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ASSIGNMENT

Course Code : MS - 54
Course Title : Management of Information Systems
Assignment Code : MS-54/SEM – I /2011 MS - 54
Coverage : All Blocks

Note: Answer all the questions and send them to the Coordinator of the Study Centre you are attached with.

Q1. Discuss the rational individual models of decision making. What are the implications of these models to information system analysts?

Q2. Discuss the critical success factor method for the purpose of information requirement analysis.

Q3. Explain the concept of System and its usefulness in MIS.

Q4. Discuss the various Kinds of network topologies.

Q5. Outline the basic sequences of steps to acquiring a DBMS.

Q6. Differentiate among Trojans, Worms and Viruses. Give one example of each.

Q1. Discuss the rational individual models of decision making. What are the implications of these models to
information system analysts?
Rational decision making models involve a cognitive process where each step follows in a logical order from the one before. By cognitive,
I mean it is based on thinking through and weighing up the alternatives to come up with the best potential result.

There are different types of rational models and the number of steps involved, and even the steps themselves, will differ in different
models.

Some people assume that decision making is equivalent to problem solving. Some decisions however are not problem oriented.

Steps in a rational decision making model


Define the situation/decision to be made
Identify the important criteria for the process and the result
Consider all possible solutions
Calculate the consequences of these solutions versus the likelihood of satisfying the criteria
Choose the best option

The comparison is often performed by filling out forms or charts that have many names. Decision matrix, Pugh matrix, decision grid,
selection matrix, criteria rating form, amongst others. A relative importance is given to each criterion and the options are scored against
each of the criteria and the highest 'wins'.
Pros and cons
A rational decision making model presupposes that there is one best outcome. Because of this it is sometimes called an optimizing
decision making model. The search for perfection is frequently a factor in actually delaying making a decision.
Such a model also presupposes that it is possible to consider every option and also to know the future consequences of each. While many
would like to think they know what will happen, the universe often has other plans!
It is also limited by the cognitive abilities of the person making the decision; how good is their memory? how good is their imagination?
The criteria themselves, of course, will be subjective and may be difficult to compare. These models require a great deal of time and a
great deal of information. And, of course, a rational decision making model attempts to negate the role of emotions in decision making.

Specific types of rational decision making models


Bounded rational decision making models
A decision maker is said to exhibit bounded rationality when they consider fewer options than are actually available, or when they choose
an option that is not ?the best overall? but is best within the current circumstances. Eg, someone spills coffee on a shirt in a restaurant,
and goes next door and buys a poorly fitting shirt to change into immediately.
Obviously it would be optimal to buy a proper fitting shirt. But if the person is in a hurry and cannot wear a wet, coffee stained shirt, then
buying the poorly fitting one is appropriate. This is an example of bounded rationality.

Vroom-Jago decision model


This model originally was created by Vroom and Yetton in 1973 and later modified by Vroom and Jago. Basically there are five situations
for making decisions, from a single individual making the decision, to an individual making the decision with varying amounts of input
from the rest of the group, to the whole group making the decision.
The Vroom-Jago decision model has a series of seven yes/no questions that elicit the important criteria and indicate which of the five
decision-making processes is the most appropriate.

Intuitive decision making models


Some people consider these decisions to be unlikely coincidences, lucky guesses, or some kind of new-age hocus-pocus. Many
universities are still only teaching rational decision making models and suggest that if these are not used, failure results. Some
researchers are even studying the logic behind the intuitive decision making models!
The groups who study intuitive decision making models are realising that it's not simply the opposite of rational decision making. Carl
Jung pointed out that it is outside the realm of reason.
In military schools the rational, analytical models have historically been utilised. It is also long been recognised, however, that once the
enemy is engaged the analytical model may do more harm than good. History is full of examples where battles have more often been lost
by a leader?s failure to make a decision than by his making a poor one.
The military are educating the soldiers of every rank in how to make intuitive decisions. Information overload, lack of time and chaotic
conditions are poor conditions for rational models. Instead of improving their rational decision making, the army has turned to intuitive
decision models. Why? Because they work!

Recognition primed decision making model

Describes that in any situation there are cues or hints that allow people to recognise patterns. Obviously the more experience somebody
has, the more patterns they will be able to recognise. Based on the pattern, the person chooses a particular course of action. They
mentally rehearse it and if they think it will work, they do it.
If they don't think it will work, they choose another, and mentally rehearse that. As soon as they find one that they think will work, they
do it. Again past experience and learning plays a big part here. There is no actual comparison of choices, but rather a cycling through
choices until an appropriate one is found.
Obviously people become better with this over time as they have more experiences and learn more patterns. But can this be taught?
YES, IT CAN BE TAUGHT.

The ultimate decision making model


The ultimate model will allow you to rapidly assimilate the available information in a situation, bring all the relevant learning and past
experiences to bear and allow you to quickly and easily decide what to do, while knowing for certain that you're making the right
decision.

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THE RATIONAL APPROACH.
Basic Guidelines Decision Making
1. Define the problem
This is often where people struggle. They react to what they think the problem is. Instead, seek to understand more about why you think
there's a problem.
Defining the problem: (with input from yourself and others)
Ask yourself and others, the following questions:
a. What can you see that causes you to think there's a problem?
b. Where is it happening?
c. How is it happening?
d. When is it happening?
e. With whom is it happening? (HINT: Don't jump to "Who is causing the problem?" When we're stressed, blaming is often one of our first
reactions. To be an effective manager, you need to address issues more than people.)
f. Why is it happening?
g. Write down a five-sentence description of the problem in terms of "The following should be happening, but isn't ..." or "The following is
happening and should be: ..." As much as possible, be specific in your description, including what is happening, where, how, with whom
and why. (It may be helpful at this point to use a variety of research methods.

Defining complex problems:


a. If the problem still seems overwhelming, break it down by repeating steps a-f until you have descriptions of several related problems.
Verifying your understanding of the problems:
a. It helps a great deal to verify your problem analysis for conferring with a peer or someone else.
Prioritize the problems:
a. If you discover that you are looking at several related problems, then prioritize which ones you should address first.
b. Note the difference between "important" and "urgent" problems. Often, what we consider to be important problems to consider are
really just urgent problems. Important problems deserve more attention. For example, if you're continually answering "urgent" phone
calls, then you've probably got a more "important" problem and that's to design a system that screens and prioritizes your phone calls.
Understand your role in the problem:
a. Your role in the problem can greatly influence how you perceive the role of others. For example, if you're very stressed out, it'll
probably look like others are, too, or, you may resort too quickly to blaming and reprimanding others. Or, you are feel very guilty about
your role in the problem, you may ignore the accountabilities of others.
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2. Look at potential causes for the problem
a. It's amazing how much you don't know about what you don't know. Therefore, in this phase, it's critical to get input from other people
who notice the problem and who are effected by it.
b. It's often useful to collect input from other individuals one at a time (at least at first). Otherwise, people tend to be inhibited about
offering their impressions of the real causes of problems.
c. Write down what your opinions and what you've heard from others.
d. Regarding what you think might be performance problems associated with an employee, it's often useful to seek advice from a peer or
your supervisor in order to verify your impression of the problem.
e.Write down a description of the cause of the problem and in terms of what is happening, where, when, how, with whom and why.
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3.Define the Goal or Objective

In a sense, every problem is a situation that prevents us from achieving previously determined goals. If a personal goal is to lead a
pleasant and meaningful life, then any situation that would prevent it is viewed as a problem. Similarly, in a business situation, if a
company objective is to operate profitably, then problems are those occurrences which prevent the company from achieving its
previously defined profit objective. But an objective need not be a grand, overall goal of a business or an individual. It may be quite
narrow and specific. "I want to pay off the loan on my car by May," or "The plant must produce 300 golf carts in the next two weeks," are
more limited objectives. Thus, defining the objective is the act of exactly describing the task or goal.
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4. Identify alternatives for approaches to resolve the problem
a. At this point, it's useful to keep others involved (unless you're facing a personal and/or employee performance problem). Brainstorm
for solutions to the problem. Very simply put, brainstorming is collecting as many ideas as possible, then screening them to find the best
idea. It's critical when collecting the ideas to not pass any judgment on the ideas -- just write them down as you hear them.
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5. Select an approach to resolve the problem
When selecting the best approach, consider:
a. Which approach is the most likely to solve the problem for the long term?
b. Which approach is the most realistic to accomplish for now? Do you have the resources? Are they affordable? Do you have enough
time to implement the approach?
c. What is the extent of risk associated with each alternative?
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6. Plan the implementation of the best alternative (this is your action plan)
a. Carefully consider "What will the situation look like when the problem is solved?"
b. What steps should be taken to implement the best alternative to solving the problem? What systems or processes should be changed
in your organization, for example, a new policy or procedure? Don't resort to solutions where someone is "just going to try harder".
c. How will you know if the steps are being followed or not? (these are your indicators of the success of your plan)
d. What resources will you need in terms of people, money and facilities?
e. How much time will you need to implement the solution? Write a schedule that includes the start and stop times, and when you expect
to see certain indicators of success.
f. Who will primarily be responsible for ensuring implementation of the plan?
g. Write down the answers to the above questions and consider this as your action plan.
h. Communicate the plan to those who will involved in implementing it and, at least, to your immediate supervisor.
(An important aspect of this step in the problem-solving process is continually observation and feedback.)
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7. Monitor implementation of the plan
Monitor the indicators of success:
a. Are you seeing what you would expect from the indicators?
b. Will the plan be done according to schedule?
c. If the plan is not being followed as expected, then consider: Was the plan realistic? Are there sufficient resources to accomplish the
plan on schedule? Should more priority be placed on various aspects of the plan? Should the plan be changed?
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8. Verify if the problem has been resolved or not
One of the best ways to verify if a problem has been solved or not is to resume normal operations in the organization. Still, you should
consider:
a. What changes should be made to avoid this type of problem in the future? Consider changes to policies and procedures, training, etc.
b. Lastly, consider "What did you learn from this problem solving?" Consider new knowledge, understanding and/or skills.
c. Consider writing a brief memo that highlights the success of the problem solving effort, and what you learned as a result. Share it with
your supervisor, peers and subordinates
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The information SYSTEM used for various purposes,

-strategic planning
-delivering increased productivity
-reducing service cycles
-reducing product development cycles
-reducing marketing life cycles
-increasing the understanding of customers' needs
-facilitating business and process re-engineering.

THE INFORMATION SYSTEM IS USED as an information


utility to

-support policy making


-meet regulatory and legislative requirements
-support research and development
-support consistent and rapid decision making
-enable effective and efficient utilization of resources
-provide evidence of business transactions
-identify and manage risks
-evaluate and document quality, performance and achievements.

MAKING INFORMATION AVAILABLE


The availability of information is fundamental to the decision making
process. Decisions are made within the organization at
-STRATEGIC
-OPERATIONAL
-PROGRAMMES
-ACTIVITY LEVEL.

The information needs and decision making activities of the


various levels of management

SENIOR MANAGEMENT
Strategic business direction

-information for strategically positioning the organization


-competitive analysis and performance evaluation,
-strategic planning and policy,
-external factors that influence the direction
etc

MID LEVEL MANAGEMENT


Organizational and operational functions

-information for coordination of work units


-information for delivery programmes
-evaluation of resources usage
-budget control
-problem solving
-operational planning
etc

MID LEVEL MANAGEMENT


Programme management within units

-information for implementing programmes


-information for managing programmes
-management of resources usage
-project scheduling
-problem solving
-operational planning
etc

LINE MANAGEMENT
Activity management

-information for routine decision making


-information for problem solving
-information for service delivery
etc.

MANAGEMENT SUPPORT SYSTEMS

The management oriented support systems provide support


to various levels of management.

Executive Information Systems allow executives to see where a


problem or opportunity exists.

Decision Support Systems are used by mid-level management


to support the solution of problems that require judgement
by the problem solver.

Line Managers use Management Reporting Systems for


routine operational information.

FUNCTIONAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS

These include

-Accounting Information Systems


-Marketing Information Systems
-Enterprise Information Systems
-Decision Support Information Systems
-Executive Information Systems
-Quality Management Information Systems
-Manufacturing Information Systems
-Financial Information Systems
-Human resource Information Systems
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Q2. Discuss the critical success factor method for the purpose of information requirement analysis.
Critical success factor (CSF) is the term for an element that is necessary for an organization or project to achieve its mission. It is a
critical factor or activity required for ensuring the success of a company or an organization
Critical success factors are elements that are vital for a strategy to be successful. A critical success factor drives the strategy forward, it
makes or breaks the success of the strategy
CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS COVERS

• Organizational factors (such as top management sponsorship).


• Environmental factors (such as business competition).
• Project-related factors (such as skills of project team and end-user involvement).
• Technical factors (such as quality of data sources)
• Educational factors (such as training courses).
FOR IDENTIFYING THE CRITICAL FACTORS,
-the value analysis
-the swot analysis
OF THE VALUE CHAIN WOULD REVEAL THE CRITICAL SUCCESSS FACTORS.
The value chain
The concept of value added, in the form of the value chain, can be utilised to develop an organizational competitive advantage All
organisations consist of activities that link together to develop the value of the business, and together these activities form the
organisation’s value chain. Such activities may include purchasing activities, manufacturing the products, distribution and marketing of
the company’s products and activities . The value chain framework has been used as a powerful analysis tool for the strategic planning of
an organization. The aim of the value chain framework is to maximise value creation while minimising costs .

Main aspects of Value Chain Analysis


Value chain analysis is a powerful tool for managers to identify the key activities within the firm which form the value chain for that
organisation, and have the potential of a sustainable competitive advantage for a company. Therein, competitive advantage of an
organisation lies in its ability to perform crucial activities along the value chain better than its competitors.
The value chain framework of is “an interdependent system or network of activities, connected by linkages” . When the system is
managed carefully, the linkages can be a vital source of competitive advantage . The value chain analysis essentially entails the linkage
of two areas. Firstly, the value chain links the value of the organisations’ activities with its main functional parts. Then the assessment of
the contribution of each part in the overall added value of the business is made . In order to conduct the value chain analysis, the
company is split into primary and support activities . Primary activities are those that are related with production, while support activities
are those that provide the background necessary for the effectiveness and efficiency of the firm, such as human resource management.
The primary and secondary activities of the firm are discussed in detail below.
Primary-activities
The primary activities of the company include the following:
• Inbound-logistics
These are the activities concerned with receiving the materials from suppliers, storing these externally sourced materials, and handling
them within the firm.
• Operations
These are the activities related to the production of products and services. This area can be split into more departments in certain
companies. For example, the operations in case of a hotel would include reception, room service etc.
• Outbound-logistics
These are all the activities concerned with distributing the final product and/or service to the customers. For example, in case of a hotel
this activity would entail the ways of bringing customers to the hotel.
• Marketing-and-sales
This functional area essentially analyses the needs and wants of customers and is responsible for creating awareness among the target
audience of the company about the firm’s products and services. Companies make use of marketing communications tools like
advertising, sales promotions etc. to attract customers to their products.
• Service
There is often a need to provide services like pre-installation or after-sales service before or after the sale of the product or service.
Support-activities
The support activities of a company include the following:
• Procurement
This function is responsible for purchasing the materials that are necessary for the company’s operations. An efficient procurement
department should be able to obtain the highest quality goods at the lowest prices.
• Human-Resource-Management
This is a function concerned with recruiting, training, motivating and rewarding the workforce of the company. Human resources are
increasingly becoming an important way of attaining sustainable competitive advantage.
• Technology-Development
This is an area that is concerned with technological innovation, training and knowledge that is crucial for most companies today in order
to survive.
• Firm-Infrastructure
This includes planning and control systems, such as finance, accounting, and corporate strategy etc. .
Figure 1: The Value Chain:

The word ‘margin’ IS USED for the difference between the total value and the cost of performing the value activities . Here, value is
referred to as the price that the customer is willing to pay for a certain offering . Other scholars have used the word ‘added value’ instead
of margin in order to describe the same . The analysis entails a thorough examination of how each part might contribute towards added
value in the company and how this may differ from the competition.
How to write a Good Value Chain Analysis
The ability of a company to understand its own capabilities and the needs of the customers is crucial for a competitive strategy to be
successful. The profitability of a firm depends to a large extent on how effectively it manages the various activities in the value chain,
such that the price that the customer is willing to pay for the company’s products and services exceeds the relative costs of the value
chain activities. It is important to bear in mind that while the value chain analysis may appear as simple in theory, it is quite time-
consuming in practice. The logic and validity of the proven technique of value chain analysis has been rigorously tested, therefore, it does
not require the user to have the same in-depth knowledge as the originator of the model . The first step in conducting the value chain
analysis is to break down the key activities of the company according to the activities entailed in the framework. The next step is to
assess the potential for adding value through the means of cost advantage or differentiation. Finally, it is imperative for the analyst to
determine strategies that focus on those activities that would enable the company to attain sustainable competitive advantage.
It is important for analysts to remember to use the value chain as a simple checklist to analyse each activity in the business with some
depth . The value chain should be analysed with the core competence of the company at its very heart . The value chain framework is a
handy tool for analysing the activities in which the firm can pursue its distinctive core competencies, in the form of a low cost strategy or
a differentiation strategy. It is to be noted that the value chain analysis, when used appropriately, makes the implementation of
competitive strategies more systematic overall. Analysts should use the value chain analysis to identify how each business activity
contributes to a particular competitive strategy. A company may benefit from cost advantages if it either reduces the cost of individual
activities in the value chain or the value chain is essentially reconfigured, through structural changes in the activities. One of the
problematic areas of the value chain model, however, is that the costs of the different activities of the value chain need to be attributed
to an activity. There are few costing systems that contain detailed activity level costing, unless an Activity Based Costing (ABC) system is
in place in the company. Another relevant area of concern that analysts must pay particular attention to is the customers’ view point of
value. The customers of the firm may view value in a generic way, thereby making the process of evaluating the activities in the value
chain in relation with the total price increasingly difficult. It is imperative for analysts to note that the overall differentiation advantage
may result from any activity in the value chain. A differentiation advantage may be achieved either by changing individual value chain
activities to increase uniqueness in the final product or service of the company, or by reconfiguring the company’s value chain.
The difference between a low cost strategy and differentiation in practice is unlike the rigidity that is provided regarding the same in
theory. Analysts must note that the difference between these two strategies is one of the shades of grey in real life compared to the
black and white that is offered in theory.
Note that in a company with more than one product area, it is appropriate to conduct the value chain analysis at the product group level,
and not at the corporate strategy level. It is crucial for companies to have the ability to control and make most of their capabilities. In the
advent of outsourcing, progressive companies are increasingly making their value chains more elastic and their organisations inherently
more flexible . The important question is to see how the companies are sourcing every activity in the value chain. A systematic analysis
of the value chain can facilitate effective outsourcing decisions. Therefore, it is important to have an in-depth understanding of the
company’s strengths and weaknesses in each activity in terms of cost and differentiation factors.

________________________________________
What Does Value Chain Analysis Entail?
In identifying opportunities for upgrading and the constraints to these opportunities, the analysis should focus on answering the following
questions:
What and where are the market opportunities? (End market analysis)
What upgrading is needed to exploit them? (End market and chain analysis)
Who will benefit from this upgrading? (Chain analysis)
Who has the resources, skills and incentives to drive upgrading? (Chain analysis)
Why has it not happened already? (Chain analysis)
What will it take to make it happen? (End market and chain analysis)

End Market Analysis


- goes beyond confirming the general existence of demand to understanding market trends, high-potential market segments,
benchmarking and market positioning. Research into market trends highlights where the industry is headed in the future in terms of
opportunities, problems and competition. Market segmentation identifies the segments of the larger market that offer the greatest
opportunity for a particular value chain, given its capacity. Within a market segment, benchmarking identifies and compares competitors
with one another against criteria important to buyers. Market positioning involves identifying the various positions of competitors in a
given market segment in terms of their competitiveness strategy (lower cost, better quality, etc.) and selecting a position that will
maximize competitive advantage. While secondary data can be important to understanding market trends, primary research with buyers
is critical to effective segmentation, benchmarking and positioning. Finally, good end-market analysis will include buyer contacts--the
names, addresses, contact information and specifications of buyers who have articulated a clear interest in purchasing the product or
service in question if certain conditions ARE MET.
Chain Analysis
-focuses on constraints to the opportunities identified in the end market analysis. The value chain framework defines the scope of the
chain analysis, serving as a checklist and organizing framework for the research. Chain analysis examines both structural and dynamic
factors affecting value chain competitiveness and the depth and breadth of benefits, including:
Structural factors
end markets
business enabling environment
vertical linkages
horizontal linkages
supporting markets
Dynamic factors
value chain governance
inter-firm relationships
upgrading
How to Conduct Value Chain Analysis
Value chain analysis is a process that requires four interconnected steps: data collection and research, value chain mapping, analysis of
opportunities and constraints, and vetting of findings with stakeholders and recommendations for future actions. These four steps are not
necessarily sequential and can be carried out simultaneously.
Briefly, the steps can be described as follows:
1. The value chain team collects data through primary and secondary sources by way of research and interviews.
2. The team compiles a value chain map, which helps to organize the data.
3. By using the value chain framework, the collected data is further organized and analyzed to reveal opportunities and constraints
within the chain.
4. The resulting analysis of opportunities and constraints is vetted with stakeholders and used to design a strategy for the value chain to
improve competitiveness and to agree on upgrading investments.
WE CONDUCT THE ‘’SWOT’’ ANALYSIS OF THE ELEMENTS OF THE ‘’VALUE CHAIN’’ FRAMEWORK.
THEN MATCH WITH THE CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS REQUIRED WITH THE FRAMEWORK AND THEN SELECT AND DEVELOP
THE STRATEGY FOR THE ORGANIZATIONAL FRAMEWORK.

THIS ANALYSIS PLUS THE DATA FROM THE ‘’SWOT’’


WOULD OFFER THE CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS FOR THE ORGANIZATION.
1. Provides information to support managerial functions like Planning, organizing, directing, controlling.
2. Collects information in a systematic and a routine manner which is in accordance with a well defined set of rules.
3. Includes files, hardware, software and operations research models of Processing, storing, retrieving and transmitting information to
the users.

OBJECTIVES OF MIS:-

An effective MIS has the following objectives


1. Facilitate the decision - making process by furnishing information in the proper time frame. This helps the decision - maker to select
the best course of action.
2. Provide requisite information at each level of management to carry out their functions.
3. Help in highlighting the critical factors to the closely monitored for successful functioning of the organization.
4. Support decision-making in both structured and unstructured problem environments.
5. Provide a system of people, computers, procedures, interactive query facilities, documents for collecting, sorting, retrieving and
transmitting information to the users.

CHARACTERISTICS OF MIS:-
Management Oriented
The system is designed from the top to work downwards. It does not mean that the system is designed to provide information directly to
the top management. Other levels of management are also provided with relevant information. For example, in the marketing
information system, the activities such as sales order processing, shipment of goods to customers and billing for the goods are basically
operational control activities. A salesman can also track this information, to know the sales territory, size of order, geography and
product line, provide the system has been designed accordingly. However, if the system is designed keeping in mind the top
management, then data on external competition, market and pricing can be created to know the market share of the company's product
and to serve as a basis of a new product or market place introduction.

Management Directed
Because of management orientation of MIS, it is necessary that management should actively direct the system development efforts. In
order to ensure the effectiveness of system designed, management should continuously make reviews.

Integrated
The world "integration" means that the system has to cover all the functional areas of an organization so as to produce more meaningful
management information, with a view to achieving the objectives of the organization. It has to consider various sub-system their
objectives, information needs, and recognize the interdependence, that these subsystem have amongst themselves, so that common
areas of information are identified and processed without repetition and overlapping

Common Data Flows


Because of the integration concept of MIS, common data flow concept avoids repetition and overlapping in data collection and storage
combining similar functions, and simplifying operations wherever possible.

Heavy Planning Element


A management information system cannot be established overnight. It takes almost 2 to 4 years to establish it successfully in an
organization. Hence, long-term planning is required for MIS development in order to fulfill the future needs and objectives of the
organization. The designer of an information system should therefore ensure that it will not become obsolete before it actually gets into
operation.

Flexibility and Ease Of Use


While building an MIS system all types of possible means, which may occur in future, are added to make it flexible. A feature that often
goes with flexibility is the ease of use. The MIS should be able to incorporate all those features that make it readily accessible to the wide
range of users with easy usability.

2. Explain strategic MIS categories in detail. Give illustrations for each category.

Answer: Strategic Information System - A Strategic Information System (SIS) is a system to manage information and assist in strategic
decision making. A strategic information system has been defined as, "The information system to support or change enterprise's
strategy."

A SIS is a type of Information System that is aligned with business strategy and structure.

The alignment increases the capability to respond faster to environmental changes and thus creates a competitive advantage. An early
example was the favorable position afforded American and United Airlines by their reservation systems, Sabre and Apollo. For many
years these two systems ensured that the two carriers' flights appeared on the first screens observed by travel agents, thus increasing
their bookings relative to competitors. A major source of controversy surrounding SIS is their sustainability.
SISs are different from other comparable systems as:

1. they change the way the firm competes.


2. they have an external (outward looking) focus.
3. they are associated with higher project risk.
4. they are innovative (and not easily copied).

It is mainly concerned with providing and organization and its members an assistance to perform the routine tasks efficiently and
effectively. One of the major issue before any organization is the challenge of meeting its goals and objectives. Strategic IS enable such
organization in realizing their goals. Strategic Information System (SIS) is a support to the existing system and helps in achieving a
competitive advantage over the organizations competitors in terms of its objectives. This unit deals with the critical aspects of the
strategic information system. This units indicates the theoretical concepts and the way in which the same are realized in practice. The
flow of the unit is in such a way that it starts with the development of contemporary theory about strategic uses of corporations' internal
information systems leading to systems which transcend the boundaries of particular organizations. The process whereby strategic
information systems are created or identified is then examined. A number of weaknesses in the existing body of theory are identified, and
suggestions made as to directions in which knowledge is or may be progressing. A strategic information system is concerned with
systems which contribute significantly to the achievement of an organization's overall objectives. The body of knowledge is of recent
origin and highly dynamic, and the area has an aura of excitement about it. The emergence of the key ideas, the process whereby
strategic information systems come into being is assessed, areas of weakness are identified, and directions of current and future
development suggested.

Information system is regarded as a tool to provide various services to different management functions. The tools have been developing
year by year and the application of the tool has become more and more diverse. In management it is now a very power means to
manage and control various activities and decision making process. The original idea of automating mechanical processes got quickly
succeeded by the rationalization and integration of systems. In both of these forms, IS was regarded primarily as an operational support
tool, and secondarily as a service to management. Subsequent to the development, it was during the last few years that an additional
potential was discovered. It was found that, in some cases, information technology (IT) had been critical to the implementation of an
organization's strategy.

An organization’s strategy supported by information system fulfilling its business objectives came to be known as Strategic Information
System. The strategic information system consists of functions that involved gathering, maintenance and analysis of data concerning
internal resources, and intelligence about competitors, suppliers, customers, government and other relevant organizations.
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Q4 > Types of Network Topologies


A network topology describes the configuration of a network and the physical and logical arrangement of the nodes that form the network. To know all about
the different types of network topologies, read on…

A topology describes the configuration of a communication network. The way in which the elements of a network are mapped or arranged is known as a
network topology. A topology describes the physical and the logical interconnection between the different nodes of a network. Network topologies are
classified as physical, logical and signal topologies. A physical topology describes the mapping of the network nodes and the physical connections between
them. Signal topology describes the paths, which the signals take while they pass over the network. The mapping of the paths taken by data as they travel
over the network is known as a logical topology. The terms, signal topology and logical topology are closely related. Let us see the different types of network
topologies in detail.

Types of Network Topologies

Bus Topology: In this type of network topology, all the nodes of a network are connected to a common transmission medium having two endpoints. All the
data that travels over the network is transmitted through a common transmission medium known as the bus or the backbone of the network. When the
transmission medium has exactly two endpoints, the network topology is known by the name, ‘linear bus topology'. In case the transmission medium, also
called as the network backbone, has more than two endpoints, the network is said to have a distributed bus topology. Bus topology is easy to handle and
implement and is best suited for small networks. But the downside of this topology is that the limited cable length limits the number of stations, thus limiting
the performance to a less number of nodes.

Ring Topology: In a ring topology, every node in the network is connected to two other nodes and the first and the last nodes are connected to each other.
The data that are transmitted over the network pass through each of the nodes in the ring until they reach the destination node. In a ring network, the data
and the signals that pass over the network travel in a single direction. The dual ring topology varies in having two connections between each of the network
nodes. The data flow along two directions in the two rings formed thereby. The ring topology does not require a central server to manage connectivity
between the nodes and facilitates an orderly network operation. But, the failure of a single station in the network can render the entire network inoperable.
Changes and moves in the stations forming the network affect the network operation.

Mesh Topology: In a full mesh network, each network node is connected to every other node in the network. Due to this arrangement of nodes, it becomes
possible for a simultaneous transmission of signals from one node to several other nodes. In a partially connected mesh network, only some of the network
nodes are connected to more than one node. This is beneficial over a fully connected mesh in terms of redundancy caused by the point-to-point links
between all the nodes. The nodes of a mesh network require possessing some kind of routing logic so that the signals and the data traveling over the network
take the shortest path during each of the transmissions.

Star Topology: In this type of network topology, each node of the network is connected to a central node, which is known as a hub. The data that is
transmitted between the network nodes passes across the central hub. A distributed star is formed by the interconnection of two or more individual star
networks. The centralized nature of a star network provides a certain amount of simplicity while also achieving isolation of each device in the network.
However, the disadvantage of a star topology is that the network transmission is largely dependent on the central hub. The failure of the central hub results in
total network inoperability.

Tree Topology: It is also known as a hierarchical topology and has a central root node that is connected to one or more nodes of a lower hierarchy. In a
symmetrical hierarchy, each node in the network has a specific fixed number of nodes connected to those at a lower level.

Apart from these basic types of network topologies, there are hybrid network topologies, which are composed of a combination of two or more basic
topologies. These network mappings aim at harnessing the advantages of each of the basic topologies used in them. Network topologies are the physical
arrangements of network nodes and wires. What is interesting is that the inanimate nodes and wires turn 'live' for the transmission of information!

NETWORK TOPOLOGIES
TOPOLOGY – defines the structure of the network. There are two parts to the topology definition: the physical topology which is the actual layout of the wire
(media) and the logical topology which defines how the media is accessed by the hosts. It refers also to how computers are being connected with each other.
The types of topologies:
1. BUS topology – uses a single backbone segment (length of cable) that all the hosts connect to directly. The idea is that is just like riding a bus. It has only
one driver and many passengers who are riding.
2. RING topology – connects one host to the next and the last host to the first. This creates a physical ring of cable.
3. STAR topology – connects all cables to a central point of concentration. This point is usually a hub or switch. It has a focal point where all the resources
are there.
4. EXTENDED STAR topology – uses the star topology to be created. It links individual stars together by linking the hubs/ switches. This will extend the
length of the network
5. HIERARCHICAL topology - is created similar to an extended star but instead of linking the hubs/ switches together, the system is linked to a computer that
controls the traffic on the topology
6. MESH topology – is used when there can be absolutely no break in communications. So as you can see in the graphic, each host has its connections to all
other hosts. This also reflects the design of the internet which has multiple paths to any one location
HOSTS – devices that connect directly to a network segment. These hosts include computers, both clients and servers, printers, scanners and many other
devices. These devices provide the users with connection to the network, with which the users share, create and obtain information.
Network Interface Card (NIC) – is a printed circuit board that fits into the expansion slot of a bus on a computer’s motherboard or peripheral device. It is
considered to be found in Layer 2 devices because each individual NIC throughout the world carries a unique code, called the Media Access Control (MAC)
address.
You can build computer networks with many different media types. Each media has advantages and disadvantages. What is an advantage for one media
(category 5 cost) might be a disadvantage for another (fiber optic cost). Some of the advantages and disadvantages are:
• Cost
• Ease of installation
• Cable length
REPEATER - is an electronic device that receives a signal and retransmits it at a higher level and/or higher power, or onto the other side of an obstruction, so
that the signal can cover longer distances. It is used when the type of cable (CAT5 UTP) is long. CAT5 UTP has a maximum length of 100 meters
(approximately 333 feet). The purpose of a repeater is regenerate and retimes network signals at the bit level to allow them to travel a longer distance on the
media.
HUB - is a device for connecting multiple twisted pair or fiber optic Ethernet devices together and thus making them act as a single network segment.
There are different classifications of hubs in networking:
1. The first classification is active or passive. Most modern hubs are active; they take energy from a power supply to regenerate network signals. Some hubs
are passive devices because they merely split signal for multiple users, like using a “Y” cord on a CD player to use more than one set of headphones.
2. Another classification of hubs is intelligent or dumb. Intelligent hubs have console ports, which mean they can be programmed to manage traffic in the
network. Dumb hubs simply take an incoming networking signal and repeat it to every port without the ability to do any management.
BRIDGE – refers to a device which has just two parts. It filters the frames and how this is actually accomplished.
SWITCH – is to concentrate connectivity, while making data transmission more efficient. A device that is able to combine the connectivity of a hub with the
traffic regulation of a bridge on each port.
ROUTER – the first device that you will work with that us at the OSI’s network layer, or other known as Layer 3. The purpose of a router is to examine
incoming packets, choose the best path for them in a network and then switch them to the proper outgoing port

Q6

Viruses, worms and Trojan Horses are all malicious programs that can cause damage to your computer, but there are differences among the three.
One common mistake that people make when the topic of a computer virus arises is to refer to a worm or Trojan horse as a virus. While the words Trojan,
worm and virus are often used interchangeably, they are not exactly the same thing. Viruses, worms and Trojan Horses are all malicious programs that can
cause damage to your computer, but there are differences among the three, and knowing those differences can help you better protect your computer from
their often damaging effects.
What Is a Virus?
A computer virus attaches itself to a program or file enabling it to spread from one computer to another, leaving infections as it travels. Like a human virus, a
computer virus can range in severity: some may cause only mildly annoying effects while others can damage your hardware, software or files. Almost all
viruses are attached to an executable file, which means the virus may exist on your computer but it actually cannot infect your computer unless you run or
open the malicious program. It is important to note that a virus cannot be spread without a human action, (such as running an infected program) to keep it
going. Because a virus is spread by human action people will unknowingly continue the spread of a computer virus by sharing infecting files or sending emails
with viruses as attachments in the email.
What Is a Worm?
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A worm is similar to a virus by design and is considered to be a sub-class of a virus. Worms spread from computer to computer, but unlike a virus, it has the
capability to travel without any human action. A worm takes advantage of file or information transport features on your system, which is what allows it to travel
unaided.
The biggest danger with a worm is its capability to replicate itself on your system, so rather than your computer sending out a single worm, it could send out
hundreds or thousands of copies of itself, creating a huge devastating effect. One example would be for a worm to send a copy of itself to everyone listed in
your e-mail address book. Then, the worm replicates and sends itself out to everyone listed in each of the receiver's address book, and the manifest
continues on down the line.
Due to the copying nature of a worm and its capability to travel across networks the end result in most cases is that the worm consumes too much system
memory (or network bandwidth), causing Web servers, network servers and individual computers to stop responding. In recent worm attacks such as the
much-talked-about Blaster Worm, the worm has been designed to tunnel into your system and allow malicious users to control your computer remotely.
What Is a Trojan horse?
A Trojan Horse is full of as much trickery as the mythological Trojan Horse it was named after. The Trojan Horse, at first glance will appear to be useful
software but will actually do damage once installed or run on your computer. Those on the receiving end of a Trojan Horse are usually tricked into opening
them because they appear to be receiving legitimate software or files from a legitimate source. When a Trojan is activated on your computer, the results can
vary. Some Trojans are designed to be more annoying than malicious (like changing your desktop, adding silly active desktop icons) or they can cause
serious damage by deleting files and destroying information on your system. Trojans are also known to create a backdoor on your computer that gives
malicious users access to your system, possibly allowing confidential or personal information to be compromised. Unlike viruses and worms, Trojans do not
reproduce by infecting other files nor do they self-replicate.
What Are Blended Threats?
Added into the mix, we also have what is called a blended threat. A blended threat is a more sophisticated attack that bundles some of the worst aspects of
viruses, worms, Trojan horses and malicious code into one single threat. Blended threats can use server and Internet vulnerabilities to initiate, then transmit
and also spread an attack. Characteristics of blended threats are that they cause harm to the infected system or network, they propagates using multiple
methods, the attack can come from multiple points, and blended threats also exploit vulnerabilities.
To be considered a blended thread, the attack would normally serve to transport multiple attacks in one payload. For example it wouldn't just launch a DoS
attack — it would also, for example, install a backdoor and maybe even damage a local system in one shot. Additionally, blended threats are designed to use
multiple modes of transport. So, while a worm may travel and spread through e-mail, a single blended threat could use multiple routes including e-mail, IRC
and file-sharing sharing networks.
Lastly, rather than a specific attack on predetermined .exe files, a blended thread could do multiple malicious acts, like modify your exe files, HTML files and
registry keys at the same time — basically it can cause damage within several areas of your network at one time.
Blended threats are considered to be the worst risk to security since the inception of viruses, as most blended threats also require no human intervention to
propagate.
Tips to Combat Viruses, Worms and Trojan Horses on Your Computer
Keep The Operating System Updated
The first step in protecting your computer from any malicious there is to ensure that your operating system (OS) is up-to-date. This is essential if you are
running a Microsoft Windows OS. Secondly, you need to have anti-virus software installed on your system and ensure you download updates frequently to
ensure your software has the latest fixes for new viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. Additionally, you want to make sure your anti-virus program has the
capability to scan e-mail and files as they are downloaded from the Internet, and you also need to run full disk scans periodically. This will help prevent
malicious programs from even reaching your computer.
Use a Firewall
You should also install a firewall. A firewall is a system that prevents unauthorized use and access to your computer. A firewall can be either hardware or
software. Hardware firewalls provide a strong degree of protection from most forms of attack coming from the outside world and can be purchased as a
stand-alone product or in broadband routers. Unfortunately, when battling viruses, worms and Trojans, a hardware firewall may be less effective than a
software firewall, as it could possibly ignore embedded worms in out going e-mails and see this as regular network traffic.
For individual home users, the most popular firewall choice is a software firewall. A good software firewall will protect your computer from outside attempts to
control or gain access your computer, and usually provides additional protection against the most common Trojan programs or e-mail worms. The downside
to software firewalls is that they will only protect the computer they are installed on, not a network.
It is important to remember that on its own a firewall is not going to rid you of your computer virus problems, but when used in conjunction with regular
operating system updates and a good anti-virus scanning software, it will add some extra security and protection for your computer or network.

Key Terms To Understanding Computer Viruses:


 virus: A program or piece of code that is loaded onto your computer without your knowledge and runs against your wishes.
 Trojan Horse: A destructive program that masquerades as a benign application. Unlike viruses, Trojan horses do not replicate themselves
 worm: A program or algorithm that replicates itself over a computer network and usually performs malicious actions
 blended threat: Blended threats combine the characteristics of viruses, worms, Trojan Horses, and malicious code with server and Internet
vulnerabilities .
 antivirus program: A utility that searches a hard disk for viruses and removes any that are found.

It a common mistake for people to refer to a worm or Trojan horse as a computer virus. While the words Trojan, worm and virus are
often used interchangeably, they are not exactly the same. Even though they are all malicious programs that can cause damage to your
computer, but there are differences among the three, and knowing those differences can help you to better protect your computer from
their often damaging effects.

What Is a Virus?

A virus attaches itself to a program or file enabling it to spread from one computer to another, leaving infections as it travels. Like a
human virus, a computer virus can range in severity: some may cause only mildly annoying effects while others can damage your
hardware, software or files.
Almost all viruses are attached to an executable file, which means the virus may exist on your computer but it actually cannot infect your
computer unless you run or open the malicious program. It is important to note that a virus cannot be spread without a human action,
(such as running an infected program) to keep it going.
People continue the spread of a computer virus, mostly unknowingly, by sharing infecting files or sending e-mails with viruses as
attachments in the e-mail.

What Is a Worm?

Although similar to a virus by design and is considered to be a sub-class of a virus. Worms spread from computer to computer, but unlike
a virus, it has the capability to travel without any human action. A worm takes advantage of file or information transport features on your
system, which is what allows it to travel unaided.
One of the biggest danger with a worm is that, its has capability to replicate itself on your system, so rather than your computer sending
out a single worm, it could send out hundreds or thousands of copies of itself, creating a huge devastating effect. One example would be
for a worm to send a copy of itself to everyone listed in your e-mail address book. Then, the worm replicates and sends itself out to
everyone listed in each of the receiver's address book, and the manifest continues on down the line.
Due to the copying nature of a worm and its capability to travel across networks the end result in most cases is that the worm consumes
too much system memory (or network bandwidth), causing Web servers, network servers and individual computers to stop responding.
In recent worm attacks such as the much-talked-about Blaster Worm, the worm has been designed to tunnel into your system and allow
malicious users to control your computer remotely.

What Is a Trojan horse?

Lastly, Trojan Horse is full of as much trickery as the mythological Trojan Horse it was named after. The Trojan Horse, at first glance will
appear to be useful software but will actually do damage once installed or run on your computer. Those on the receiving end of a Trojan
Horse are usually tricked into opening them because they appear to be receiving legitimate software or files from a legitimate source.
When a Trojan is activated on your computer, the results can vary. Some Trojans are designed to be more annoying than malicious (like
changing your desktop, adding silly active desktop icons) or they can cause serious damage by deleting files and destroying information
on your system. Trojans are also known to create a backdoor on your computer that gives malicious users access to your system,
possibly allowing confidential or personal information to be compromised. Unlike viruses and worms, Trojans do not reproduce by
infecting other files nor do they self-replicate.