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Classifications of System

From previous section we have a firm knowledge of various system components and its characteristics. There are various types of system. To have a good understanding of these systems, these can be categorized in many ways. Some of the categories are open or closed, physical or abstract and natural or man made information systems, which are explained next.

Classification of systems can be done in many ways.

Physical or Abstract System

Physical systems are tangible entities that we can feel and touch. These may be static or dynamic in nature. For example, take a computer center. Desks and chairs are the static parts, which assist in the working of the center. Static parts don't change. The dynamic systems are constantly changing. Computer systems are dynamic system. Programs, data, and applications can change according to the user's needs.

Abstract systems are conceptual. These are not physical entities. They may be formulas, representation or model of a real system.

Open Closed System

Systems interact with their environment to achieve their targets. Things that are not part of the system are environmental elements for the system. Depending upon the interaction with the environment, systems can be divided into two categories, open and closed.

Open systems: Systems that interact with their environment. Practically most of the systems are open systems. An open system has many interfaces with its environment. It can also adapt to changing environmental conditions. It can receive inputs from, and delivers output to the outside of system. An information system is an example of this category.

Closed systems:Systems that don't interact with their environment. Closed systems exist in concept only.

Man made Information System

The main purpose of information systems is to manage data for a particular organization. Maintaining files, producing information and reports are few functions. An information system produces customized information depending upon the needs of the organization. These are usually formal, informal, and computer based.

Formal Information Systems: It deals with the flow of information from top management to lower management. Information flows in the form of memos, instructions, etc. But feedback can be given from lower authorities to top management.

Informal Information systems: Informal systems are employee based. These are made to solve the day to day work related problems. Computer-Based Information Systems: This class of systems depends on the use of computer for managing business applications. These systems are discussed in detail in the next section.

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