An information system may not need the use of computers to make the accumulation, organization, and reporting of information easier, faster, or more reliable. In your organization early stages, you may find it simple enough to just keep paper records and communicate face-to-face or by telephone rather than use email. However, modern organizations increasingly rely on information technology as the core of their information systems and part of the reason is that the cost of using computers has decreased as technology improves. We define information technology to include hardware, software and telecommunication equipment that is used to capture, process, store and distribute information.
Hardware is the physical equipment—such as a personal computer, a laptop, a portable computing device, and even a modern cell phone—used to process information. Software is the set of coded instructions (programs) that direct the hardware to perform the required tasks. A typical example is Google Docs—a word processing program designed to instruct a computer to create text documents. Telecommunication systems are the networking equipment enabling users and devices to communicate. An example of a telecommunication system is a telephone network, which allows two callers to interact by voice over a distance.
These three elements—hardware, software and telecommunication systems—comprise the technology component of an information system.