In this chapter, you have been introduced to the concept of information systems. We have reviewed several definitions, focusing on information systems components: technology (hardware, software, data, networking communication), people, and process. We have reviewed the evolution of the technology and how the business use of information systems has evolved over the years, from the use of large mainframe computers for number crunching, through the introduction of the PC and networks for business applications, all the way to the era of mobile computing for both business and personal applications. During each of these phases, innovations in technology allowed businesses and individuals to integrate technology more deeply.
It is a foregone conclusion that almost all, if not all, companies are using information systems. Yet, history also has shown us that some companies are very successful and some are failures. By the time you complete this book, you should understand the important role of IS in helping improve efficiencies and know-how to leverage IS to develop sustained competitive advantages for every company or your own career.