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Information Systems by Efrem G. Mallach

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xxi
Introduction:
WhyThisBook Matters
S
   “W bother learning about information systems?” Since youre
about to spend a good deal of time doing that, you deserve an answer.
You dont need to be convinced that information systems matter to businesses. You
know that. You register for classes online. You may have bought this book from Amazon
or downloaded an electronic version, or perhaps youre reading it on a website. You prob-
ably buy music online and listen to it on an MP3 player (which may also be your phone,
your camera, or both.) Your fancier camera probably didn’t come with a full manual, but
you can download one. When you y to Mexico over winter break, you buy plane tickets at
aa.com and get an e-mail or a text message if the ight schedule changes. ese revolution-
ize how old types of organizations work and make new types of businesses possible. None
of that is news.
Youve also used personal computers for years. Word processing beats a typewriter for
term papers. Without spreadsheets, you could never have survived introductory accounting.
You keep up with your friends on Facebook or Google+, get the news from cnn.com and the
weather from weather.com, laugh and cry with YouTube, and check rottentomato.com if
youre unsure about a new movie. You know how to download or install apps, and you know
how to use them. Isnt that what youll do on the job? Why do you need a course for that?
Saying “I just have to use the apps my employer gives me” may let you survive at work,
barely, but youll soon be outclassed by people who can go further and deeper into infor-
mation systems. You’d be like a boxer entering the ring with one hand behind his back.
He might prevail if he’s suciently larger, stronger, or more skilled than his opponent, but
that hardly ever happens. Boxers dont take that risk. You shouldn’t either. e people you
compete with for raises and promotions, and the companies your employer competes with
for business, wont be stupid or incompetent. You need every edge you can get.
Having the right information systems is vital to business success. Only people with the
vision and insight to know what the right systems are will have those systems. Only people
who understand how databases work can imagine new uses for the data in them. Only
people who understand how information systems are developed can work eectively with
their developers to ensure that new systems meet their needs. Only people who understand
how organizations use information systems can take the lead in jobs that are beyond the

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