The Present and Future Roles of Computer Networks in Corporate Environments
Leclercq, Robert B., Jr.
MetadataShow full item record
More than any other advancement in the business environment, computer networks have opened new possibilities for increased efficiency, accuracy, and productivity. With their abilities to access and transfer virtually unlimited amounts of information along with the benefit of improved and expanded methods of communication, such networks will undoubtedly remain a vital piece of equipment well into the future. However, even though this technology has become widely available and even implemented on a large scale, real benefits in the corporate environment have not developed instantaneously or with much ease. In fact, many unexpected obstacles exist that prevent firms from realizing the full potential such systems hold. Nonetheless, as the general population becomes more familiar and more comfortable with computer based communication, the overall level of acceptance will surely improve, and further benefits will be extracted. As this process continues, therefore, one can expect the level of usage to increase substantially in not only the corporate sector, but in the private sector as well. Such conclusions stem from my work at Quality Films, Inc. of Schoolcraft, Michigan. By accepting the responsibility of installing a computer network in a modern competitive firm I obtained first-hand knowledge of the true benefits and various difficulties an electronic-based communication system can produce. That is, through my work'! experienced the intricate demands associated with both the hardware requirements as well as the personnel adjustments involved in such an undertaking. These experiences proved especially valuable and relevant since the firm had never possessed any form of previous network, and had barely initiated any transition to computerized work before my arrival. Due to this fact, I gained a relatively uncommon opportunity to not only examine, but also guide a corporation in a completely original transition to a networked environment. The project's success, therefore, necessitated a great deal of anticipation. interpretation, and understanding of the company's needs. To best accomplish the task of implementing a viable system, some sort of custom application was deemed necessary in order for the network to offer potential benefits to the firm's operations. This application eventually took the form of a relational database linking all areas of production, shipping, ordering, etc. Very different skills, however, proved necessary in order to successfully create such a database. While technical knowledge of the software was obviously a prerequisite, a solid sense of the 'firm's operation was also mandated. Furthermore, I found that various members of the staff, due to their lack of knowledge and inexperience, demanded considerable simplicity in their individual portions of project. Compounding this was the fact that they also demonstrated substantial apprehension toward any change in their job description before the project even began. Nonetheless, through persistence and thoroughness the project proceeded rather smoothly, and the firm now benefits from a greatly expanded ability to communicate internally as well as coordinate all activity.