Computer in Business

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The advent of computers has revolutionized the workplace and redefined operational practices. The use and deployment of computers, computer systems and information technology (IT) applications in every aspect of business is now commonplace. The recent application and adoption of Web-based, information and telecommunication technologies has force-multiplied the capabilities and benefits of computers. The importance of computers in business cannot be overstated.

Collaboration

o Businesses are using Internet communication technologies, networking and relevant software to enable workers and professionals to collaborate and work across locations and geographical boundaries and streamline work-flow management. Communication Capabilities

o Computer systems connected over a Web-based environment or an intranet-based network can communicate with each other. Varied connectivity and access technologies with computing interfaces facilitate communication of employees with business partners, suppliers, customers, government regulators and other stakeholders. Centralization

o Deployment of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solutions, Management Information Systems (MIS), other information management and business intelligence technologies help businesses to centralize core business activities and operations, manage gigabytes of generated information and aid decision-making processes. Productivity

o Software, productivity tools and networking applications installed in computers, laptops and workstations enable employees in a business to streamline their work-flows, execute assigned tasks faster and aim to achieve organizational goals and targets. Bottom-line Impact

o All businesses investing in computers and IT systems look to leverage the Return on Investment (ROI) parameter. Long-term planning and allocation of resources for IT are helping organizations to take up ambitious business expansion activities, channelize workforce productivity, adjust strategic goals and thereby positively impact the bottom line.

BUSINESS APPLICATIONS

A computer's multiple capabilities can solve many business problems. Some of the most common applications are keeping transaction records (such as a cash receipts journal, receivables ledger, and general journal) and preparing statements and reports (such as a balance sheet, income statement or inventory status report). Other equally important tasks include maintaining customer and lead lists, creating brochures and paying your staff.

A business that handles large volumes of detailed or repetitiousbinformation in short periods of time will benefit frombcomputerization. A complete computer system can

1. Organize and store many similarly structured pieces of information (i.e., addresses including name, street, city, state and zip code).

2. Retrieve a single piece of information from many stored records (i.e., the address of John Smith).

3. Perform complicated mathematical computations quickly and accurately (i.e., the terms of a loan amortized over many years).

4. Print information quickly and accurately (i.e., a sales report).

5. Perform the same activity almost indefinitely, in precisely the same way each time (i.e., print a hundred copies of the same form letter).

6. Facilitate communications among individuals, departments and branches (i.e., quickly transmit messages and/or documents that require review or editing).

7. Link the office to many sources of data available through larger networks.

IMPROVING BUSINESS OPERATIONS

Consider the following manual operations that can be streamlined by computerization. - Accounts Receivable - Even if properly organized and maintained, a large volume of active accounts can require many hours of posting sales and receipts and, especially, of preparing statements. Unfortunately, as the volume of information to be handled increases, the number of errors often also increases. Don't forget, too, that if your...
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