Two options available are: –
Centralized information system
In this option, the processing of the information is at the central location i.e. the head office. This means that data will have to be captured and taken to that location where processing is to take place. The data can be taken to the central location either by:
a) Electronic means
Here data will be transmitted electronically from different sites to the central location where processing is undertaken. These sites have to be linked to the central processing through computer networks.
b) By physical means
In this case, transaction records will be transported physical means e.g. post or courier services to the central location where processing will take place.
o Where standards have to be maintained
o Where high degree of control is required.
o Where IT experts are concentrated in one location.
Here, processing takes place in many dispersed locations. A distributed system is one where there are several autonomous but interacting data stores and systems of different geographical locations that are linked through the use of computer networks.
o Where there is need to meet or tailor the system to local needs. o Where there is availability of enough experts.
o Where fault tolerance is essential. The many processing locations provide an alternative processing option should one location fail.