Saturday, January 19, 2013

Feasibility Study

When determining the feasibility of a software product, we take into account such system elements as hardware, software, and people. Discuss some other elements that need to be taken into account in a computer-based systems. 

Computer-Based Systems Essential Elements

There are six basic components of a computer-based system. These are the hardware, software, people used to run the system, the data that is the heart of the system and the procedures that run the system. The final component is communication.
Hardware is the physical component of a computer system. This includes the hard drive, motherboard, the additional drives and the components that actually make the system run. Software is the instructions given to a computer- based information system that tells the hardware how to perform.

People are required to operate the system, create and use the software, choose how to apply the software and physically develop the computer based system. Without people there would be no need for a computer-based system.
Data is the reason for the software and hardware configurations. Data can be read, understood, imputed and retrieved by the user of the computer based system. Information that is produced in report forms, tables and or summaries is the data lifeblood of a computer based system. Data is not to be confused with knowledge; it is simply the information.

Procedures in a computer-based information system are the ways in which the tasks are accomplished. User manuals and documentation materials make it possible for the system to run, the data to be explored, and the reports to be produced.
Communication is the connectivity. When a computer-based information system is setup it is designed to share data and information in one form or another. This is the basis network of a computer based system (Blurtit, 2012).

One example of a software computer- based system is the information structure for public health. In this system, the main basis is data. Computer-based medical systems include the systematic collection, analysis, consolidation plus the dissemination of data or information. 
This information is given to those who have a need. Data is vital to diagnose, and create medical and therapy plans for patients. The steps for data collection and retrieval include case notification and detections, collection and consolidation of patient data, investigation and confirmation. Additionally those people who use computer-based medical systems need data to analyze, report, provide feedback and give conclusions.

Procedures are the instructions and policies that govern the operation of a computer-based system. According to blurtit.com the best definition of procedures states, “Procedures are to people what software is to hardware.” Procedures are directions on how an end-user actually uses the system.

Procedures and processes are also important safety management strategies used to cope with normal and abnormal situations (Lee, 2012). Procedures are the instructions that are used to guide, monitor, and provide operations for a computer-based system. As elementary as it may seem, procedures must be written down and documented. These instructions should include the simplest function of turning on the computer itself to following software instructions to saving and closing (Blurtit, 2012).

Without all the six integral elements of a computer based system, nothing would work. You need hardware and software to run the hardware. People are essential to manage and run the software and organize the hardware.  Data input and retrieval is the reason to use a computer-based system.  Procedures are needed to provide instructions to operate the hardware and software. Communications between people is the reason for a computer-based system. 

References:
Blurtit.com. (2012) Elements of computer based information system? [Online] Available at: http://www.blurtit.com/q2805372.html [Accessed 19 January 2013].

Lee, Ying-Lien. (2005) International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, [Online] 63 (6) 587-606 Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/10715819 [Accessed 18 January 2013].

World Health Organization. (1998) Global Program for Vaccines and Immunization Expanded Program on Immunization. [Online] Available at: http://www2.inbox.com/search/results.aspx?tp=pts&src=pts&tbid=80311&q=complete+computer+based+system+elements [Accessed 18 January 2013].


These are articles from my masters in software engineering classes.
Elad Shalom,
CTO at ITweetLive.com

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