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Computerization Essay, Research Paper

Computerization of a Company

The word omnipresent 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 important 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 educated decisions, then it is time to switch to a computerized data management system. These computerized data management systems are often called information systems.

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 help of a consulting firm. They are better informed on the different types of hardware and software that would best suit the company?s 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 incorporated system by selecting the modules important to the company. Here is an example of an incorporated 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 incorporated computer system one entry and the data will be posted automatically to all the suitable 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 or more, depending on the number of modules bought. They are generally unnecessary. In most cases people are able to purchase pre-packaged software at a part 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 concern. 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 international buisness. 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 dealers, 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 dealer 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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