There have been some dramatic developments in computer technology during the past 50 years. Changes have taken place all around the world. Computers have revolutionised our working environment in some good ways and in some bad ways. Most occupations at present and in the near future require individuals to be computer literate. This means people in current jobs would now be required to get training or are being replaced with workers with computer experience.
Computers have now introduced new forms of employment were workers carry out work away from the office and communicate with employers through the use of computers and telecommunication equipment. Although a study done in 1995 at Newcastle University found that ” Less 1 worker in 1000 was a teleworker (spending half their working week at home using a computer”. Workers enjoy greater flexibility and can arrange their working hours around their commitments and employers save on the cost of office space and overheads such as heat and light.
On the other hand management may fear difficulties in controlling a workforce that is not in the office. The revolution in the Internet provides society with a large amount of info accessible to all individuals. The accessibility of this information has been widely utilised by companies to improve their business activity and productivity. They are able to store the customer’s profile in a database and monitor their buying behaviour and therefore benefit from being better informed and making better decisions than rival competitors. In some case firms can build up such an effectively profiles of customers that they can tailor make a service for each: – there are now book site on the Web which will recommend books you are most likely to want to read.
Emails and news groups have improved communications by providing a faster service than snail mail, fax and phones. Writing your first email and getting a reply from someone across the world is an exciting experience. You can attach files such as documents, photographs, maps and executable files. Although is has many advantages security is one major problem. It is not private and can be corrupted or even forged. Videoconferencing is a new form of communication, which is possible with appropriate hardware and an ISDN line, which means that you can see the person at the other end of the line. National news channels use videoconferencing for reporting current issues on the other side of the world or for firms holding conferences where individuals are at different locations.
Although computers are often involved in criminal activities, there is a more positive aspect to computers in crime; they can prove invaluable in the detection and prevention of crime. Databases of information storing fingerprints, DNA samples, stolen vehicles, and criminal records are all essential tools in the fight against crime. Forensic investigators use highly advanced computer technology to analyse evidence found on the crime scenes. This is highly evident from the channel 5 T.V series ” Crime scene investigations”. They are able to incriminate an individual just from a stand of their hair or a bullet of a rifle by applying a number of different criteria’s to searches which enable the investigator’s to find pieces of information that may be linked.
Computers make our lives simpler and lethargic . Internet banking and shopping are the fastest growing areas of internet usage. All are demands are accessible with a click of a finger Banks and building societies are spending millions of pounds on developing their net related services. Mori is an organisation which has carries out opinion polls. They had investigated the number of individuals shopping on-line and their discoveries were I quote, ” some 40% of users have sampled buying over the Web and 10% described themselves as regular web shoppers. Cheap flights, books and holidays were the most popular items bought over the Web”. Consumers are beginning to loose their fear of buying goods and services on-line as traditional retailers move to the internet to supplement sales from their stores.