Importance of Computers in the Business World

A few decades ago, the most powerful computer any business needed was an electronic calculator. In the 21st century, however, computers are an indispensable tool for any business. They’re important in a myriad of ways – to communicate internally and externally – as well as to pay bills, send invoices and order supplies. Relying on computers has drawbacks, however, but they’re too valuable for businesses to attempt to run a company without them.

The Ubiquitousness of E-Commerce

Before computers made the “e” prefix a thing, e-commerce didn’t even exist. Now, however, e-commerce is firmly entrenched as a prime mover in the economy. Giants such as Amazon have been able to succeed at e-commerce without any brick-and-mortar stores. Websites, newsletters and email make it easy to promote yourself so that you can attract a greater number of potential customers and at a cost that’s much less than using the older, formerly traditional promotion methods.

Customers can submit bids or questions online to your company or order your products 24/7. E-commerce can lead to a greater number of sales within a shorter time period – but without computers, this wouldn’t even be possible.

Communication and Messaging Tools

Computers offer a mind-blowing range of communication tools – email, chat sessions, instant messaging, Slack, the enterprise communication service, and more. But it’s actually not the specific technology that’s important – it’s the benefits of tech-enabled communication. Collaborators across the country can work on a project without meeting each other in person. A project wiki can save time by storing the answers to the most common questions.

In an emergency, crisis managers can contact everyone who needs to be informed of any news or development more quickly than in the recent past, when the only cutting-edge communications device was a telephone.

Increased Business Efficiency

As recently as a few decades ago, many tasks depended entirely on human effort, although these were aided by an adding machine or a typewriter. In the 21st century, computers improve business efficiency by expediting routine tasks. These machines can format a letter, spell-check a document or enter the sale of an asset into business accounts easily and faster than ever before. Computers track what needs to be done, and when.

Document and Data Storage

Businesses still need to file paperwork, but much of the “paper” work exists solely in digital bits. This saves a tremendous amount of space that would otherwise be devoted to physical file storage. Digital systems also offer greater organizational efficiency – users can retrieve a document from their desks without needing to send a secretary into a vast file room to hunt for the document. If documents need editing, it’s much easier to do this when documents exist only as bytes of data.

New Vulnerabilities to Risk

To most businesses, the importance of computers isn’t always a benefit. As the business world becomes more dependent on computers, that dependence creates new weaknesses. As recently as two or three decades ago, stealing information required that the perpetrator have the document in one’s physical possession – just long enough to copy the document. Now, a potential perpetrator only needs to have access to the company’s network.

An employee whose password is written and easily accessible to anybody who walks into the office is a gift to a hacker or fellow employee. This person can easily find top-secret company information. Computers aren’t going away, but neither are the vulnerabilities that computers pose.

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