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In order to understand the changes in technology, an understanding of the forces, which are influencing the world at large, is needed.

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Introduction

Wendy McIntyre Assessment 5 Outcome 3 a, b, c In order to understand the changes in technology, an understanding of the forces, which are influencing the world at large, is needed. These changes can be seen in individual events and in the patterns of the distribution of events through time. The existence and significance of the second Industrial Revolution is even more debatable than the fist. It was a continuation of the industrial and social changes and the appearance of new industries e.g. automobiles, chemicals, and electricity and new organisational forms e.g. multi divisional and multi national, which have led the change. For the fist time there was BIG business and following from those anti-trust issues within the work force. The most recent industrial revolution and the one still underway, has seen the rise of industries based on information. A shift from meeting needs to wants. The rise of these new industries is often referred to as the "Information Revolution" or "Information Economy". The changes in computer technology and the consequences for its applications are summarised below; 1960's - computer systems called Mainframes were used, but they required specialist accommodation, operating systems, software and operators, namely programmers. They were also very expensive. 1970's - computers became more powerful, software improved; it became more useful and complex. 1980's - the desktop computer like the IBM PC and the Apple Mac were marketed. ...read more.

Middle

contracting out of a company's non core, no revenue-producing activities to specialists" "transfer or delegation to an external service provider the operation and day-to-day management of a business process". They all amount to pretty much the same thing: the passing of service provision or production to another party (internal or external). Note that this is NOT the same as passing responsibility! Commonly outsourced services are catering, cleaning and training. In terms of identifying areas for outsourcing, the following questions must be answered; * Will the passing on of this service save the organisation both time and money? * Will costs be reduced? * Will the organisation be more flexible to changes in demand? * Will the service be delivered in the same or higher standard? * Is it appropriate for the future? * Will the outsourcing of this service allow the organisation to concentrate more on core competences? If the answers to the questions are YES then careful consideration may be given to specific parts of the organisation. However; working with external providers on an ongoing basis demands careful attention - not least selecting a capable and stable organisation (or individual) to do it. The following factors must be considered carefully; Identification of Service Some services are easy such as catering or cleaning, but others may pose more of a threat on general business performance, like for instance; part of IT services for example, programming - could this important service be left to an outside contractor? ...read more.

Conclusion

The main advantage is the independence and flexibility it gives the users, but problems arise when corporate data is involved. Data Vulnerability - data will now be more vulnerable to alteration and corruption, no longer will one person have administration rights over the whole system, like they did with the strict access controls of the mainframe system. Users may also save information onto their micro computers, and then retrieve it for future use when it may be out of date and inaccurate. Data Fragmentation - this may lead to fragmentation of data and inconsistencies could occur when the user displays the results of their work to others. This could affect business performance. The only safe way of implementing this type of system is to grant users read only access to the information. Emerging technologies with all their advantages, do not yet match the security and reliability offered by mainframes. To avoid pitfalls and to retain corporate data integrity a management level is required. This would mean the employment of a Database Administrator. This administrator would manage the following; * All corporate databases * Storage of corporate data * Who has access and when More importantly the whole process should be under the control of an Information Manager, just in the same way money is under the control of a Finance Manager. To gain competitive advantage organisations need to adapt their information technology systems to new technologies whilst at the same time retaining the strengths of the legacy systems. 1 ...read more.

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