- Mar 27, 2018
- - 0 comment
How the Electronic Office Started
The electronic office represents the integration of computer based information technology into the office environment to reduce paper work and increase output. This inception was in the 1980s.
The electronic office involves introduction of individual computers running office software applications such as desktop publishers. It involves the interconnection of office computers via a local area network and the centralization of office functions via web applications.
The introduction of the electronic office has improved the level of service in organizations. This is due to the accuracy and efficiency brought about by the innovation.
Office automation describes the tools and methods that are applied to office activities which make it possible to process written, visual, and audio data in a computer aided manner. It is the application of information technology to the typical clerical and secretarial tasks like communication, correspondence, documenting and filing.
This process concentrates on providing elements which make it possible to simplify, improve and automate the organization of activities of a company. It involves the exchange of information, handling of numerical data, management of administrative documents, meeting planning and management of work schedules.
The life wire of the automation process is the local area network that allows various activities to be centralized an accessible at different management levels.
CORRESPONDENCE – CHANGING TECHNIQUES
The medium of correspondence between organizations and customers or organizations and organizations was postal services. A lot of risks were involved in this mode of correspondence. Secret and confidential documents could be accessed and replicated by the conveying party. This could jeopardize the relationship between an organization and important clients. The messages could be delayed due to unforeseen circumstances. The conveying party could be an accident victim or get delayed along the line.
The message could also get totally destroyed or misplaced if there is a fire outbreak. This mode of correspondence has led to termination of important contracts between individuals and organizations. Having classified documents in the wrong hands have also led to a lot of damages and a great dent on the image of organizations.
These cons have fostered the innovation of electronic communication techniques. These include the internet, web, e-mail, instant messaging, chat rooms, news groups, video conferencing and fax machines.
Organizations communicate with clients and other companies via asynchronous and synchronous messaging. This address speed, security and consistence.
Modes of communication have been changed from analogue to digital. An analogue signal consist of a continuous electric wave while a digital signal consist of individual electrical pulses that represents bits grouped together into bytes.
Communication is the process of data, instruction and information transfer between two or more computers or devices. The communication link is established by the integration of a sending device, communication device, communication channel and a receiving device. The sending device initiates an instruction to transmit data, instruction or information. The communication device connects the sending device to a communication channel. The communication channel is the transmission media through which data travel. The receiving device is the device that accepts the transmitted data or information.
Modern ways of communication as mentioned above include the internet, web, e-mail, instant messaging, chat rooms, news groups, web folders, video conferencing and fax machines.
The internet is a worldwide collection of networks that link millions of businesses, educational institutions, government agencies and individuals. This has helped organizations to ease the buying and selling of goods and services in order to increase production.
The web is a worldwide collection of electronic documents on the internet that users access through a web browser. Organizations have adopted the use of dynamic web pages to elaborate the activities and services in an organization.
The e-mail also called electronic mail is used to pass vital information across to millions of customers across the globe by using bulk mails. These messages are delivered in seconds. Organizations use it to notify customers of their new services while financial institutions like bank use it to intimate customers on transaction processes going on with their accounts.
The instant messaging is a real time internet communication service that notifies an individual or organization about clients who are online. This allows the exchange of messages instantly.
The chat room is a place where real time typed conversations take place between two or more people at the same time. This is done on computers connected to a network. This is either wireless area network (WAN) or local area network (LAN).
Newsgroups are online areas where users conduct written discussions about a particular subject. An organization can use this medium to know the opinion of the public about their product through posts and comments. This can help the company cover the loop holes and make amends where necessary.
Web folders are shortcuts to locations on a web server which users publish documents and other files.
Video conferencing is a real time meeting between two or more geographically separated people by using a network to transmit audio and video data. This is a great plus in the electronic office because of the easy access to different managers irrespective of locations. This helps to avoid delay of decisions necessary to facilitate an action in an organization.
Fax machines are used to transmit and receive documents over phone lines exactly the way they are. It makes it easy for individuals who buy vehicles online to get the original custom duty papers to be presented at a port to clear the vehicle.
Communication in the electronic office has helped the increase of productivity, efficiency and security of organizations.
Public services define services provided by the government to its citizens either directly or by financing private provision of services. Some of the public services that have been automated include different procedures of the electoral commission. The electoral commission is responsible for election processes that bring about change of government. This is a very important responsibility of the government because of the interests of the people.
This process is normally done by paper work for registrations and head counts for voting. This task is tedious and inefficient. This has led to the use of electronic machines for registration of the candidates and the voting exercise. The process is done by forwarding the names of all registered candidates to a general database of the national electoral commission. When the main voting is done, the record of the primary election is double checked to verify any incompetence.
The electronic office has made this task easier and more reliable.
DOCUMENT IMAGE PROCESSING
Document image processing is the use of information technology system to replicate documents commonly used in businesses and organizations. Document imaging systems can take many forms including microfilm, on demand printers, facsimile machines, copiers, multifunction printers, document scanners, computer output microfilm (COM) and archive writers.
Document imaging is a form of enterprise content management. A new document management technology emerged in the 1980. It is called the electronic document management. The technology was built around the need to manage and secure escalating volume of electronic documents in organizations.
This system helps in the printing out and management of important documents like bank transaction documents, shares, certificates, stock documents and educational institution documents.
OFFICE AUTOMATIONS EFFECT ON BUSINESS
Office automation has helped to improve the concepts of presentations during seminar workshops and board meetings. This was formerly done with paper work which makes the task more tedious for the presenter. Office automation brought about the use of projectors to present reports and trainings. A series of networked computers are also use by individuals present at the meeting to follow up the presentation.
Office automation has helped to secure the transfer of confidential documents between two or more organizations. Written documents could be misplaced or modified but office automation has helped to face off such problems. Documents are presently typed with a desktop publisher, mailed over a network and saved on both internal and external hard drives for reference purposes.
Office automation has helped to increase the quality of official documents. This is due to the introduction of beautiful text fonts and word processors. Issues of bad handwritings and substandard letter formats have been addressed through this medium.
Office automation has helped to reduce the amount of files and documents kept in offices. Most information needed by the organization are now stored in files and directories of the computer. This makes it easy to locate specific document or receipt needed to carry out a transaction.
Office automation has helped to reduce personal contact between managers and personnel in an organization. The new modes of communication such as classrooms, e-mails and phones have helped to make communication easier within an organization.
Office automation has helped managers at different levels of an organization monitor the operations of their unit from their various departments. This is due to the integration of goods and services rendered viewed from a network with an enterprise resource planning system (ERP) or executive management system (EMS).
Office automation encourages the regular training and enlightenment of management staffs of an organization to keep them up to date. This is due to the regular changes and development of information and technology systems. This calls for an environment filled with computer literate staffs.
Office automation has helped to reduce stress on the part of clerks and secretaries due to the organized concept of managing information within an organization.
The introduction of the electronic office has greatly helped to positively restructure the process of work at different management levels in an organization. This has helped to increase production and build a closer relationship among workers through the use of wireless and local area networks.
THE COMPUTERIZATION OF BUSINESS FUNCTIONS
The computerization of business functions has helped organizations to satisfy the needs of customers. An organization speeds up its functions by computerized functions or techniques. The organization can compile information, analyze requests, project its possible accountability and coordinate supply in a short time frame. The computer technique can help the organization reformulate its data in order to strengthen its point of view and lessen its legal responsibility. The memory of the computer helps it to maintain elaborate activities associated with records. The computerization of business functions helps to bring the society and organizations closer. This is due to the uninterrupted access through internet services.
Business organizational functions which include sales and marketing, production and logistics, personnel, finance and accounting have been changed from manual to automated.
Manual process involves maintaining the financial statements of the organization, keeping track of inventory, maintaining attendance of employees and providing after sale service to customers. These processes require the physical involvement of employees. This slows down the chain running from demand to supply thus requiring an improvement.
The emergence of new technologies has helped to automate these processes to enhance efficiency and productivity in organizations. This has led to the use of electronic punch cards in organizations to record the entry and exit time of employees.
This maintains the attendance record. The use of scanning devices and POS machines in retail outlets to scan products and prepare bills for customers is also an automated process. This discourages dubious personnel from manipulation of account considering the fact that it would be detected. The use of inventory database to keep track of the flow of goods in the organization is also adopted. This helps to centralize and integrate the operations of an organization at different management levels.
Accounting softwares have been introduced to prepare budgets, and maintain financial statements of the organization. This reduces stress in balancing account and ensures precise account summaries.
The use of databases to store, retrieve, and manipulate data regarding employees, market search, customer needs, customer satisfaction, survey and sales analysis is also an automated process. This helps to maximize the quality of service rendered to the customer.
Business process re-engineering (BPR) is used from time to time by system analysts to renew and update the processes. This is to meet the latest level of operations in the industry.
Computerization of business functions involves the use of transaction processing systems (TPS), MIS and DSS to make the best out of an organization’s services.