Basics in Business Informatics

This book takes you on a journey into the world of business informatics. Starting with the key question »What is business informatics and what are its tasks and objectives?«, it gives you an insight into key aspects of business informatics, such as computer systems and computer networks, business applications, databases, software engineering, and management support systems. More specific topics are covered as well, including the relevance of business process management in a very dynamic, competitive and IT dominated business environment, the leadership function of information management for companies as well as key aspects of data security and data protection.

The book is structured into modules, which include detailed explanations, exercises (including the corresponding solutions) as well as excursuses to current topics, like e.g. Bitcoin, Blockchain, and TOR. As a result, it serves as supportive literature for lectures in universities, but also as a complementary source of information for vocational training courses with an IT-focus.

ISBN (Print): 978-3-658-35858-7
ISBN (eBook): 978-3-658-35859-4


The chapter begins with the key question »What is business informatics and what are its tasks and objectives?«. The book will enable its readers to understand the opportunities and risks of business informatics solutions. First, the relevance of business informatics and its different fields are introduced.
This and the following chapter introduce the technological basis of business informatics, computer systems and computer networks. The focus of the third chapter is on the components and processing system of a computer. The IT developments are listed in chronological order and different types of computers as well as their related key components and their performance indicators are introduced.
The fourth chapter introduces the technical foundations of computer networks, their objectives, and the advantages of using them. The chapter then provides a description of different types of computer networks including their structure and their combination options.
Computers become useful to companies by means of business software applications. The fifth chapter introduces the different types of software, such as system software, development software, and application software. Integrated Information Systems and process orientation are explained, and the S/4HANA system from SAP AG is presented as an example.
In this chapter, database systems and their applications are introduced. All business applications are based on high-performance database systems, which can process, store, and monitor data and provide error-free access to relevant data. After providing a detailed description of structure and function of database systems, data modeling as the basis for the design of a new database is illustrated with an example from relational databases. Subsequently, the data warehouse, as an information system specially designed for analysis, is described in terms of its conceptualization, its qualities, and its application contexts. The chapter concludes with explanations of the NoSQL and in-memory database systems developed for special application scenarios.
This chapter covers Management Support Systems (MSS) and Business Intelligence, which are designed to support company executives and experts. After providing an overview of management support systems, a brief introduction to their different types, such as MSS, DSS, EIS, and ESS is given. Then the topics of data analysis and data mining, as well as business intelligence and business analytics are presented, before finally machine learning and artificial intelligence are outlined.
Chapter eight presents Business Process Management (BPM) that uses IT solutions as a key factor in organizational value-adding activities. BPM tasks, objectives, methods, and approaches are introduced, focusing on modeling business processes. Finally, workflow management systems and process mining are explained.
This chapter introduces software engineering as a structured process to develop and design business applications. The chapter deals with both the general phase approach and agile approaches to software development (Extreme Programming (XP) and Scrum). In addition, the basics of object-oriented software development as well as approaches and problems of cost estimation are presented. Since software engineering is carried out as a project, a brief introduction to project management is also included.
This chapter covers information management, which bridges the gap with business administration. It deals with the management tasks that relate to the design and use of IT in companies. After introducing the subject, the objectives and the tasks of information management, its organizational integration and the various roles of the IT manager (Chief Information Officer, CIO) are explained. With the topics of IT outsourcing and social media, exemplary important objects of consideration of information management are outlined.
IT security management is also a focus of information management, as ensuring data security and data protection is an essential prerequisite for the successful use of business application systems. In this regard, the subject matter and importance of IT security and data protection, the essential security objectives, and selected measures to ensure them are presented.
At the end of each chapter there are review questions and in-depth exercises, which are available together with the corresponding solutions in this chapter.
The textbook concludes with two teaching cases, “Blockchain and Bitcoin in Action” and “Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Robotic Colleagues in the Office”.

Downloadable Instructor Ressources

Here you have the opportunity to download additional material for each chapter, which you can use in your courses. These are available in different formats, e.g. to upload to the Quick-Response-System Socrative or to the learning management system Moodle.


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Prof. Dr. Peter Weber

Professor for Computer Science / E-Business at South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences

Prof. Dr. Roland Gabriel

Has been the chair for Business Informatics at Ruhr University Bochum since 1989 and is retired since 2014

Prof. Dr. Thomas Lux

Professor for Process Management in the Health Care Sector at the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences

Katharina Knauf (née Menke)

Research associate at the Competence Center E-Commerce at South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences