Systems Development Life cycle

Traditionally, the development of new information systems has followed a process known as the systems development life cycle. This comprises a series of stages that are used in the development of most medium and large size information systems. Typically, systems development is carried out by a project team consisting of managers, users, systems analysts, programmers, and other technical personnel needed for the success of the project.

The systems life cycle has three distinct stages: definition, physical design and implementation. The definition stage is aimed at evaluating the proposed idea and defining system parameters. The physical design stage carries the project from concept to reality. This stage includes developing a systems design, carrying out the necessary programming and debugging, and planning the implementation. At the end of this stage, the system exists physically and awaits implementation the system evaluating its effectiveness, and maintaining its effective operation.

Applications Software packages:

Applications software packages are software programs available for sale or lease from commercial sources. For applications like payroll, inventory control, accounts receivables and graphics, a number of software packages are available from various software companies. These packages are created to handle the specialized areas that are required by large organizations.

User Development Systems:

User development systems are created with little or no help from information system professionals. The end users develop the management information systems themselves. This trend towards end user computing is increasingly becoming popular. The falling prices of computer hardware and the availability of applications software and other user friendly tools makes it more feasible for users to develop their own systems.

Artificial Intelligence:

Technology aimed at developing computers with capabilities like seeing, hearing and thinking.

The trends in computers and information systems predict systems with faster processing speed and greater storage capacity. Software is and will continue to be the most important resource in any system. Many expert systems are being designed to capture the knowledge and thought of experts in various fields through artificial intelligence. In future also more practical expert systems will help managers and employees perform their jobs more effectively.

The New Revolution:

Prepare yourself to plug into the world. The next information technology revolution which will make the office of the future look and work very differently is coming soon to a desk top near you: that is personal computer. With India Inc. fully connected to the global state-of-the-art infotech the workplace is finally ripe for transformation. Three elements will power this fourth revolution. New generation hardware which will allow the convergence of the PC and other office automation products, New generation software, which will allow information to be processed in ways unimaginable until now. And connectivity, which will permit messages, data, and images to be zapped across the globe without any loss of quality.

Fortunately, all three will soon be available here and abroad almost simultaneously. For instance, cutting-edge tools that managers in the US can come across today like PCs built around Intel’s Pentium Chip, the power PC from the IBM, Apple, Motorola triad, or Silicon Graphics’ multimedia work stations are already at the disposal of Indian managers too. Software stars like Microsoft. Lotus, and Novell now launch their new packages here even as they debut elsewhere. Besides, the digital glue that is binding hardware and software in workplaces around the world networking is increasingly being used here. Like their global counter parts a growing number of firms are networking their offices manufacturing sites, and marketing outposts.

One telling statistic: as many as 21,500 LAN servers were sold in 1994, which was 84 percent more than previous year. The nerve center around which networked systems revolve booming server sakes indicate the extent to which corporates are getting their computers to talk to one another rather than using them as stand alone number crunchers. And with the opening of high speed, satellite linked information highways like the National Informatics Center’s NICNET – these conversations can now take place across the country. Even electronic mail services with global access are now available which allows Indian managers to connect instantly with the rest of the world.

Harnessing the forces of this revolution is not, however, a question of how adeptly you use the hardware and the software on which it will ride. Corporate India’s infotech spending will rise by 33 percent in 1994 over 1993, but it has not been exposed to computer usage for as long or as intensely as its other Asian counterparts. Joining up on a high point on the infotech curve, Indian firms have no option but to learn quickly. Remember networking will unleash a tidal wave of data which if harnessed can offer an edge over the competition. But it will also demolish many traditional work processes.