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Software Engineering | Information System Life Cycle

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Information System Life Cycle (ISLC) is a framework used to manage the development, maintenance, and retirement of an organization’s information systems. The ISLC is a cyclical process that includes the following phases:

  • Planning: During this phase, the organization identifies its information needs and develops a plan to meet those needs.
  • Analysis: During this phase, the organization analyzes its information needs in more detail and develops a detailed requirements specification.
  • Design: During this phase, the organization designs the information system to meet the requirements developed in the previous phase.
  • Implementation: During this phase, the organization develops, tests, and deploys the information system.
  • Maintenance: After the information system has been deployed, it enters the maintenance phase, where it is updated, maintained, and tweaked to meet the changing needs of the organization.
  • Retirement: Eventually, the information system will reach the end of its useful life and will need to be retired. During this phase, the organization will plan for the replacement of the system, and ensure that the data stored in it is properly preserved.

The ISLC is a useful framework for managing the development, maintenance, and retirement of an organization’s information systems. It helps to ensure that information systems meet the needs of the organization and are developed in a structured and controlled manner. However, it can be difficult to maintain control over the entire process, especially as the organization’s needs change over time.

IN a large organisation, the database system is typically part of the information system which includes all the resources that are involved in the collection, management, use and dissemination of the information resources of the organisation. In the today’s world these resource includes the data itself, DBMS software, the computer system software and storage media, the person who uses and manages the data and the application programmers who develop these application. Thus the database system is a part of much larger organizational information system. In this article we will discuss about typical life cycle of an information system, and how the database fits into this life cycle. Information cycle is also known as Macro life cycle. These cycle typically includes following phases:

  1. Feasibility Analysis – This phase basically concerned with following points:
    • (a) Analyzing potential application areas.
    • (b) Identifying the economics of information gathering.
    • (c) Performing preliminary cost benefit studies.
    • (d) Determining the complexity of data and processes.
    • (e) Setting up priorities among application.
  2. Requirements Collection and Analysis – In this phase we basically do the following points:
    • (a) Detailed requirements are collected by interacting with potential users and groups to identify their particular problems and needs.
    • (b) Inter application dependencies are identified.
    • (c) Communication and reporting procedures are identified.
  3. Design This phase has following two aspects:
    • (a) Design of database
    • (b) Design of application system that uses and process the database.
  4. Implementation – In this phase following steps are implemented:
    • (a) The information system is implemented
    • (b) The database is loaded.
    • (c) The database transaction are implemented and tested.
  5. Validation and Acceptance Testing – The acceptability of the system is meeting’s users requirements and performance criteria is validated. The system is tested against performance criteria and behavior specification.
  6. Deployment operation and maintenance – This may be preceded by conversion of users from older system as well as by user training. The operational phase starts when all system function are operational and have been validated.As new requirements or application crop up, they pass through all the previous phases until they are validated and incorporated into system. Monitoring and system maintenance are important activities during operational phase.
  7. Training and Support: The deployment phase includes training and support for end-users and administrators. It is important to provide adequate training to ensure that users can effectively use the new system and take advantage of its features. Ongoing support is also necessary to address any issues that may arise.
  8. Continuous Improvement: The information system life cycle is a continuous process of improvement. The system should be regularly evaluated to identify areas for improvement, such as performance, functionality, and usability. This may involve revisiting previous phases of the cycle to make changes or improvements.
  9. Risk Management: Throughout the entire ISLC, risk management should be an integral part of the process. This includes identifying potential risks and developing strategies to mitigate them. Risk management should be an ongoing process throughout the life cycle, from the feasibility analysis to deployment and maintenance.
  10. Integration: Integration with other systems is often necessary, and should be considered early in the life cycle. This includes integration with existing systems, as well as with new systems that may be developed in the future.
  11. Scalability: As the organization grows and changes, the information system must be able to scale up to meet new demands. This should be considered during the design phase to ensure that the system can accommodate future growth and changes in the organization.
  12. Sustainability: Sustainable design and development practices should be considered throughout the ISLC to reduce the environmental impact of the information system. This includes reducing energy consumption, minimizing waste, and using sustainable materials where possible.

 Benefits of using the Information System Life Cycle (ISLC) framework:

  1. Improved alignment with business goals: By following the ISLC, organizations can ensure that their information systems align with their business goals and support the organization’s overall mission.
  2. Better project management: The ISLC provides a structured and controlled approach to managing information system projects, which can help to improve project management and reduce risks.
  3. Increased efficiency: The ISLC can help organizations to use their resources more efficiently, by ensuring that the development, maintenance, and retirement of information systems is planned and managed in a consistent and controlled manner.
  4. Improved user satisfaction: By involving users in the ISLC process, organizations can ensure that their information systems meet the needs of the users, which can lead to improved user satisfaction.
  5. Better data management: By following the ISLC, organizations can ensure that their data is properly managed throughout the entire system’s life cycle, which can help to improve data quality and reduce risks associated with data loss or corruption.
  6. Enhanced security: The ISLC can help organizations to ensure that their information systems are designed, developed, and maintained with security in mind. This can help to reduce the risk of data breaches and other security incidents.
  7. Improved collaboration: The ISLC can help to promote collaboration between different teams and departments involved in the development, maintenance, and retirement of information systems. This can lead to better communication, more efficient use of resources, and improved outcomes.
  8. Better compliance: The ISLC can help organizations to ensure that their information systems comply with relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards. This can help to reduce the risk of legal and financial penalties, as well as damage to the organization’s reputation.
  9. Increased agility: The ISLC can help organizations to be more agile and responsive to changing business needs and technological trends. By using a structured and flexible approach to information system development and management, organizations can more easily adapt to changing requirements and opportunities.
  10. Enhanced innovation: The ISLC can help to promote innovation and creativity in information system development and management. By encouraging experimentation, iteration, and continuous improvement, organizations can discover new ways to use technology to support their business goals and mission.

Better cost management: By following the ISLC, organizations can ensure that they are only investing in information systems that will provide value to the organization, and that the systems are retired before they become too costly to maintain.

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Last Updated : 24 Apr, 2023
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