An information system is an interconnected set of tools, methods, and personnel used to store, process, and deliver information to achieve the management goal. The information systems are designed to provide information on time, that is, to meet specific needs within a certain subject area (Rainer et al. 10). The results of the functioning of information systems are information products, such as documents, databases, and services. This paper aims to summarize the functions performed by the various information systems within Apple Inc., namely Transaction Processing Systems (TPS), Management Information Systems (MIS), Decision-Support Systems (DSS), and Executive Support Systems (ESS).
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Transaction Processing Systems (TPS)
Transaction Processing Systems (TPS) is the information systems that divide work into separate, indivisible operations called transactions. Apple Inc. uses smartphone credit card readers and mobile transaction processing systems. Apple Pay is a payment system integrated into Apple devices, and their owners can use credit and debit cards directly through this system. It protects transactions with security features built into the device’s hardware and software. It is also designed to protect the user’s personal information (Rainer et al. 15). TPS also handles and calculates the routine transactions required to run a business, such as sales settlements, payroll, and others.
Any transaction is an electronic agreement between the owner and Apple Inc. or a legal entity. When making the first transaction, the user is asked to select the frequency of requests for a password for future transactions. If Touch ID is activated, the user is prompted to confirm all transactions with the fingerprint, and if Face ID is used, transactions must be confirmed with a face snapshot (Jawale & Joon 82). Apple uses a preferred payment method, such as a credit card, debit card, or any other method available in a particular country of residence. If the owner adds a payment method to Apple Wallet, it will be used with Apple Pay (Jawale & Joon 85). If the company is unable to write off funds using the selected payment method for any reason, for example, after expiration or insufficient funds, the owner remains responsible for any amounts not received. By local law, Apple may update information related to the selected payment method provided by the user’s financial institution.
Management Information Systems (MIS)
The output from the transaction processing systems (TPS) is used as input to the management information systems (MIS). MIS is related to human, machine, marketing, and methods of collecting information from internal and external sources. It is a key factor for effective decision-making in the company, including the entire set of business processes and resources (Ali 87). The latest systems shape the data provided into a convenient form so that managers at any level can use it to take the right action. Apple Inc., like other organizations, has several functional systems, including sales, logistics, financial, and other systems. MIS allows combining information from multiple systems, which helps employees to better understand the work of departments.
MIS adds and improves key parameters such as speed, accuracy, and data volume that allow more alternatives to be considered in decision making. A management information system is an integrated set of components and objects that interact to achieve a specific function. Therefore, it is a system that provides information for making decisions about planning, organizing, and controlling the work of all subsystems of the company and provides a synergistic organization in this process (Ali 89). These systems analyze the input data using routine algorithms. They aggregate, compare, and summarize the results into ready-made reports that are used to monitor, control, and predict future results (Rainer et al. 9). For example, Apple Inc. uses performance and sales records as well as warranty records within MIS. Input from a point of sale system can be used to analyze trends for products that are performing well and those that are not. MIS provides the information needed to make structured decisions and judgments, as well as make predictions based on sales.
Management information systems satisfy a variety of needs through a variety of systems such as query, analysis, modeling, and decision-support systems. They assist in strategic planning, management, operational control, and transaction processing. They also assist in making decisions at the working level to correct any situation and help junior management personnel by providing operational data for planning (Venkatachalam & Bharathi 398). They help middle management in short-term planning, goal setting, and business function management. This is supported by the use of planning and control management tools. They assist senior management in setting goals, strategic planning, developing business plans, and their implementation. MIS plays the role of generating information, communicating, identifying problems, and helping in the decision-making process.
Decision-Support Systems (DSS)
Decision-Support Systems (DSS) support management decision-making by collecting and analyzing a large amount of information. With the help of DSS, it is possible to track all available information assets and obtain comparative values of sales volumes. DSS are user-controlled systems that help to make non-standard decisions (Rainer et al. 148). They use inputs from internal systems, such as Transaction processing systems (TPS) and Management Information Systems (MIS), as well as external systems. The main purpose of Decision-Support Systems (DSS) is to provide solutions to problems that are unique and change frequently, for example, the impact of a new competitor on sales. DSS use complex mathematical models and statistical techniques, such as probabilities, predictive modeling, etc. to provide solutions, and they are highly interactive (Rainer et al. 149). In a basic concept, DSS promises the end-user to manage data and tools.
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Decision-support systems solve two main tasks within Apple Inc.: choosing the best solution from a set of possible ones (optimization) and ordering possible solutions according to their preference (ranking). In both issues, the first and most important point is the choice of a set of criteria, based on which possible solutions will be evaluated and compared in the future. Various methods are used to analyze and develop offers in the DSS (Turban et al. 35). This can be information retrieval, data mining, knowledge search in databases, case-based reasoning, simulation modeling, evolutionary computing, genetic algorithms, neural networks, situational analysis, cognitive modeling, etc.
Executive Support Systems (ESS)
Executive Support Systems (ESS) serve the strategic level of Apple Inc. management. They are focused on non-structural solutions and perform systems analysis of the environment better than any applied and specific system. ESS is designed to include data on external outcomes such as new tax laws or competitors, but they also select aggregated data from internal MIS and DSS. They filter, compress, and expose critical data, reducing the time and effort required to obtain useful information. Apple Inc. uses non-routine decisions, data from internal and external sources, and long-term trends within the Executive Support Systems (Rainer et al. 157). ESS uses the most advanced graphics software and provides generalized computation and communication that can be applied to a changing set of problems.
Initially, most executive support systems were created only for the top executives in the company, but now the circle of users at Apple Inc. expanded to cover all levels of management. The ESS uses data that has been filtered and ultimately denounced in a form that is useful to the leaders of the organization. Unlike other types of information systems, ESS is not designed to solve specific problems (Turban et al. 20). Besides, they tend to use fewer analytical models than DSS. ESS help to find answers to the questions on the competitors and what measures need to be taken to minimize risks.
Information systems must perform several functions to meet the information needs of users. These include the collection and registration of information resources, their storage, processing, and provision. Information systems play an important role in modern organizations in general and Apple Inc. in particular. Digital technology is transforming the business of organizations, and the wealth of most of the largest companies is associated with information systems. Today’s systems directly influence the decisions and plans of managers and play a strategic role in the life of the company. Apple Inc. uses information systems of various levels: operational, management, and strategic for each functional area. Therefore, the main functions of the information system are the collection, transmission, and storage of information, as well as processing operations, such as input, selection, correction, and delivery of information.
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