The Impact of Data Processing on the Organisation
It is commonplace to state that computers have changed the world we live in. Indeed expressions such as the ‘post-industrial society’ and the ‘information society’ are, to a large extent, derived from visions of societies in which computers and computer power are ubiquitous. This realisation of the impact which computers have had and are having on our lives has not, however, always been evident. The initial forecasts for the use of computers were that they would be used for complex mathematical computation (it was widely assumed only scientific research establishments and universities would be the users). Indeed an extensive market research study predicted in the 1950s that the total world computer market would be about 1 000 machines by the year 2000! Today no accurate count of the number of computers in the world is possible, but that they exist in millions and are used in every application from the originally envisaged mathematical computation for research through government and business administration to domestic use in consumer appliance control and ‘home computers’ is incontrovertible.
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