Information Technology Development – An Organizational Perspective


Information Technology Development – An Organizational Perspective

Information, by a broad definition, is structured, processed and organised information. It provides context to already existing data and allows decision making on the basis of relative values. For instance, a single customer’s sale at a particular restaurant is statistical data that becomes information if the company is able to identify which dish is the most popular or least common. In other words, information helps us make sense out of our data sets.

However, information technology has evolved to such a level where many tasks are done simply by machine and much of this information can be lost. The ability to reliably store and deliver this information has led to the development of various information systems. The internet, for example, has made possible the construction of massive information systems like the internet backbone, the backbone of many computer systems. This enables organizations to centralize their information systems and make them more effective. Data is now being stored in highly secure, controlled environments that are not only reliable but also highly available.

The development environment of an organization is dictated by a number of factors. For instance, culture, tradition and cost drive certain aspects of the development environment. Organizations therefore seek to define their own norms by which they judge the success or failure of their development environment. Organizations thus have two major choices: either they can develop their environment on their own through a process of self-imposed constraints or they can purchase an operating system and hardware from a vendor with whom they come mutually dependent.

Organizations with a strong IT culture have a self-built IT development environment that is shaped by its organizational culture and priorities. Organizations with a strong tradition of information technology investments also have an established set of standards for the organization. Organizations with a strong tradition of using computers for internal and external computer-related activities also have developed their own information technology infrastructure that is dependent on the technologies used in the organization. Organizations operating in the open source world have opted for open source technologies to reduce their dependence on other technology vendors.

Organizations operating in the information technology domain require a number of different technologies for developing an information system. The most critical aspect of these systems is database management software. The information system will also need web content development, online documentation, e-commerce services, e-business fulfillment, e-marketing, and e-product development. These technologies must be deployed in a way that enables the system to interconnect with other applications such as ERP applications and Microsoft SQL Server. To meet the organizational needs of diverse business functions, an information technology development firm should conduct a brief feasibility study covering the key features of the organization’s information technology needs.

Although information technology encompasses many aspects, the focus of this article is the concept of information systems. To understand how information systems interrelate one another, it is important to have a clear understanding of what information is. Information can be defined as the process of transmitting information from a source using techniques such as communication and storage media. With communication lines drying up, and electronic and physical information becoming more scarce, the definition of information has expanded into a more encompassing concept including the intentional use of machines to collect, process, and transmit information.