Briefing on Socio-technical System


Software and hardware are two opposite poles of the wooden plank. The two sides which never meets, but can’t stay away from each other. Without hardware, you can’t operate your software and same goes the other way around. This example shows the acteristics of the system.

A socio-technical system is a basic study of how technology can be produced and used. So, the socio-technical system is an amalgamation is people and technology. In this whole dynamic, different items are present which are difficult to distinguish from one another, but we have tried to elaborate some of the components ahead.

Socio-technical system Includes

#1. People

People can be considered as an individual or group of individuals. The roles and agencies of the people we are talking about the need to be taken into consideration. Let’s illustrate this element of the system properly, a company employs the people who work hard and with the help of software and hardware and works within the rules and regulations to share and maintain the database of the organization.

#2. Hardware

If we are framing technology as hardware, then we will see mainframe, workstations, peripheral, connecting devices, etc., technology. However, imagining the socio-technical system without the hardware is truly impossible.

#3. Software

Well, software is nothing much just the executable codes which can be in any of the forms like operating system, utilities, application programs. This is an interactive part of the system as software sometimes includes social rules and procedures in the design. Such as optimizing the data, storing the data in a format or asking for the data,etc.,

#4. Rules and Regulations

There is a bundle of rules and regulations created by the government and the organization which needs to be followed in a particular manner to avoid severe consequences. There might be a rule regarding the privacy or the regulation regarding the chip testing in the military. So, all the rules and regulations needed to be followed carefully as violating them can cause you some legal trouble.

#5. Data

The structure of the socio-technical systems depends upon the design of the data, from whom data has been collected and how data will be stored.

These are elements of the socio-technical systems has interlinked properties which can be easily fit together to form a system.

For Example

Let’s assume that a Software engineer develops a software system with all sort of bells and whistles, and assume it to be all tech-savvy without considering the factor of the configuration of the system. If a large number of people are in fact elderly and unaccustomed to the interface and have traditional systems operating on old technology then again the whole system will significantly be reduced.

That’s why we should not be interested in the technical aspect of the system, but also consider the social aspect. The socio-technical system is well balanced as it includes social factors like people, rules, and regulations, and also includes the technical aspects like hardware and software.

To understand the socio-technical system as one aspect, you might have to understand different layers such as;

  • The first layer is the equipment layer, in which different hardware types of equipment are kept like a computer, laptops, phones, etc.,
  • Next, is the operating layer which works as the interactive bridge between the hardware and the software of the system.
  • The communication and data management layer extends the operating system facilities and provides an interface that allows interaction with more extensive functionality, such as access to remote systems, access to a system database, etc,
  • Application layer helps in achieving some certain requirements of the organization.
  • The business layer involves a computer system and people which required to perform business functions.
  • To define the high-level policies and rules of the organization, the organization layer is available in the system.
  • The rules, laws, and culture defined by the government are elaborated in the social layer.

Well, socio-technical system is very important part of the technology development cycle so we hope that you studied every section of the article carefully as it will eventually help you in designing new technologies.

About the author

Arpit Agarwal

I am a freelancer content writer, web developer and Video editor who loves to write technical stuff and on the other hand makes awesome videos as well. I like to make people happy with my writing and also try to make sure, you come back to read more.

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