WorkflowWorkflow is a class of software that orchestrates processes that include both automation and human work.
Process AutomationA category of systems that are used to automate business processes. For example, an event processing platform for automating responses to events such as a customer inquiry or an error in a log.
Service AutomationAn approach to automation that packages work into automated or semi-automated services. For example, a service that can be used to generate customer bills.
AnalyticsPlatforms for exploring data and building dashboards with an intuitive visual interface.
Data ScienceA broad and diverse category of software for managing data, discovering data and performing statistical analysis.
DatabasesDatabases including those that can handle big data.
Machine LearningMachine learning, also known as artificial intelligence, is a class of software for automatically discovering and optimizing models that can be used to make decisions and perform work.
CommunicationCommunication software such as email or a voice-over-ip telephone service for an office.
CollaborationTools for working with others remotely such as video conferencing, virtual workspaces and document sharing environments.
Office ProductivityTools that knowledge workers use to create and share documents.
Project ManagementSoftware for managing projects.
MediaTools for producing or managing media. For example, a video editing suite.
Content ManagementPlatforms for publishing and managing content and documents including internal and customer facing websites.
Self-ServiceSelf-service functionality that allows customers, partners and employees to accomplish their goals without any help. For example, an ecommerce page that allows a customer to cancel an order without going through a customer service representative.
Content Delivery NetworkContent delivery networks, or CDNs, are platforms for delivering content from a data center close to each user to reduce latency.
Edge ComputingEdge computing are platforms for executing code close to the where it is needed. This reduces latency and can be an efficient and resilient way to distribute work.
SearchTools for searching documents, media and data.
Knowledge ManagementSoftware for publishing, controlling, using and sharing knowledge, particularly documents.
InfrastructureInfrastructure is a catch-all term for systems and hardware upon which all other systems depend such as a cloud platform or database.
IoTInternet of things is the practice of connecting physical things and infrastructure to internet services. For example, a solar panel firm that manages a large number of systems remotely such that they can detect when a panel needs to be replaced.
RoboticsSystems that automate physical work using autonomous or semi-autonomous machines.
IntegrationSystems that get things working together at the level of processes, events or data. For example, an ETL that is used to move data between systems.
Batch ProcessingPlatforms for scheduling and executing regular automated jobs.
Transaction ProcessingSystems that execute transactions such as a purchase, stock trade or payment.
Point of SaleSystems for processing sales and customer service interactions from a store or other physical location.
Contact CenterSoftware for processing customer interactions remotely using channels such as ecommerce, telephone, messaging and email.
PaymentsServices for transacting payments.
eCommerceOnline stores and ecommerce platforms.
eLearningRemote learning services and tools.
ERPEnterprise resource planning is a class of very large packages of business software that try to offer everything that organizations in various industries need in one gigantic but unified package.
CRM & SFACustomer relationship management and sales force automation are very large information systems that try to offer everything that businesses need to manage sales and customer service processes.
Marketing AutomationMarketing automation is a broad category of systems for marketing. This includes software that is focused on digital advertising and comprehensive platforms for marketing processes.
Horizontal SoftwareBusiness software for a particular functional area such as a human resources or accounting platform.
Vertical SoftwareSystems for a particular industry such as software for managing an electric grid.
Consumer SoftwareIt is increasingly common for large organizations to rely on the same devices, applications and mobile apps as consumers. This process is known as consumerization.
Legacy SystemsSystems that are outdated such that they have a high risk of failure and are expensive to support. Firms often find it difficult to retire legacy systems and may continue to operate them alongside newer systems.
DevOpsPlatforms for delivering IT services such as a tool for managing the software development lifecycle.
Service DeskSoftware for managing requests to a service. Mostly used to manage IT services and systems.
ResilienceTools related to the resilience of an organization in areas such as business continuity, disaster recovery and backup & restore.
Information SecuritySystems related to information security such as an identity and access management service.
Four Level ModelThe four level model is an architectural concept taught in universities that structures information systems into four layers that correspond to the needs of workers, direct managers, senior managers and executives. This an outdated model that implies that organizations do nothing but execute transactions and look at reports. Real world systems are more diverse than this model would suggest. For example, systems for creating knowledge, executing processes and automating real world things go far beyond "transaction processing."
System vs ApplicationGenerally speaking, the term system is applied to software that is primarily used for automation. Systems may have user interfaces but this isn't their primary function or value. Applications are tools that are centered around a user interface and servicing requests from users. Confusingly, the term information systems is commonly used to describe enterprise software including both systems and applications.
SummaryThe following are common types of information system:
OverviewInformation systems can have user interfaces but also do work in a non-interactive mode to do things like build reports or execute transactions.
|Definition: Information Systems|
A class of software used by governments, businesses, non-profits and other organizations.