Business Computerization
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.

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