Information Systems for Business and Beyond
David T. Bourgeois, Biola University
James L. Smith
Copyright Year: 2014
Last Update: 2019
Publisher: Saylor Foundation
Conditions of Use
This book has mentioned many topics in the field of information systems, the topics have spread a wide range of helping beginners to understand information systems and the components of information systems. Additionally, there are many changes... read more
This book has mentioned many topics in the field of information systems, the topics have spread a wide range of helping beginners to understand information systems and the components of information systems. Additionally, there are many changes with the 2019 updates. I think the updates are very important for the book with the students in the field of information systems. Now many departments have the bachelor of business analytics major under the department of information systems because we are moving into the era of big data, it will be better to introduce more popular software and attractive topics that is also helping students to know the use of being a student with major in information systems. I think the book provides us with comprehensive topics, but may be more popular or hot topics can be added with further changes.
The authors deliver quality materials for beginners to understand the area of information systems. I think it will be better to illustrate the differences between computer science and information systems in some of the chapters, such as the two chapters on hardware and software. I think it will be better to emphasize what kind of knowledge or what kind of skills the industry requires for people with an information systems background. Also, security is a big issue and hot topic in nowadays, I might consider two chapters introducing the security issue in the field of information systems.
Content appears relevant in the setting of information systems. I would suggest adding more popular or hot topics to make the contents or materials updated with the current needs.
The authors have explained the terminologies and new concepts in a way that is easy to understand. For example, it has listed real case examples to show how things are working in the real world. The way of explanation is very friendly for a reader who is new to the world of information systems.
The content is consistent, and it is easy to follow and understand it.
The chapters are logically divided, and the breakdowns are easy to follow. It also provides the summary and questions for each chapter.
I think the order of each chapter also can be modified. It will be better if there is an order in the first chapter "what is information systems", and then the rest chapter can follow the order to do the explanations. It contains the common structure of IS textbooks.
I download the pdf version to read through the book, I think it will be better to provide a table of contents, which will be easier to provide the navigation for the readers.
After I read through the book, there are no grammatical errors. And this book also has gone through several revisions and updates. it is ready to adopt in the classroom.
The book is open to everybody, I do not think there is any culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. This book fits all the people who would like to understand the information systems world.
I appreciate the authors spending time and making this book an open resource.
The book goes into great detail on a broad range of topics including software, hardware, databases, the cloud, the internet, networking, and the most recent developments in information systems. As a result, both undergraduate and graduate courses... read more
The book goes into great detail on a broad range of topics including software, hardware, databases, the cloud, the internet, networking, and the most recent developments in information systems. As a result, both undergraduate and graduate courses can use it. Additionally, the database chapter covers important subjects like business intelligence and decision-making. The authors began with an introduction about organizing data in Excel sheets (storing raw data), producing useful information for organizational decision-making, and finally extracting knowledge from the processed data (organizational information) using Business Intelligence systems. This logical flow of explanation is quite fascinating. One chapter covers all of the course material in detail. In other Pearson textbooks, I typically see these topics divided into databases and Business Intelligence. The logical flow of this combined version, however, makes it much better in my opinion.
The chapters on software and hardware cover additional topics in an interesting and thorough manner. A brief introduction to virtualization, virtual machines, and eventually their use in blockchain technology are also included in the Software chapter. The logical progression is excellent. Similar circumstances apply to hardware, where the authors first described recent advancements in hardware while taking into account the drawbacks and difficulties the hardware electronics industry faced in the previous decade while taking into account the constant growth in data size and processing complexity. IoT devices are introduced in detail, and at the end, there are some intriguing case study-related questions.
The internet is discussed briefly in the networking chapters. The only thing I believe is missing is a discussion of RFID and Bluetooth wireless communication protocols. Network technologies such as LAN, WAN, and PAN are introduced at an introductory level while more details are indeed required. There has been no discussion of net neutrality. If the instructors intend to include discussions about technology management, more information about these topics should be included.
Overall, the book goes into great detail about the most important introductory topics of Information Systems.
There is no bias in the text content. The references provided for each chapter are up to date and relevant. The information is presented precisely.
The use of information systems to improve efficiency is an ongoing process. However, new technology is constantly being developed, which may render current content relatively old but not completely obsolete in a few years. The current version covers a wide range of current topics, including Blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, IoT, and Business Intelligence.
The textbook is quite easy to follow with a lot of real-time examples provided for many critical concepts discussed throughout the text.
The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework.
With more than 10 chapters created to present Information Systems for Business, the key concepts are appropriately covered in small chunks with a lot of detailed explanations and examples. The connection between the chapters are mentioned as and when it is deemed.
The overall textbook topics cover all of the fundamentals of understanding Information Systems. Many chapters are independent concepts in and of themselves, but the sub-topics within the chapters follow a good logical flow.
The chapter on business processes is a prime example of how important concepts are organized in a logical chronological order. The business process is introduced first, followed by an explanation of the importance of having a strong business model. This is followed by business process reengineering and the introduction of SAP enterprise systems. The creation of a suite of software applications designed to meet the needs of an enterprise, as well as the foundations of these systems, are detailed. This is an excellent method of organizing the subtopics or the concepts within a chapter.
However, I think the order of some of the chapters is not properly justified or at least the explanation should have been provided in the beginning.
The most recent edition is available in PDF, epub, and online formats. The online version includes color images. The online version's navigation is quite simple. The PDF version has a reasonable font size that is not cluttered.
As far as I can tell, there are no grammatical errors. The textbook has gone through several revisions and is now ready to be used in class.
The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way.
I teach "Introduction to Operations and Technology Management" at the University of Portland's Pamplin School of Business. I introduce Information Systems to Business students as part of the Technology Management course content. The current textbook, "Information Systems for Business and Beyond," covers all of the chapters/topics covered in class and is up to date. I went over the textbook using the rubrics provided. I think the textbook is extremely relevant and well-written. The lack of exercises at the end of each chapter and the fact that the current exercises are largely theoretical are my only objections to using this textbook in my class in its as-is form. But with additional use cases created, I am planning to propose the textbook for the class I am teaching.
This entry-level information systems textbook touches on relevant topics for non-technical undergraduate business students. The chapter learning objectives, sidebars, summaries, study questions, and exercises are especially appreciated whether... read more
This entry-level information systems textbook touches on relevant topics for non-technical undergraduate business students. The chapter learning objectives, sidebars, summaries, study questions, and exercises are especially appreciated whether using as a stand-alone text or as the foundation upon which to add up-to-date supplemental course materials. Including an index and glossary would have been helpful.
Content appears accurate, error-free and unbiased. It can additionally be easily built upon with supplemental content and detail.
Content appears relevant and can be easily updated as times and technologies change. Included historic content is timeless; there just becomes more of it.
Content is written in a clear and concise manner. The text is easy-to-read and comprehend even for those with limited or no prior information systems knowledge.
Content appears consistent, however, format is not. It is a bit disconcerting that paragraph fonts and line spacing are inconsistent which is not a good example for students required to carefully format and proofread their work before submitting.
Chapters and topics can easily be stand-alone, so course content can be arranged and supplemented to fit instructor needs.
Content is presented in a logical, clear fashion and are well scaffolded. The hyperlinked Table of Contents assures content is easy to access. Chapters and content can be rearranged, if preferred.
The text is easy to navigate without distraction or confusion.
No grammatical errors found.
Content, exercises, and examples, etc. appear culturally neutral.
Good overview textbook for non-technical undergraduate business students that can easily be supplemented with current information and materials. This is a good solution to relieve students from paying for current high-cost commercial textbooks that also become quickly outdated and require supplements. It would have been helpful, however, to include an index and have presentation slides available.
This text contained a variety of topics that are very useful in a computer literacy course. More information on using the Internet and Web resources would cover the topics that are being used in my current courses. Additional information on... read more
This text contained a variety of topics that are very useful in a computer literacy course. More information on using the Internet and Web resources would cover the topics that are being used in my current courses. Additional information on communicating and collaborating using the Web as well as how businesses interact using the Web would be a great addition.
I found the text to be very accurate and unbiased
Since this is a text that deals with computer information and equipment, I’m sure it is difficult to keep the information up-to-date. The authors seem to be doing a nice job of this. The current edition has been updated in the summer of 2020 to meet accessibility guidelines.
The division of the topics within the text lends itself to easy updating and the addition of supplemental materials. As long as the authors keep up with the changes in the computer environment this text will remain usable in the classroom.
The authors have explained the concepts and information in the easy-to-understand text. It flows and the division of topics makes it easy to follow. The technical terms are explained thoroughly and included in the Index for reference.
The text was consistent and easy to follow. The Table of Contents and the Index added to the ease of reading.
The chapters are divided into units that can be presented separately or together. The chapters can be read independently of each other so that they are easily assimilated into the course curriculum.
The chapters are organized into units and are easy to follow. If the information on a specific topic is needed, it is easy to find using the Index.
The text is available in a downloadable full-text PDF format as well as a Flipbook. It was not clear if the text could be downloaded to a mobile device or cell phone.
Navigating through the downloads was easy and the display of graphics was clear.
As far as I could tell, the text did not contain any grammatical errors.
The exercises and examples used in the text seemed to be neutral in regard to race, ethnicity, and background. I did not find anything that was culturally insensitive.
I found the book easily adaptable for my course and plan to use it in the future.
This text covers a broad introductory view of management information systems relevant to business majors. This text covers the basics found in other texts used but keeps to a high level view that works for an introductory audience that does not... read more
This text covers a broad introductory view of management information systems relevant to business majors. This text covers the basics found in other texts used but keeps to a high level view that works for an introductory audience that does not require an in-depth understanding for their area of study.
The accuracy of the text is relevant to the time in which it was published. This book will need updates to certain chapters to keep in line as technologies change.
The historical parts of the text work but it will need necessary updates which should not be difficult to implement.
The text is written in adequate context for the intended audience which is not highly technical. The concepts are explained appropriately. The less technical approach will assist in keeping the attention of those needing this overview of technology.
The text is consistent and clear and well organized.
The text is easily divisible into sections that can easily be separately assigned as a supplement to different topics throughout the course.
The organization of the text is presented clearly and in a logical fashion making the text easy to comprehend.
The text is easy to navigate and includes additional sidebars which are helpful to the reader.
I did not find any grammatical errors in this text.
I did not find any culturally insensitivity in this text.
I would use this text for the supplementary topics presented.
The textbook is written at an introductory level which covers many basic and standard topics associated in information systems in the business space. The chapters are short, well organized, and clearly targeted for a student seeking to gain a... read more
The textbook is written at an introductory level which covers many basic and standard topics associated in information systems in the business space. The chapters are short, well organized, and clearly targeted for a student seeking to gain a general understanding of the basic concepts and terminology associated with technology in business.
The content does appear to be accurate and as expected from an introductory book, details on the subject matter are very much limited but it does give the reader a basic understanding of the material.
Although some of the information presented in the book is dated, the basic underlying foundation of information systems is presented in a clear and concise manner. As is the case with technology changing so quickly, that as soon as it comes out in print, it is almost outdated. Unfortunately, this is inherent in this industry.
The presentation of the material lends itself for a student to easily gain an understanding of the terminology and basic concepts of information systems. Overall, the information is written in a way that is clear and concise and should be an easy read for the students.
The manner and layout in which the text and images is presented was consistent throughout the book. I did not find any distractors.
The book is presented in a clear and well organized manner. The chapters build upon each other in a way that is appropriate and easily understood for an entry level book on information systems in business.
The topics are well organized and presented in a standard way which is typical of many textbooks are on information systems. Although some of the information is dated, it is presented in a clear and concise manner.
As previously mentioned regarding dated information, some of the images are also dated. This is an inherent problem in the information systems space since the information is constantly changing and in many cases, becomes almost obsolete just as soon as it becomes available for public consumption.
I did not find any grammatical errors during my review.
I did not find anything that could be considered offensive or culturally insensitive. The book is culturally neutral which I have found is the case for most books on information systems and technology in general.
This is a great introductory book in information systems for students who are looking for an understanding of the basic premises and terminology of technology and how it is used in business. Highly recommended.
Topics are not covered in great depth, however, this is acceptable since this textbook is geared to an introductory MIS course. The book lacks an index and a glossary. read more
Topics are not covered in great depth, however, this is acceptable since this textbook is geared to an introductory MIS course. The book lacks an index and a glossary.
This book has done a good job with defining IT terminology.
The content is up-to-date and the topics have a good introductory treatment. In-depth coverage has to be limited given the scope of the textbook. Coverage of topics is provided at an appropriate level for an introductory MIS course.
I think the students will find that this book is easy to read and understand.
I did not find inconsistencies in terminology and framework.
The book is divided into logical modules/chapters. This breakdown is typical for introductory MIS textbooks. Within each chapter, subheadings are descriptive and appropriate.
The chapters and sections within chapters are logical and easy to follow. They follow the common structure of MIS textbooks.
Embedded links are very helpful, however, these may need to be updated frequently. It will be frustrating to students to follow a broken link. The included illustrations are clear.
I did not find any grammatical errors in the textbook.
I found no cultural insensitivity issues.
This book is a good competitor in the pool of introductory MIS course textbooks.
Cons: Coverage of E-Commerce is a bit light, consisting of a few mentions and a definition. Not much emphasis on categorizing/classifying information systems. DSS and ERP are mentioned, but not knowledge systems or expert systems or... read more
Coverage of E-Commerce is a bit light, consisting of a few mentions and a definition.
Not much emphasis on categorizing/classifying information systems. DSS and ERP are mentioned, but not knowledge systems or expert systems or transaction processing systems.
No index or glossary. Just a bibliography and answers to study questions.
Author does a good job of explaining the difference between data and information, one of the primary reasons for information systems to exist.
The security section is well done and comprehensive.
As a former developer, I thought the section on IS development was especially good, with clearer definitions and concepts than some commercial texts I have.
It is great that it covers patent trolls when discussing intellectual property. This is a significant hurdle for any new technology entrepreneur.
I've been involved in IS for over 30 years, and the treatment of the topics were accurate.
There was one use of Wikipedia as a source for the definition of an information system, yet it was used as one of several definitions from different sources to compare. Still, I would probably de-emphasize that in class.
For textbook as old as this (because technology moves very fast, an IS text just a few years old can be considered dated), it is surprisingly comprehensive, and prescient in a few places. An instructor can still use this with minimal supplementation of current events and case studies in 2019/20.
Some examples, both positive and negative:
Cloud computing doesn't include much about modern cloud providers (i.e.Amazon), yet it treats the topic accurately. This chapter would need to be supplemented by current cloud usage and trends.
Covers IPv6 which will be a hot topic in the near future, as well as IoT and driverless cars.
I found it very easy to read and follow.
There was the use of first person narrative in a couple of places early in the book, i.e. "I spend the first day of my IS class discussing exactly what the term means." Not necessarily bad, but generally not found in most of the rest of the text. Not a major criticism - the meaning is clear.
Formatting - sometimes the font size is reduced for a part of the page, maybe to make a paragraph fit on a page, but sometimes for no discernable reason. It means some segments of a paragraph may be harder to read than other parts. Not a major criticism, but it affects the perception of quality.
Formatting - in the database chapter, there's some SQL code given that appears to be cut off due to the font/formatting used. An instructor can supply the missing pieces if they know SQL.
The book is very readable with reasonably short paragraphs and sidebars that are easy to digest. The subheadings are descriptive and helpful.
The sections and chapters follow a common pattern and topic layout of similar information systems texts.
Embedded links: Use of hyperlinks in the text that take you to websites. I found at least one link that no longer works. I attempted to click on most all of them and most all of them worked fine. The risk is these links change or get removed at a future date, reducing the perceived quality of the text. However, I don't see this as a major detriment to the text, since the links just enhance the information -- they are not required to be clicked on.
I am a pretty sharp proofreader, and did not notice any significant grammatical issues.
I noticed no issues with cultural insensitivity. Cultural differences were cited as potential issues to overcome when using information systems for global business.
The end of chapter summaries and study questions are as a whole thoughtful and useful as a help to students to review key points of the chapter.
Utilizes academic research well, and includes important publications (like Carr's and Brynjolfsson's work).
I like the chapter dedicated to human roles in computing and information systems. I think it will help students map out goals toward a career in technology.
Part 1 covers Information Systems (IS) broadly, touching on all the major aspects. Part 2 gets more into IS practices. Part 3 tackles the changing landscape of IS while re-emphasizing the timeless importance of certain principles such as ethics... read more
Part 1 covers Information Systems (IS) broadly, touching on all the major aspects. Part 2 gets more into IS practices. Part 3 tackles the changing landscape of IS while re-emphasizing the timeless importance of certain principles such as ethics and legal considerations.
Keeping up with changing terminology is tough in tech fields such as IS, but this book does an admirable job of it without sacrificing accurate with uncertain, emerging tech. For example, the book uses established modern examples such as "flash drives". And a "modern laptop" illustration shows a recent-model Apple MacBook.
The treatment on security describes well the modern approaches of RSA, firewall intrusion detection, and even mobile security, with citations from recent studies on same, such as a 2013 SANS study.
As a teacher of IS, I find this material highly relevant for any denizen of our tech society, regardless of their field of study or profession.
Because of its separation of major topics ("What is", "Strategic Advantage", "Beyond the Org") and its natural categorization within ("Hardware", "Software", "Globalization", etc.), the book properly and effectively follows the organization in other IS treatments. This also makes it more readily updated as detail points develop further, e.g. in software concerns.
The book seems targeted at the lower-division college student—perfect for its presumed application as an introductory textbook for IS majors or those in related tech and business pursuits.
I found no evidence of inconsistent phrasing, coverage, literacy, terminology, etc.
As discussed previously, the book's division into major topics and natural categories makes modularity a breeze!
The book's flow of topics and categories is natural for IS, starting with computer system fundamentals and culminating in large-scale ethical and global considerations. Part 3 could use more framing of the relationships among these "beyond" topics.
I have no difficulty finding material from the book, and all text and illustrations are clear.
I found no grammar errors.
IS doesn't lend itself to culture-specific examples, and the book makes no overt references. Relatively light in photographs (only one with people!), the book make no error of cultural omission or commission.
I've adopted this book as a free alternative edition in the class "Introduction to IS", which to date has required an expensive conventional printed textbook. This book compares very favorably, and I expect to drop required printed textbook in future terms.
The textbook does cover the basic aspects of MIS that the commercial textbooks cover. Subjects such as hardware, software, databases, security, ethics and etc. One strength or weakness depending on your point of view is that the chapters are... read more
The textbook does cover the basic aspects of MIS that the commercial textbooks cover. Subjects such as hardware, software, databases, security, ethics and etc. One strength or weakness depending on your point of view is that the chapters are short. Unless our course is short or low credit you would need to supplement with other sources. The text is also from 2014 so it is showing its age. Blockchain and data science for example aren't covered. But the textbook that we currently use from a major publisher also does not cover them in much depth. So this textbook is not really that different from an expensive alternative. But again it is a quick read.
The book does seem to be accurate. But the things covered are usually pretty short. Just a paragraph or two are spent on a lot of subject. Again that could be an advantage or a drawback depending on how you want to use the book. The author does introduce the more widely read ideas from MIS, He discusses Porter's five forces model and value chain. There is a short discussion on Nicholas Carr's IT Doesn't Matter article and some its critics. The author also mentions one of Brynjolfsson and McAfee's articles. While the author does represent them correctly the information is quite succinct.
The book is from 2014 so it is showing its age. Many things could be added to it. If you wanted to use a short textbook with the basics of databases and networking and then supplement it with new information and ideas I think that you could easily do that with this text.
The textbook is brief but the author does present the information in a way that should be very accessible for students.
The fonts used and the paragraph spacing seem to change which I found a bit odd. But the layout of the chapters is consistent throughout the book.
You could easily use just certain chapters of this book. There is a chapter on hardware, one on software and another on security. So you could just assign those if you just needed something short on those aspects of IT.
The topics covered and how they are presented are pretty standard. It follows many of the same design considerations of a commercial textbook on MIS.
The textbook is well organized. One thing that I found disconcerting was that the font and the spacing seemed to change a lot. One paragraph would be single spaced and then the next is more widely spaced and in a different font.
The grammar used seemed to be fine.
I did not anything that would be considered offensive or insensitive.
If you need a short basic text for your course this is a book that you could consider for use.
The text covers many standard topics of information technology. The chapters were well organized with a clear table of contents but no index of terms, topics. read more
The text covers many standard topics of information technology. The chapters were well organized with a clear table of contents but no index of terms, topics.
The content is accurate for 2014. However, technology changes so quickly that some of the information was quite dated.
As mentioned above - the content is a bit dated, since it was written in 2014. I'm not sure how a information technology text can stay relevant unless it is updated regularly.
The book was clear, a little dry but easily understandable.
The text is internally consistent. And might be a good resource if it was updated.
Yes, this could be divided and presented in modules.
The topics are the standard topics presented in an introductory information technology book and are presented clearly, however, the information is dated.
Old images, some text is in a different font than surrounding text. Needs some editing.
In my review I didn't find any glaring grammatical errors.
This text on computers / information systems is not culturally insensitive, it is culturally neutral.
It was a good open source book in 2014, I could not assign it to students in 2018.
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... 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 learners of IS/MIS/CIS. It starts with an effort of understanding the information systems by... 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 reflects its author's personality and preferences, rather than being designed by a committee of... 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 topics like Hardware, Software, Data, and Networking to softer topics like Business Processes,... 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 cases it goes beyond standard information such as an explanation of the different types of writing... 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 concrete understandable manner. It is organized in a way that allows me to set up my class in a similar... 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 learn about many topics. I was impressed with the learning objectives and the exercises. The in depth... 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
Part 1: What Is an Information System?
- 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
Part 2: Information Systems for Strategic Advantage
- 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
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.
Information Systems for Business and Beyond was written by Dr. David Bourgeois and originally published in 2014 as part of the Open Textbook Challenge at the Saylor Foundation. Since then, it has been accessed thousands of time and used in many courses worldwide. This 2019 update to the textbook brings it up to date and adds many new topics. True to its open textbook roots, many of the updates have come from the community of instructors and practitioners who are passionate about information systems.
Please note that the XML and MS Word links go to an earlier version.
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.
James L. Smith