Introducing ICT systems
Introducing ICT systems

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Introducing ICT systems

2.2.1 Subsystems

An important aspect of systems is that each component can be considered as a subsystem. In the health centre appointments system, the 'computerised booking system' may be a complex system in its own right involving a number of computers networked together. Figure 2 shows this view of the system with 'computerised booking system' composed of two subsystems: 'network' and 'computers'. Of course, these subsystems may also be complex systems in their own right, composed of further subsystems.

A complex overall system can therefore be reduced to more manageable proportions by grouping components together and thinking about it in terms of subsystems. You can think of the subsystems as being 'nested' inside a system or another subsystem, a bit like Russian dolls. No single one of them is 'the doll'; each one fits inside the larger one. A system map can help by allowing us to focus on the particular systems and subsystems that we are interested in.

Figure 2
Figure 2 System map of a health centre appointments system, showing subsystems
Skip Your course resources

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371