The first major use of computers was in the USA during the 1890 census.
Two men, Herman Hollerith and James Powers developed a new punch card system that could automatically read information on cards without human intervention. This caused many other people to develop computers for various tasks. Each new computer helped to perform a different function and make life easier. Eventually, IBM made a computer that could perform various tasks such as: figure out equations, store data and draw graphics. Due to this the computer industry exploded. Now computers have changed many aspects of life.Computers have had a major impact on business. Information technology had completely rearranged the advertising industry.
Before computers, companies used to advertise only in magazines, billboards etc. The Internet has created a whole new world for advertising. If anyone has ever been on the Internet, they will know that it is a major contributor to advertising. The impact of information technology has had significant effects of the structure, management and functioning of most organisations. It demands new patterns of work and effects individual jobs.Computer based information and decision support systems influence choices in design of production or service activities, hierarchal structures and organisation of support staff. IT may influence the centralisation / decentralisation of decision making and control systems.
New technology has resulted in a flatter organisational pyramid with fewer levels of management required. In cases of new office technology it allows the potential staff at clerical / operator level to carry out a wider range of functions and to check their own work.The result is a change in the traditional supervisory roles and a demand for fewer supervisors. Secretaries with the impact of IT are moving increasingly into territory previously occupied by managers and administrators and are achieving new levels of responsibility. Once upon a time people used to send letters and await a response, or make a telephone call. Now with the use of email, the exchange of text and or files via a communications network responses can be received almost immediately and there is no need to send documentation via the postal service.
There is also the use of Intranet within large organisations. Tjos is a network designed for processing information within an organisation. Although the term IT originated in the computer industry, it extends beyond computing and includes telecommunications and office equipment. Advances in technology and the need for improved economic efficiency have prompted a growing movement towards more automated procedures of work. It is important however, to remember that an organisation needs to safeguard the information it holds on it’s computers from the prying eyes of people not authorised to view it, or from ‘hackers’.A firewall may be an appropriate way of protecting systems from prying eyes, along with the use of passwords to protect files from being accessed by unauthorised personnel. Safety is also an important factor when housing computers within the workplace.
Regular risk assessments should be carried out, along with ensuring that stupidity does not take over. Common sense dictates that there are not drinks left around computers, however tempting it may be to have a coffee whilst working. Above all, all organisational Health and Safety warnings should be adhered to at all times.Statistics show that about one in every five households own at least one computer. By the year 2003, those figures are expected to be one in three. These reasons along with others are what have made the computer business so successful.
Companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Intel, Gateway, Cisco and Apple have become some of the most successful business around the world. Information technology had opened up a whole new way in which to educate people. An example of this is through educational software.
Companies like Kaplan develop many programs, which help students with all subjects.These programs do not only help with young children, but are used in all different age ranges. There is now software which helps people study for GCSE’s and A Levels. Multimedia programs give people the chance to have a whole set of encyclopaedias, maps, dictionaries and other information tools. Computers have also allowed many mathematical equations and other formulas to be completed extremely quickly. Some people do not realise that a calculator is actually a computer!! Could one imagine not being able to use a calculator for certain mathematical problems?The Internet is another tool people have started to use for education. Undoubtedly, this is probably the most important tool that has changed education. Labelled the “information superhighway”, one can understand this.
It has allowed people from all over the world to share their knowledge and give anyone access to it for an extremely low cost. One can even access the library of congress in the USA and look at any book in the world. People can take part in online lectures. If a person has a research project to do on for example, Cancer, all they would need to do is search for that on a search engine such as Google.Then they would have more information on the subject than they could possibly imagine. Also, there are certain sites where people can get help with homework etc.
The Internet has become a valued part of today’s way of life. In the beginning, its main purpose was to send and receive messages. No one ever anticipated that one day, people could buy cars, books and even houses over the Internet. E commerce is a worldwide commodity, which has taken the place of trips to the supermarket and has given us the freedom to conduct business premises from our home.The Internet is everywhere, in schools, libraries and even cafe . Anyone can order just about anything from anywhere.
It has become necessary to be computer literate in today’s society. People may argue that they may never need to use a computer or to learn how and yes, there are going to be those people who are not ever going to be into the technological age. These people are just limiting themselves to what has now become a technological era. When people apply for job vacancies, they are asked, “what computer skills do you have”? People are being constantly turned away from available job positions due to their lack of computer knowledge.Information technology affects us every day of our lives, we can order groceries, use them to play CD’s, even watch TV from them. It is important to recognise that everyone one day will have a need for a computer in their home. Inventions in today’s society, for example, voice activated lights, televisions and computers are just a few things, which are operational today. Voice activated cars are also under development.
All these inventions would not have been possible without the use of the computer. It is constantly changing the everyday life of many people and has affected some part of everyone’s life and will continue to do so.