No ICT system can work without people being involved at various stages. The first stage will be in analysis, design, implementation and testing of the system, which will be carried out by system analysts and programmers.
Departments people usually work in:
- Sales - processing transactions involving the sale of goods or services.
- Purchasing - processing transactions involving the purchase of goods or services required by the organisation.
- Finance - managing the flow of money in and out of the organisation.
- Operations - carrying out the main business of the organisation.
Departments usually communicate and exchange information, this will be done using various types of ict processes including:
- Email and other ict-based comunnication systems
- Finance, payroll, budgeting/forecasting using spreadsheet or special-purpose software
- Stock control using relational database management software
- Marketing of products and services, often done online using websites.
The definition of data is raw facts and figures or a set of values. Examples of data might be:
- 25, 30, 45, 60
- Jones, Smith, Parker.
- A, B, C, D, E
Definition of data is plural. Data can be entered in many ways including:
- Bar-code reader
- Digital Camera
If an ICT system is to work effectively, it is important to have procedures in place. Many organisations use a code of practice which governs the way the ICT system can be used by employees. All laws and legislation introduced by the government must also be taken into account when using ICT systems.
- Data Protection Act
- Computer Misuse Act
- Copyright, Designs and Patents Act
- Freedom of Information Act
Users must ensure they follow procedures such as Users names and password, anti virus should check any removable media to maintain integrity.
Software is what makes a computer a useful tool by carrying out the processing. The choice of software must ensure that the software can produce the desired output from the system.
- Word processors
- Webpage design packages
- Database management software
- Presentation packages.
Sometimes an organisation may need to have bespoke software to complete a specialist task that generic software might not be useful for.
Storage space and processing power are two of the key aspects taken into account when choosing harware. Specialist output devices should also be taken into account when looking at the task the ICT system is performing.
Main hardware components:
- Input devices, e.g. keyboard, mouse, scanner, bar-code readers.
- Processors, e.g. CPU.
- Ports and cables, e.g. Parallel, serial, universal serial bus (USB).
- Output devices, e.g. printer, speaker, monitor.
- Storage devices, e.g. hard drive, CD-RW, DVD-RW, memory sticks.
The final output is the information produced. Information is data that has been processed into something that is meaningful.
For example, a chart might be produced to show the average grades acheived by A-Level students taking an ICT course. This graphical representation shows in a clear and understandable way how the information can be used to review the class as a whole.