Information system or operating system?

Did you knew that an information system weakens your company’s performance and an operating system strengthens it? What’s the difference?

As the name implies, information systems focus on information and operating systems, the operation or ‘real time’ business workflows. These examples explain:

Years ago, when we purchased items from stores, they charged us and took and copied our card with a mechanical device. We were then given a paper voucher, with our card details, and the amount manually written. We signed this with a pen and kept a copy. The merchant kept another copy,  gave a further copy to the bank and after a while, took the vouchers to the bank, where an army of people manually captured the payment data in an information system. 

And today…

When we go to a store and pay with our card, the cashier brings us a POS terminal (a device that reads our credit card to make the charge), we check the amount is correct, pass our card through the machine and digitally sign with our PIN. We then immediately receive a notification to our mobile and can see the amount paid on our bank statement.

The first example is an information system. The system is unable to register the transaction until days later so therefore the payment will not appear in the purchaser’s bank statement until then. This period of uncertainty can affect decision-making. Does this sound familiar to your business?

The second example is an operating system. The system registers the transaction the moment it’s completed, publishing information immediately.

With an information system, a third person, who without knowledge of the transaction or a reference framework to prevent mistakes, performs the data registration.  With an operating system, the data registration is carried out and validated by the people responsible for the transactions, guaranteeing their reliability.  Do you have an information or operating system?

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