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Friday, April 11, 2014


Information Systems Life Cycle can be divided into three broad categories. 

Systems Analysis is the analysis of the problem that the organization will try to solve with an information system. It consists of defining the problem, identifying its causes, specifying the solution, and identifying the information requirements that must be met by a system solution.  

The key to building any large information system is a thorough understanding of the existing organization and system. Thus, the systems analyst creates a road map of the existing organization and systems, identifying the primary owners and users of data in the organization. These stakeholders have a direct interest in the information affected by the new system. In addition to these organizational aspects, the analyst also briefly describes the existing hardware and software that serve the organization. I Need Money Now tips on how to make money fast  

From this organizational analysis, the systems analyst details the problems of existing systems. By examining documents, work papers, and procedures; observing system operations; and interviewing key users of the systems, the analyst can identify the problem are and objectives to be achieved by a solution. Often the solution requires buildings a new information system or improving an existing one.


In addition to suggesting a solution, systems analysis involves a feasibility study to determine whether that solution is feasible, or achievable, given the organization’s resources and constraints. Three major areas of feasibility must be addressed:

Technical Feasibility: Whether the proposed solution can be implemented with the available hardware, software, and technical resources.

Economic Feasibility: Whether the benefits of the proposed solution outweigh the costs.

Organizational Feasibility: Whether the proposed solution is desirable within the existing managerial and organizational framework.

Normally the systems analysis process will identify several alternative solutions that can be pursued by the organization. The process will then assess the feasibility of each. Three basic solution alternatives exist for every systems problem: 

1. To do nothing, leaving the existing situation unchanged
2. To do modify or enhance existing systems
3. To develop a new system

There may be several solution design options within the second and third solution alternatives. A written systems proposal report will describe the costs and benefits, advantages and disadvantages of each alternative. It is then up to management to determine which mix of costs, benefits, technical features, and organization impacts represents the most desirable alternative. 

Establishing Information Requirements

Perhaps the most difficult task of the systems analyst is to define the specific information requirements that must be met by the system solution selected. This is the area where many large system efforts go wrong and the one that poses the greater difficulty for the analyst. At the most basic level, the information requirements of a new system involve identifying who needs what information, where, when, and how. Requirements analysis carefully defines the objectives of the new or modified system and develops a detailed description of the functions that the new system must perform. Requirements must consider economic, technical, and time constraints, as well as the goals, procedures, and decision processes of the organization. Faulty requirements analysis is a leading cause of systems failure and high systems development costs. A system designed around the wrong set of requirements either will have to be discarded because of poor performance or will need to be heavily revised. Therefore, the importance of requirements analysis must not be underestimated. 

Developing requirements specifications may involve considerable research and revision. A business function may be very complex or poorly defined. A manual system or routine set of inputs and outputs may not exist. Procedures may vary from individual to individual. Such situations will be more difficult to analyze, especially if the users are unsure of what they want or need (this problem is extremely common). To derive information systems requirements, analysts may be forced to work and re-work requirements statements in cooperation with users. Although this process is laborious, it is far superior to and less costly than redoing and undoing an entire system. There are also alternative approaches to eliciting requirements that help minimize these problems. 

In many instances, business procedures are unclear or users disagree about how things are done and should be done. Systems analysis often makes an unintended contribution to the organization by clarifying procedures and building organizational consensus about how things should be done. In many instances, building a new system creates an opportunity to redefine how the organization conducts its daily business. 

Some problems do not require an information system solution, but instead need an adjustment in management, additional training, or refinement of existing organizational procedures. If the problem is information-related, systems analysis may still be required to diagnose the problem and arrive at the proper solution.


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