What Is ITIL?
Information, by a broad definition, is structured, organized and processed data that informs decision making. It gives context to unprocessed data and allows effective decision making. For instance, a single consumer’s sale in a particular restaurant is valuable data-it becomes information if the company is able to identify which of the least popular or most popular dishes are. The restaurant’s management can then decide what best to offer them to increase sales. But how is information processed?
The process of information processing typically starts with a collection of data. In order to facilitate information extraction from a set of discrete or continuous data, a processing approach is adopted. Processing approaches can be a point of service (OT) or continuous data processing (CDP). Point of service processing refers to a fast and intuitive way of accessing information as it is required. Examples include machine-readable bar codes used in retail establishments, point of purchase terminals, and wireless information systems.
Continuous data processing, on the other hand, is much more suitable for long-term information management systems. It is a kind of balanced process that aims to capture as much information as possible in a structured, consolidated form that can be retrieved as and when necessary. Examples include sales process modeling, demand segmentation, optimal optimization for marketing campaigns, product life cycle management, and so on. It also involves the use of information systems and information resources such as IT, information technology, financial and customer management systems.
Both CDP and OT rely on information technology for their execution. On the other hand, the internet and computer systems were used as an information technology platform for CDP. Owing to the popularity of the internet and its various applications, web applications have become popular as a business information system and a common platform for OT. The rise in OT along with its associated practices such as CDP has paved the way for its usage as a business tool for managing business activities. It is capable of supporting various types of information technology, which includes e-commerce, enterprise-wide computer systems, and business applications.
Web-based computer systems have come as a boon for businesses looking to streamline their operations and increase profitability. Web-based applications provide businesses with a cost-efficient information technology platform and better collaboration and information management systems. These applications are supported by a rich and diverse information technology development environment (IETE). This environment helps in designing, developing, implementing, and maintaining an information technology system that meets the organization’s needs and requirements. As opposed to traditional information systems that utilize complex programming languages and a complex development environment, web-based information systems are supported by user-friendly programs that are generally executed in web browsers. Web applications also provide an interactive development environment that makes it easier for users to share information with each other.
Database management software solutions, on the other hand, help organizations in managing multiple databases simultaneously. They enable easy accessibility of data from anywhere at any time by providing information technology integration. Database management software solutions are also useful when it comes to speeding up IT processes that include data conversion, data cleansing, data extraction, and integration and data security.