Information Systems for Business and Beyond
David Bourgeois, Biola University
Pub Date: 2014
Publisher: Saylor Foundation
Conditions of Use
The book is a comprehensive primer on Information Systems. It covers a range of essential technical topics including software, hardware, databases, read more
The book is a comprehensive primer on Information Systems. It covers a range of essential technical topics including software, hardware, databases, networking, and security as well as business topics including people, processes, competitive advantage, globalization, and ethics. It ends with a compelling look at what the future trends will likely be.
The content is accurate, well-sourced, and unbiased.
As you might expect, information systems texts can age out quickly, so the publication date of 2014 means some of the content needs to be updated, including some cases. However, the foundation is very solid and much of the material is unaffected (e.g., Chapter 4: Data and Databases, which explains basics of data and how they are stored, needs only minor updating). Likewise, some topics (such as Big Data and Business Analytics) have made great strides in technology and adoption since 2014 and would need refreshing in any new version.
Designed for the non-technical business student, the book flows well and clearly explains all acronyms and technical jargon in easy-to-understand terms.
A well-structured framework leads to consistency of concepts.
Chapter subsections have appropriate lengths and breakpoints, making it easy-to-read. A very minor point but since this is an ebook, having the chapter name and title in the header of each page makes for easier navigation; as-is, headers alternate between book title and chapter title.
The book is divided into two, logical sections: technical aspects (Chapters 1-6) and business aspects (Chapters 7-13). The transition from the first to the second (in Chapter 7) is clear.
The only consistent area for improvement is in some text formatting (which is inconsistent in font type or size) and many of the images (which should be higher-resolution and have better placement, such as centering on the page).
Both the concepts and case studies use good examples from a variety of fields.
Overall, "Information Systems and Beyond" is relevant, logical, and well-written, making it a good candidate for an introductory MIS textbook for undergraduate business students who do not necessarily have a technical background. If the book also had accompanying slides, I could see this giving some paid textbooks a run for their money!
Considering this is a textbook for introductory class for Information Systems, this book well addressed all the necessary basics required for new read more
Considering this is a textbook for introductory class for Information Systems, this book well addressed all the necessary basics required for new learners of IS/MIS/CIS. It starts with an effort of understanding the information systems by addressing different components of IS such as Hardware, Software, Database, Networking and Communication, and IS Security. Then, it not only addresses how IS can be used to achieve strategic advantage but also important issues like digital divide, ethical & legal issues, and the future trend.
In general, the textbook is accurate and unbiased.
This textbook is certainly relevant. However, due to the nature of the content (i.e., fast evolving nature of IS world), updates will be required. Most of the references are 2012’s and 2013’s. Effort of adding some current articles in order to stay up to date would be appreciated especially for the additional reading assigmnets.
This textbook is clearly written, and easy to follow.
No inconsistency issues found in the textbook. The terminology was consistent and relevant to the subject matter. The chapter ware consistent in length. In terms of format, however, there are some rooms to be improved (e.g., Font size, Line spacing, side-bar format, and so on).
This textbook is broken into 3 segment (6, 4, and 3 chapters each). Due to the comprehensiveness & modularity of each chapter, each chapter can be used as a single source of class material without referencing other chapters. Also, instructor can either choose to deliver all 3 segments in the same course, or pick & focus on specific segment.
Organization/structure/flow of this textbook is good. With consistent structure of chapter (i.e., Learning objectives, Introduction, Content, Summary, Study Questions, Exercise), it is very easy to follow. Learning objective and Exercise questions are especially valuable for discussion.
No navigation issues found. Adding glossary and index, however, would help readers locate important concepts more easily.
No grammatical issues found.
No culturally offensive issues found.
In sum, this textbook is a good resource for new learners in Information Systems area.
The book's comprehensiveness is variable, presumably reflecting the interests of its author. I find that a plus in many ways. I like a book that read more
The book's comprehensiveness is variable, presumably reflecting the interests of its author. I find that a plus in many ways. I like a book that reflects its author's personality and preferences, rather than being designed by a committee of reviewers who will collectively make sure that it covers everything that any instructor could possibly want and is also twice as thick as any student can possibly stand. That also makes it easier to decide if a book suits me or not: either its coverage matches my personal biases or it doesn't. This book gives job descriptions and career paths a chapter of their own, but gives CRM (Customer Relationship Management) a bit over four lines. For me, that's backwards, especially when 90 percent of the students who use this book won't be MIS majors, but for other instructors it may be just fine. It gives business processes a chapter of their own, but gives agile development ten lines. You'll have to decide if its balance is right for you. I feel the book falls down in this regard when it comes to hardware. It has a generally-good discussion of the kinds of hardware students are already familiar with: desktops, laptops, tablets and so on. (It doesn't recognize that students are already familiar with this content, but that's a style issue rather than a comprehensiveness issue.) However, it spends no time at all on kinds of computers that students don't already know about but should as entry-level professionals: from servers to supercomputers, other than a couple of references to mainframes in passing as something outdated. (Ask any user of IBM's z series how true that is.) The book also doesn't even mention the most common enterprise storage systems, RAID, NAS and SAN, which again students will not generally have seen before. To my mind, it's more important to tell students something they don't already know than to confirm what they do know.
I noticed only two real inaccuracies: 1. Processor speed is equated with clock rate. This ignores the effect of micro-architecture on how many clock cycles it takes to execute a typical instruction. More importantly, it effectively ignores multi-core, multi-threaded processors. Cores get two lines (p. 16), threads get nary a mention. They are a key element of 2017 processor architecture. 2. Parallel conversion is mentioned (p. 116-117) as if it were still viable in 2017, assuming its cost is acceptable. This is not the case for online systems, where timing differences can affect results and where it is not practical to get customers to enter their transactions twice. This conventional wisdom has propagated from textbook to textbook without a reality check ever since online systems became the norm. I am disappointed that it is still doing that today. (There are a few situations where parallel conversion is viable. They involve internal systems such as financial accounting, where all users are internal and the sequence of activities can be controlled. I also felt that the software split into OS and applications is too simplistic. Applications are defined (p. 26) as programs that do something useful for the user. Later, compilers are grouped with applications, as are DBMS - even though both of these exist simply to develop or facilitate "real" applications. I would vote for the traditional split into systems and application software here, with the OS considered a type of systems software but not the only type. Others may disagree with me, of course.
It's certainly relevant. As for longevity: parts of the information systems field move so rapidly that no book can hope to remain current for more than a few years, even if it is up to the minute when first published. "Longevity" is too much to ask for in an MIS text! That said, its chapters on business processes, ethics and so on should stand the test of time fairly well.
This is a strength. I like the writer's style.
I didn't notice any problems in consistency of content, except for the trivial one that mainframes are described as being from the 1950s-1960s in one place and from the 1970s in a table right afterwards. Either way, they're described as being from when a reader's parents were in kindergarten. The point is the same whichever decade one picks. There is an issue, though, in consistency of approach. Much of the content is written for the non-MIS major. For example, there's no need to go into database normalization for MIS majors; they'll take a full course on database management and will study it there. Other parts are written only for MIS majors, such as the section on MIS career paths. I would prefer to see the author take a position, one way or the other, on who his audience consists of and then write for that audience.
It is divided into modular chapters, with each chapter divided into major and minor sections. The section structure is difficult to follow, though: sections are not numbered in outline fashion, and section heading type size differences are not always obvious enough to serve that purpose.
The order is traditional for MIS books: start with an introductory chapter or two, continue with technology in the order hardware-software-database-telecoms, then talk about how systems are used and how they're developed, and wrap up with ethics and perhaps a look to the future. Most MIS instructors are used to this organization and will feel comfortable with this book in that regard.
There are no navigation issues, as the text doesn't really have navigation other than the standard PDF sidebar with chapter headings. However, the reader interface is flawed by random jumps in type size (sometimes within a paragraph; e.g., bottom of page 7, line spacing, and other errors such as the SQL examples on page 45 running off the page. This is distracting. The book needs a thorough, careful going-over by an expert in Microsoft Word or whatever other package this book was created in. In addition, since type size changes are the only clue to section/subsection organization, they should be made more obvious (or, better, number at least the top-level sections within a chapter).
No problems here. Either the author knows how to write coherent English or he had a good copy editor. I can't tell which, but the end result is fine in this regard.
It has few if any examples that involve people, so opportunities for cultural insensitivity aren't there. The thorough attention it pays to ethical considerations is in its favor as regards cultural relevance.
It's a short book, almost "Information Systems in a Nutshell.' The content starts on page 5 and ends on page 149, including questions and all. Part of the reason is that it doesn't spend much (if any) time on topics the author doesn't care much (if anything) about. If your choice of topics matches those of this book, take a careful look at it. If you're teaching a quarter or two-credit course, take a look at it also: it's short enough for those without having to skip chapters or cover them too lightly. If neither or those is you, it may not be a good choice.
This text does an excellent job of covering the broad range of topics essential to a beginning class in Information Systems. Ranging from concrete read more
This text does an excellent job of covering the broad range of topics essential to a beginning class in Information Systems. Ranging from concrete topics like Hardware, Software, Data, and Networking to softer topics like Business Processes, People in a typical organization, Globalization, and the Digital Divide. This book dares to ask the question, “Does IT Matter”, then does an excellent job answering that question. The is well book organized using plenty of relevant pictures, charts, and tables to help make its points clear.
As far as I could tell, this book ui accurate, error-free, and reasonably unbiased as of this review, late 2016.
All written books age with time but this text seems relevant and up-to-date. I do not believe the content is presented in a way that will make it obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written, illustrated, and uses examples that should make it easy to update as technology changes in our world as it always has. The only exception to this may be the links embedded in many places in the text. While all links that were clicked by this reviewer worked correctly at this time, it seems likely that some of these links will eventually become broken links. Having said this, I would rather have modern textbook with links than without.
The text is written in clear, easy-to-understand terms that should be accessible to most all readers. Because this is a book about technology it is required to include relevant jargon and technical terminology but the text does a good job describing and explaining the jargon and terms as needed to remain understandable by the average reader.
Even though the textbook is lengthy and covers a broad range of topics, it remains internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework throughout.
The text was clearly written with modularity in mind. There are consistent divisions within each chapter including learning objectives, introductions, well formatted section headings, active links to websites, sidebars, well captioned charts and graphs, summaries, study questions, and exercises. It should be straightforward for most instructors to pick and choose which portions to highlight or use for class lessons or homework assignments. The book flows seamlessly through relevant subunits without being distracting to the reader.
Even though the subject matter is broad and extensive, this text does an excellent job organizing the subtopics and subunits into an organized flow that does not overwhelm the reader or lose them in a complicated structure. The text presents the many topics involved in an overview of Information Systems in a clear and logical way.
While the book does an excellent job of including relevant charts, graphs, table, and illustrations, some of the formatting of these visual aids seems inconsistent chapter to chapter. For example, chart titles and axis labels are not always the same font and size from chart to chart or chapter to chapter. Although this was not overly distracting, it might be an issue for some people to read some of the smaller text included in some of the charts and illustrations.
I found no grammatical errors in this text.
To this reviewer, this textbook was not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. This textbook seemed to use a wide variety of examples that were not exclusive or ethnocentric.
This is an excellent textbook for the beginning Information Systems student. With the quality of open textbooks being this high, it is unclear why instructors and students would continue to pay for other texts.
This textbook covers all areas of basic information technology including a very comprehensive history of technology and its evolution. In some read more
This textbook covers all areas of basic information technology including a very comprehensive history of technology and its evolution. In some cases it goes beyond standard information such as an explanation of the different types of writing source code. I have not found this in other textbooks that I have used. It does not have an index and/or glossary but does have a good introduction to chapters and the three sections of the book.
The textbook's accuracy is very well documented and attention to detail is good.
Technology is a fast moving subject and this book references 2012 and 2013 so it some ways it is already out of date.. The business section is based on ideas based in the 1990s even though they are true today. The advantage plays an even bigger role today as business are much more competitive than in the 1990s competing for every dollar and advantage. The format of the book is set up so chapters can be updated without changing the structure.
The textbook was very well written and easily understandable. I found when I worked in the business world that often times the language used by books and technicians was too esoteric and not easily understood. This textbook did not leave me with that feeling. As an introduction to technology, this textbook provides usable and understandable information to the students in a readable and comprehensive manner. The graphics were very helpful and easy to understand. The definitions of the different players in the technology world would be key in knowing the appropriate person to contact in a business.
The textbook flowed well and the technology was update to date and consistent. The links were well placed and helpful. Author did not interchange words for the same function or idea, therefore making it easy to go from one chapter to the next.
This textbook could be reorganized into smaller sections and moved around but think that the organization and subject matter are in the most effective order. Chapter 8 and Chapter 11 could be placed in same section.
The textbook was well organized and easy to follow. The only thing I might have changed was to move the security section closer to the definitions of the different kinds of technology. i..e. Security around using wireless internet.
The information contained in this textbook did not have any interface problems. I thought that the information melded well together.
The grammar in this book in fine.
I did not find that anything in this book was culturally insensitive or offensive.
I teach technology in the law office to paralegals and found information in this book that I can use to expand my teaching in connection with the the book I am currently using. The explanations for some functions or ideas were written in more understandable language. One of these is the cloud.
This book is great for a beginning class for Computer Information Systems. Each chapter hits the highlights of that area, explains it in very read more
This book is great for a beginning class for Computer Information Systems. Each chapter hits the highlights of that area, explains it in very concrete understandable manner. It is organized in a way that allows me to set up my class in a similar information flow. The book is comprehensive in topic areas of Computer Information Systems. Each topic area is introduced and gives a base of knowledge about the topic. It gives me a nice structure to fill with up-to-the-minute information to emphasize what is happening RIGHT NOW. The students and I appreciate that it is very succinct and to-the-point.
I found the book to be accurate with the included information.
Even though the book is already two and a half years old, I think that it will stand the test of time because of its ability to handle the basics. I suspect the only thing that will happen is more and more current topics will be added and/or fleshed out. For example: a network is a network is a network but current topics on new network technology may be added in the future as it becomes widely adopted.
The book is written with good clarity. It defines and calls out any of the words that may be new to the reader. That is one reason it is good for beginning and non-CIS students.
There are not any inconsistencies that were obvious.
I have taught a class both by following the book through from front to back and by cherry-picking the chapters as they fit into my original class organization. The students were able to understand the information in the chapters in both instances.
I appreciated the organization and flow of the book so much, that I reorganized my class to more closely follow the book and add the salient issues of current events with newspapers, articles, blogs, etc.
The PDF interface works fine. I was able to break up the chapters and upload them to the LMS so the students could have them right in their course modules.
I did not notice any grammatical issues.
I did not notice any culturally insensitive areas in this text.
I asked the students how they liked the book. Some of their comments: - I like that it is so readily available right in Canvas (LMS). - Price is right. - Has the information and background for what we are studying. - It could use more pictures. - It gets right to the point without a lot of extra reading.
The textbook was executed with current knowledge and well versed. Since this is a introductory textbook the novice will gain many facets and read more
The textbook was executed with current knowledge and well versed. Since this is a introductory textbook the novice will gain many facets and learn about many topics. I was impressed with the learning objectives and the exercises. The in depth experience the text explores is relevant and helpful. The amount of material that is reviewed is awesome and useful. The index and other main components a textbook covers was accurate and meaningful. The text covers cutting edge technologies and legacy systems to educate the reader on the broad scope technology covers.
I found that the textbook supports the latest information and is accurate, error-free and unbiased. Introduction to information systems for business and beyond is a wonderful title and provides exactly the reader expects. The images are current and the words are engaging and professional language is addressed. The diagrams and supplemental resources i.e. study questions and exercises are phenomenal. All materials in the textbook are relevant and well edited to boot. The content is uses Wikipedia and other modern sources, which is right on target. The cited resources are current and presented well. The history of the technology is portrayed in an easy to digest format and the reader can test the accuracy on the web.
Looking forward to changes in this text one would be able to update minimal sections. So in my opinion the author did a wonderful job on this open textbook. Most introductory courses may not change rapidly and this textbook has relevance and promotes the understanding of all concepts discussed. Emergent strategies are discussed in this book and can be easily updated for the next iteration of the book. Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. I concur that the book will be a useful in the future and I will try and use in my course.
The textbook is clear and concise and quite educational and the data displays well. During my reading of the textbook I learned new information and I was impressed with the authors knowledge. The business/tech jargon are presented in an openly easy to read paragraphs. The clarity the author presents on the history and the current structures is well versed and I enjoyed it. The exercises have useful links and are useful. The textbook is a fun read and captures the interest of the reader quickly.
The consistency and ideas presented in the textbook are clear and well written. I would venture to state that each chapter has themes that are presented with knowledge and framework. Each chapter builds and builds taking the reader to new heights and comprehension.
The textbook covers 13 chapters and is broken into segments that describe the chapter. The summaries are well written and the study questions are on target. There are exercises that compliment each chapter and they are stellar and are thought provoking. Instructors can choose chapters and are able to use this as supplemental materials as well. The text is not overly self-referential in fact it is relevant and powerful. The chapters are consistent in length and laid out well.
The flow of the textbook is appropriate for an introductory textbook. The author presents the material in an organized fashion and the flow is very easily understood. I am looking forward to using this for my class. The structure can be modified and used as need be by each instructor. Each chapter contains learning objectives that are helpful and have been well planned out. Homework is easily contained in the exercises and they are good! The flow of the textbook is manageable and you can reference other parts to build on other key concepts throughout the entire textbook.
The textbook is current and devoid of navigation issues. The . Most images were clear and high quality, even on smaller e-reading devices like an iPhone. The text was a readable font, and it is clear the author had others involved and possibly did a usability study to enhance the text and links. I particularly enjoyed how easy the textbook was to navigate.
I did not encounter any grammar errors or broken links at this time.
The examples and exercises are well aware of cultural bias. The text is well done and is not offensive in any way shape or form.
I was impressed overall with this textbook. I would recommend anyone with basic knowledge of tech to have a look. Well done and FREE...
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: What Is an Information System?
Chapter 2: Hardware
Chapter 3: Software
Chapter 4: Data and Databases
Chapter 5: Networking and Communication
Chapter 6: Information Systems Security
Chapter 7: Does IT Matter?
Chapter 8: Business Processes
Chapter 9: The People in Information Systems
Chapter 10: Information Systems Development
Chapter 11: Globalization and the Digital Divide
Chapter 12: The Ethical and Legal Implications of Information Systems
Chapter 13: Future Trends in Information Systems
About the Book
Welcome to Information Systems for Business and Beyond. In this book, you will be introduced to the concept of information systems, their use in business, and the larger impact they are having on our world.
This book is written as an introductory text, meant for those with little or no experience with computers or information systems. While sometimes the descriptions can get a little bit technical, every effort has been made to convey the information essential to understanding a topic while not getting bogged down in detailed terminology or esoteric discussions.
Learning objectives can be found at the beginning of each chapter. Of course, all chapters are recommended for use in an introductory information systems course. However, for courses on a shorter calendar or courses using additional textbooks, a review of the learning objectives will help determine which chapters can be omitted.
At the end of each chapter, there is a set of study questions and exercises (except for chapter 1, which only offers study questions). The study questions can be assigned to help focus students’ reading on the learning objectives. The exercises are meant to be a more in-depth, experiential way for students to learn chapter topics. It is recommended that you review any exercise before assigning it, adding any detail needed (such as length, due date) to complete the assignment.
About the Contributors
David T. Bourgeois worked as an information technology professional for 15 years for companies such as Southern California Edison and Texas Instruments before coming to Biola in 2002 to lead the information systems program. He received his master's degree in management science from Cal State Fullerton in 1994 and his doctorate degree in information systems and technology from Claremont Graduate University in 2006. Bourgeois currently serves as the undergraduate department chair and as the director of innovation with a focus on ensuring that all undergraduates are fully skilled in the digital technologies they need in their business careers.