The choices available - Sample Essay

Introduction The need for computerisation in a business like Craven Plc should be one of the primary business objectives. In order to stay one step ahead of the competition, a fully automated computer system should be in operation. This will have major benefits to a small business like Craven Plc. In this report I will be identifying possible areas for computerisation, suggesting a possible hardware configuration, suggesting a suitable range of software that can be used, suggesting purchases that will be necessary for computerisation and stating their costs, and proposing a method of change over from manual to a new computerised system.

1 & 3) Identification of possible areas for computerisation in the company and the range of Software available Craven Plc will benefit from changing administration and secretarial procedures which are processed manually to computerised methods. The range of software packages stated bellow will help perform the tasks described, these include: Microsoft Word: The use of Microsoft word will enhance the standard of documents produced, compared to using typewriters and hand written methods.

The use of Word processing will help the secretarial department increase efficiency and productivity within the company, as it saves time compared to using manual methods. Word processing also makes documents look more professional. Microsoft Excel: The use of spreadsheets will be used to produce accounts and tabulated numerical information of all types to illustrate points. This will be used within secretarial and administrational departments. Microsoft PowerPoint: This is useful to senior management for presentation purposes. This will generate a professional look to any information shown to potential customers and investors.

Microsoft Access: The use of databases is the modern way of keeping up to date records of employee details. This is an efficient and effective way of storing information which can be accessed quickly and easily. Microsoft Outlook express: This enables employees to send and receive e-mails over a wide area network via a modem. This will make more effective use of time compared to postal mail. Video Conferencing: If Craven Plc is serious about breaking into European markets video conferencing is the answer. This enables all employees to attend meetings and seminars from the comfort of their office.

Web trains video conferencing package is great for rapidly growing businesses like Craven Plc. Internet and website construction: The use of the internet will open up vast amounts of information for management, administrational and marketing departments within the firm. A website will increase the profile of the firm and could increase sales. It will also enable Craven Plc to access and take advantage of European markets and worldwide markets. Sage Software: This is a powerful integrated modular accounting software package for use in the financial department. This computerises the whole financial area from its current paper based system.

I advise sage accounting to make this area more efficient. 2) Hardware Configuration The choices available: There are many hardware components available to Craven Plc. Here is a list of hardware components that I recommend for Craven Plc and a brief description of their basic function. Input devices: Computer Keyboard: Used for entering alphanumeric information. The keyboard is also used for entering commands to various operation systems such as MS-DOS. Mouse: A small handed device which the user can move on a flat surface to direct a pointer on the computer screen.

The mouse has two or more buttons and incorporates a ball which makes contact with the flat surface. It works in conjunction with software devices. A new type of mouse has now been developed using infer red signals to transfer signals to the computer. Touch sensitive screen: Uses a touch sensitive display to read position of the fingertip Document Readers Scanners: This allows whole documents to be scanned optically and converted into digital images. Can be hand held or flat bed. New software can process handwriting images. Output devices: Printers:

Dot matrix printers: Characters can be formed from a matrix of dots and the density of dots of the matrix largely determines the quality of the print. Because the intensity of the individual pins of dot matrix printers can usually be controlled by software, such printers are capable of producing graphical images as well as text. Ink Jet printers: These printers spray high speed streams of ink droplets from individual nozzles in the print head onto the paper. Printing quality is very high but slow. Ink jet printers provide a cheaper alternative to laser printers.

Laser printers: Uses lasers to represent each dot of the print. A microprocessor inside the printer converts the image, line by line, into a sequence of signals which switch a laser beam on and off. Laser printers are the most expensive type of printer but offer greater quality and speed. To summarise, generally microcomputers are associated with small, low speed character printers. In recent years small printers such as ink jet, and dot matrix printers have become more sophisticated therefore for a firm like Craven Plc these small printers will be suitable to perform a range of tasks within the company.