Management information systems revision question and answer

CPA-Quantitative-Analysis-Section-4 BLOCK RELEASE

(a) It is envisaged that the World Wide Web (WWW) will enable institutions to take services closer to the people.

(i) As a close advisor of ABC Tutorial College you are required to explain how WWW can make this a reality.
(ii) Suggest any two managerial issues that are critical for its successful implementation

(b) The organisation for which you work is contemplating designing a batch processing system to manage their payroll applications and a real-time system to manage their inventory applications.
Giving reasons recommend a suitable file design for each of the two systems.

(c ) Explain the following systems concepts:
(i) Differentiation.
(ii) Entropy.
a) World Wide Web (WWW)

This refers to a system with universally accepted standards for storing, formatting and displaying information in a networked environment. Information is stored as electronic
―pages‖ that contain text, graphics, animations, sound and video.

(i) How the WWW can take services closer to people:
1. WWW enables online teaching/instruction. A tutor of ABC College could conduct a class for many students of the college located in different geographical areas. The students simply need to log-on to ABC‘s website and access the live streaming video of the class which is being conducted at ABC‘s head quarters.

2. WWW can facilitate sharing of information to online users. The information could be placed in web pages and links provided between webpages to enable easy access to the information. Thus, ABC College could for instance share study packs online to registered students thus enabling distant students to easily access study resources.

3. WWW makes it possible for students of ABC Tutorial College to easily participate in discussion forums. A discussion group facility could be implemented in the College‘swebsite to enable students to post their views via e-mail. Students need not travel to the College to participate in discussion forums.

4. WWW can enable students to sit for tests/exams at their own convenient locations through online testing. Students only need to go to the closest exam center as opposed to going allthe way to ABC‘s headquarters.

(ii) Managerial issues critical for the successful implementation of WWW:
1. Proper planning of resources e.g. funds, hardware, and software required, personnel required, etc
2. Adequate control mechanisms have to be put in place to ensure security of the system.
3. Training of staff to ensure they are competent with the system.


of staff on the importance of WWW so as to reduce potential resistance to the introduction of WWW into an organization.
5. Reengineering of business procedures to accommodate WWW where possible in order to ensure maximum utilization.

b) Batch processing system
This refers to a system where data is collected together over some interval of time and then processed together as a batch

Real-time system
This refers to a computer system capable of processing data so quickly that the results are available to influence the activity currently taking place.

Suitable file designs:

For the batch-processing system, I would recommend a database system of files with sequential organization (records are arranged according to the value of a certain field e.g. records may be arranged according to employee number in the employees file). The payroll program requires data from different files (e.g. personnel, accounts, etc) to generate a payroll. An integrated file approach/database system would thus enable the payroll application(s) to access many different files without problems of data redundancy.

For the inventory applications, I would recommend application specific files (Files (on any media) in which records are grouped according to a common purpose or dedicated to a single application.) Inventory applications such as stock inventory systems require only specific types of data e.g. stock Id, description, stock quantity, price, etc, which can be organized and

maintained in a specific file e.g. a stock file or a stock inventory application. With an application specific system, file security is maintained since the files are read from and updated specific programs, to which access is limited, usually a password, the programs used to access the files being in a user account or accessible area.
(i) Differentiation
This is the integrations of a system into sub-systems.
(ii) Entropy
This refers to the tendency towards disorder (chaos) in a system. The more closed a system is, the greater the entropy.

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