system as explained in the diagram below.
Components of Manual Information System
The main component of a manual information system is the key use of person to operate and control the various means in which they want to operate the system.
A Manual Information System
Advantages Of Manual Information System
- Cost effective – It is cheaper compared to a computerized system because there is no need to purchase expensive equipment such as servers, workstations, printers, etc. No training costs are needed, as the system is very easy to use and doesn’t need a skilled employee.
- Flexible – Evolving business requirements can easily be implemented into the business procedures and implemented immediately.
Disadvantages Of Manual Information System
- Time consuming – All data entries need to be verified before filing, this is a time-consuming task when done by humans. Retrieving data from the filing system also takes a considerable amount of time.
- Prone to error – The accuracy of the data when verified and validated by human beings is more prone to errors compared to verification and validation done by computerized systems.
- Lack of security – The security of manual systems is implemented by restricting access to the file room. Experience shows unauthorized people can easily gain access to the filing room.
- Duplication of data – Most departments in an organization need to have access to the same data. In a manual system, it is common to duplicate this data to make it easy accessible to all authorized users. The challenge comes in when the same data needs to be updated.
- Data inconsistency – Due to the duplication of data, it is very common to update data in one file and not update the other files. This leads to data inconsistency.
- Lack of backups – If the file gets lost or mishandled, the chances of recovering the data are almost zero.
Computerized Information System
Computer–based information system uses computers to collect, process, store, analyze and distribute information for a specific purpose, such as meeting a business objective. The main components of a computer based information system include hardware, software, data, procedures and people.
Components of Computerized Information System
Advantages Of A Computerized Information System
- The superior speed with which data can be accessed
- The additional confidentiality afforded by techniques such as encryption
- Data redundancy is avoided
- The reduction in space needed to store information.
- A single computer can store all the information needed.
- By using several terminals different people can access information at the same time.
- Information is not duplicated.
- Information can be transferred to other computer systems easily.
Disadvantages Of A Computerized Information System
- High capital expenditure – The amount of money required to invest in a computerized system can be expensive to individuals and smaller companies. Much money is required to purchase the system devices, maintain them and also train the users of the system.
- Worker lay off – Computerized systems takes the place of some workers.
- System Failure – If something happens to the hardware or software that makes it stop functioning, then the information cannot be accessed until the required hardware or software has been repaired or replaced.
- Computer Crime and Information theft – Computer Hackers and unauthorized users can use illegal means of getting access to secured information.
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I end this post with a question and you should be able to answer after reading the entire page. What is the difference between manual and computerized information system? Leave your answer in the comment section below.
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