Introduction To Information Systems -The Five(5) Major Components of Information Systems

Do you know that you become part of a system that produces the information you need in order to make a decision? This system is called Information System, (IS). The purpose of this information system is to turn raw data into useful information that can be used in decision making.

READ ALSO : Attributes Of A Good Information System

Basically an information system is made up of 5 components and by the time you finished reading this post, you will know the 5 major components of an IS and say something about them.

What you’ll learn in this post :

  • What is an information system(IS)
  • Know and understand the five(5) major components of an IS
  • Know the types of media used for presenting information to the user(people) in an IS

What is An Information System?

An Information System (IS) can be any organized combination of people, hardware, software, communications networks, data resources, and policies and procedures that stores, retrieves, transforms, and disseminates information in an organization.

People rely on modern information systems to communicate with one another using a variety of physical devices (hardware), information processing instructions and procedures (software), communications channels (networks), and stored data (data resources).

Major Components Of An Information System

What comes to mind when we say hardware when it relates to information system? What are we really talking about? The actual computer – the monitor, CPU, keyboard, mouse, etc. In today’s world it could also mean mobile phones iPad, etc.

The hardware component of an IS can be defined as the physical parts of a computer or other computing devices.

It is easy to give examples of software such as excel, photoshop, windows 7, etc., but what does these examples do? In simple terms software can be defined as the Instructions that tell the hardware what to do.

They are normally packaged on Compact Discs (CD) and Digital Versatile Discs (DVD). They are represented by icons as graphical images on the desktop after installation.

Software that enables storage and retrieval of related information about entities or objects. The software is typically not designed to work with a specific organization or a specific type of analysis rather it is a general purpose information system.


These are Computing devices that communicate with each other to share information and resources.


People are the most important component in most computer based information systems. These are users who combine the hardware, software, data, and networks with procedures to produce quality information.

Procedures are the strategies, policies, methods and rules for using computer based information systems.

The components of an information system work together to provide quality information by

  • Collecting the Information
  • Processing the Information
  • Storing the Information
  • Retrieving the Information
  • Disseminating or Sharing the Information

Institutions such as the banks, hospitals, schools, health insurance schemes, Insurance Companies, Airlines, Telecommunication companies, shopping malls, restaurants etc., need this quality information to plan and make decisions.

Types Of Media For Presenting Information

Information systems make use of different media types to improve the user experience. The media types used can help with the layout of an information system, as well as making navigation much easier.

Information systems combines Text, Graphic images, Sound, Animation and Videos to provide quality information.

  • Text – Textual information is any information presented using words, characters, numbers, symbols, etc.
  • Graphic images or Pictures – A graphic image is a photo, painting, sketch, or other image that provides a detailed representation of something. The representation can be of an object, scenario, person, animal, chart or graph among other things.
  • Sound – Sounds are vibrations that travel through the air or another medium and can be heard when they reach a person’s or animal’s ear.
  • Animation – Animation is defined as a simulation of movement created by displaying a series of pictures, or frames. Cartoons on television is one example of animation. Animation on computers is one of the chief ingredients of multimedia presentations.
  • Video – Video is a recording, reproducing or broadcasting of moving pictures and sound, especially as a digital file, DVD, or Video tape.

All these media types can be combined in the presentation of quality information.

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