Business Computerization Essay

The word ubiquitous means ever present or occurring everywhere. This term could
be used to describe the use of the computer in the business. The business
world’s benefit alone is enough to make a head spin. Every time a person goes
to the grocery store, the bank, the local ATM, or even the neighborhood gym the
benefit by the use of computers in modern society is unforeseen by most
civilians. Many fields in business depend on the convenience, speed, accuracy,
and reliability that computers have become known for. However all companies
small and large benefit from the use of computers. First a company must research
the impact computers will have on keeping track of there accounts. Then they
must choose the correct hardware and software to best suit their particular
needs, while at the same time making themselves familiar with the new
enhancements that increase productivity. Finally, the company must allow time
for installation and training. When evaluating the need for a computerized
system in a company one will also need to forecast the future demands of the
company. After all to survive in the business world one must anticipate the
future and not react to the past. How does one know when it is time to make the
critical transition? It is when management finds itself unable to keep track of
its business? Which products are profitable? Which are not? Which customers pay
on time? Which are delinquent? Having easy access to this data is essential to
running a healthy and competitive business. When the company has grown enough
that management no longer has access to the data used to make informed
decisions, then it is time to switch to a computerized data management system.

These computerized data management systems are often called information systems.

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The company now has two choices. It can either hire a professional consulting
firm to help select and install the computer system, or venture out on its own
to make these important decisions. Adequate planning is the most important step
in assuring the successful use of computer technology. Most companies would be
better off seeking the aid of a consulting firm. They are better informed on the
different types of hardware and software that would best suit the computing
needs. An outside firm is a better choice because they are less likely to make a
costly mistake when choosing the new system. Another benefit to using a
consulting firm would be there help in setting-up the procedures for using the
new computer system and the necessary training to implement those procedures.

Once the company has decided that they will benefit from computer enhancements
it is then a matter of choosing which software and hardware at would be most
useful. Software is just another name for the programming that computers run on.

It is the language that tells computers what to do. When choosing software it is
important to, make sure to select the right number and combination of software”modules” to meet a company’s needs. The objective is to come up with an
integrated system by selecting the modules important to the company. Here is an
example of an integrated system. Say your employee sends a bill to customer.

With manual systems one would have to post it three times to the sales journal,
to a customer receivable account and to the general ledger. But with an
integrated computer system one entry and the data will be posted automatically
to all the appropriate files. There is an alternative to buying packaged
software. A Company can have a custom program written. Custom programs are very
expensive. Costing, up to $25,000 more, depending on the number of modules one
will buy. They are generally uneconomical and unnecessary. In most cases people
are able to purchase pre-packaged software at a fraction of the cost of custom
software. The software will then be able to handle up to 80% of the needs. Price
is not the only consideration. Before one buys, find out what comes in a
software package. Read the manuals and determine if the features satisfy
everything that the company requires. A good word to describe computers is ever
changing. One should always be on the lookout for new computer technology to
help the company. Very often the company can increase productivity with just a
few enhancements. For example, multilingual programs have grown important over
the years. As trade barriers in the world crumble and new opportunities continue
to grow. Mid-sized and even small businesses expand their market beyond U.S.

boarders; they are then faced with using multilingual computer systems. The
basic tools that do these jobs constitute a unique class of software especially
designed for the international arena. Technology does not have to be new in
order to be useful. The need for it is what is important to the company. So do
not over look anything when searching for new tools. The next step is selecting
the appropriate hardware to handle the computing needs. Hardware comprises all
the physical items that allow a computer to run programs, such as a printer, a
monitor, a mouse, a keyboard, and a modem among other things. The memory where
information is stored on a computer is also considered hardware. When choosing
the proper hardware one should not base all the decisions on price alone.

Compare several vendors, selecting the one with the best combination of service,
training, and warranties. The company will start to rely on the computers, so
make certain that it can get serviced. Try and look for a vendor with a strong
service outlet near the company. Also steer clear of systems that have just
entered the market, considering the high mortality rate in the computer
industry. The company may not be around when it comes time to get service. There
are many things to consider when purchasing hardware as well as software, so be
sure to give proper consideration to using a consulting firm. They could end-up
saving money. When the company finally makes the decision to computerize and has
selected the suitable hardware and software. The company must then allow an
appropriate amount of time to install the system and also train their employees.

The new system may take several months before it is thoroughly up and running,
so be patient. When training employees, they can sometimes be hesitant toward
computerization. So extend assurances that the computer is a tool to help them,
not to replace them. The rule of thumb, as with anything, is to be patient. This
whole process of computerizing may at first leave a person totally confused. One
must remember that being confused is only a part of success. Make sure it is
time to change from a manual system. These new changes may only confuse people
with a new system. Second, make informed choices when choosing hardware and
software. Perhaps a consulting firm would be the smart way to go. Also remember
to keep track of new technology, it will make a company more productive.

Finally, allow plenty time for installing and training. Taking time may help
prevent costly delays. The most important thing to remember is taking time and
making informed decisions.


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