QS Study

An information system can be defined as a set of a coordinated network of components. which act together towards producing, distributing and or processing information. An important characteristic of computer-based information systems information is precision, which may not apply to other types. So, the purpose of an information system is to turn raw data into useful information that can be used for decision making in an organization.

Parallel conversion strategies of Information System

The following describes a brief summary of Parallel conversion method in the context of the Spice Hotel database solution –

Parallel conversion involves running both the current and the new system together for some period of time. At some pre-determined time, the current system is decommissioned entirely and all users and participants interact solely with the new system.

In the context of the Spice Hotel database solution; this will involve running the electronic database alongside the current paper-based system. Information look-ups can be performed electronically on the proviso that the data entry is performed both electronically on the new system and via the current paper-based system.

The advantage of this conversion method is that there exists some element of redundancy should the new system fall short of user/participant expectation or there is some catastrophic system failure with the new solution. The switch to the new system will occur at a time when EVERYONE is confident that the new system will perform the tasks it was originally intended for.

However, this conversion method is not without its disadvantages. First of all, there is the financial burden of running two systems concurrently. Secondly, there is double-handling of data and associated operations. Look-ups may be performed electronically, but data entry must be performed on both the current and the new system, which alludes to the third disadvantage, which is potential for data entry errors to occur as participants are entering in data electronically or copying data from the current paper-based system to the new electronic system. The users and participants would need to be very well trained in order to minimize such errors. Going from a paper-based system to an electronic system is a significant step; hence the learning curve would also be as great. Once again, in light of the fact that the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages, the recommendation would be NOT to employ a parallel conversion method when implementing the Spice Hotel database system.