Q. Define System and explain its characteristics?
A System means an organised relationship among functioning units or components. It is an orderly grouping of interdependent components linked together according to a plan to achieve a specific objective. The elements of the system are as under:
- Outputs and Inputs: A major objective of a system is to produce an output that has value to its user. Whatever the nature of the output, it must be in line with the expectations of the intended user. Inputs are the elements that enter the system for processing and output is the outcome of the processing.
- Processors: The processor is the element of the system that involves the actual transformation of input into output. It is the operational component of a system. Processors modify the input totally or partially.
- Control: The control element guides the system. It is the decision-making subsystem that controls the pattern of activities governing input, processing and output.
- Feedback: Control in a dynamic system is achieved by feedback. Feedback measures output against a standard in some form that includes communication and control. Feedback may be positive or negative, routine or informational.
- Environment: It is the source of external elements that impinge on the system. It determines how a system must function.
- Boundaries and Interface: A system should be defined by its boundaries- the limits that identify its components, processes and interrelationships when it interfaces with another system.
The characteristics of a system are as under:
- Organisation: It implies structure and order. It is the arrangement of components that helps to achieve objectives.
- Interaction: It refers to the manner in which each component functions with other component of the system. In an organisation, for example, purchasing must interact with production, advertising with sales, etc.
- Interdependence: It means that parts of the organisation or computer system depend on one another. They are coordinated and linked together according to a plan. One subsystem depends on the input of another subsystem for proper functioning.
- Integration: It refers to the completeness of systems. It is concerned with how a system is tied together. It is more than sharing a physical part or location. It means that parts of a system work together within the system even though each part performs a unique function.
- Central Objective: Objectives may be real or stated. Although a stated objective may be the real objective, it is not uncommon for an organisation to state one objective and operate to achieve another.