Quality derived from IS System Components

7 Feb

“An information system would be of high quality the more it yields relevant data, in the most accessible form to its customers with minimal effort.”(Dedeke, A. 2000)

Defining a framework for assessing quality involves recognising what information system quality means to the organisation and then identifying these qualities. The qualities of the system are identified by initially establishing the components of the IS system. I briefly outlined in my previous blog “A Guide to developing a Framework”, the main challenges in developing a framework. Basic steps need to be put in place when constructing the framework:

Framework Steps

The components of an IS system are not set but depend on generic resources which include; people,  data, interface, soft-/hardware and networks.

People Component: Include end user and IS specialists. The end users are the people who use the IS. An IS specialist on the other hand are the people who develop and operate the information system.

Data Component: Database that holds processed organised data and knowledge bases that hold knowledge in a variety of forms. Data resources are transformed by information processing activities into a variety of information products for end users. Information processing consists of inputs, processing, output, storage and control activities. The data is stored in a data warehouse which can be readily accessible to potential new end users.

Interface Component: Includes the design aspect of the IS system coming from the end users perspective. May include the graphical user interface (GUI).

Hardware/Software Component: Hardware of an information system includes all physical devices and materials used in information processing. Not only does this include computer systems and computer peripherals but also data media that consists of all tangible objects on which data is recorded. Software resources includes all sets of information processing instructions (programs) that directly controls computer hardware and sets of information instructions needed by people(Programmes). Software components can be broken down into System software, Application Software and Procedures assisting the end user of the system.

Network Component: Includes communications media and network support. Used to connect network computer systems and transmit information via wired or wireless media.

Quality categories are derived from the associations between each component forming the architecture. Once the different quality categories of the proposed IS system have been identified a hierarchical framework for IS quality can be proposed. Each quality category gives rise to its own subcategory dimensions. The dimensions are specific to the umbrella quality category to which it correlates. A basic hierarchical framework that represents the quality categories with its correlating dimensions can be depicted as the following:

Quality hierarchy

Adapted from (Dedeke, A. 2000) and (Lau, F. 1999). A hierarchical framework with a top-down view of the qualities that are derived from the associations between the components of the IS system.


Dedeke, A (2000). A Conceptual Framework for Developing Quality Measure for Information Systems.

Lau, F. (1999). Towards a Framework for Action Research in Information Systems Studies. Information, Technology, & People, 12(2), 148-172.

Components of an Information System. MBA Knowledge Base, www.mbaknol.com.

Components of Information Systems. Britannica Academic Edition, www.britannica.com.

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