The introduction of technology to the world brought about significant changes in how people work. Industries and companies placed huge budgets on manpower and equipment necessary in creating their products or completing their work. At the time, what they received as returns were enough to sustain them though it was quite hectic. Technology made most of the processes easy to complete and automate. On a downside, it affected the job opportunities for most of the employees as it replaced their spots in the different companies. In recent years, the adoption of Information Technology in companies is on an increase as the available computer technologies support the completion of work in a fast and effective way. Hence, companies are setting aside budgets for the implementation of computer systems in their offices. The choice to implement computer systems in a workplace brings about progress and profits to a company in the end.
1.1 Role of Computers
The main purpose of computers was to help scientists, researchers, and analysts in computing large mathematical equations (Moss, 2012). It was to replace the calculator as it could not handle large computations. Its advancement brought about the creation of other avenues and media. Due to its vastness and capabilities, the end user tends to be the one to define the kind of computer they would like to use. It would be pointless to have an expensive computer for general usage or have a simple computer for heavy computing. It is a balance one should ensure they maintain.
The most common computers available in the market are home and office computers (Moss, 2012). Its buyers use it for general work or entertainment purposes. Most families use these computers to check their email, do assignments, stream video, and hold online conferences. Office users use it to complete their general work like reply to clients’ emails, record their work or research and accounting. In homes, computers replaced home lines, study shelves, and paper. One can use the computer to learn, communicate, and conserve space. In offices, computers replaced shelves, cupboards, office folders and other bulky stationery. It helps in tidying up a room as one stores their records on a computer, creating space within the office.
The other types of computers have specifications to them, which enable the user to build one that fits their needs. These kinds of computers are for professional purposes, and one might not buy it assembled from the manufacturing industries (Moss, 2012). The film and animation industry tends to have custom builds to help in different categories. There are machines for capturing the videos, editing, and rendering. The field of architecture tends to have custom builds for rendering their visualizations. Another industry that is on the rise is gaming. The current generation of games tend to be heavy and require strong machines to keep up with their rendering.
1.2 Computer System
With the different specifications for computers and its users, there are key components in them that one should look at as they look forward to making a purchase. A standard computer system composes of a system unit, a monitor, keyboard, and mouse (Computer System, 2015). There are other components one can buy such as scanners and printers, but it depends on the usage. However, in recent times, laptops are replacing computers due to various factors. They are portable, small, and less expensive.
The system unit composes of the memory, control unit, motherboard, and storage. Memory in a computer helps in storage of common computer functions. There are two types of memory: RAM and ROM. The ROM, read only memory, is non-volatile, hence its use in electronic devices such as calculators and computers (Computer System, 2015). It keeps the device’s information for an indefinite time. RAM, random access memory, helps in storing temporary data during computation. It also helps in the running of applications. The power supply feeds power to the motherboard and any other component that requires power to function. The storage helps to store data, applications, and the operating system. The primary storage in a computer is called a hard disk drive. It comes in different sizes and capacity depending on one’s purchase or build. The motherboard is a board that connects all peripheral devices and house the main components such as the CPU, RAM, and ROM.
1.3 Peripheral Devices
Peripheral devices are add-ons that help the user in their specific areas of interests (Computer System, 2015). Most of the devices do not come as a package with the computer though some companies add the standard printer as part of a purchase. Buying a peripheral device or external devices such as the keyboard depends on the cost and usage. Most of the computer users tend to buy standard devices since they are affordable and provide the needed output. In instances where one wants to have professional devices, there are various levels once can choose from depending on their budget. However, the most expensive components might not be the best especially if there are other similar options.
2.1 Client Brief
The client specifications are computer setups that will help in his accounting firm. The firm is mid-size, implying that most of their work is not that large. However, the client is optimistic that his firm will grow in the next five years to cover bulk data. Apart from that, he wishes to expand his horizons to other cities and provide employees with opportunities to work from the comforts of their homes. Their budget is flexible as the client set a miscellaneous percentage of 50 percent. As per the description, the setup should last more than ten years from the installation date. Hence, most of the systems bought should be in the current market and surpass the current software recommended requirements.
As a means of meeting individual requirements by the employers, it would be important to establish different feedback from most of them. Another requirement is to understand the current work schedules, input, output, storage, and delivery methods. It will help in providing a personal overview of the items on the market that would fit in the office. One way to record feedback would be one on one sessions with the employees. However, it will not take a day to record effective feedback since there is too much to cover. It would require schedule visits or benchmarks which will help in randomly asking the employees questions on the systems they would love to have in place.
With the results in hand, the first step would be to check the market for suitable setups and check on whether it would be cheaper to build or buy (Kluwer, 2012). The second stage will be drawing out a rough system design, which will pass through the client. He will be in a position to provide feedback on the choices made and help in making some of the decisions. The third stage would be to come up with a clear sheet of items to buy, which would be sent to the client for final approval. The client will then authorize the purchase and time for installation, which seals the deal. Our input to the business at this point is to come up with a rough estimate of the time it will take to complete the installation.
2.2 Design Specification
With a series of consultation with the client, these are the items approved for purchase and implementation. For the office, a system with Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 1 TB hard disk would be sufficient for the work. The screen monitors will be 17 inch LED as they are the common systems at the time. Other items for individual workstations are keyboards, mice, and webcams. All the computers will be under one local network for the purpose of sharing data and printers. There will be three printers in different locations; at the front office, at the boss’ office, and the common office. The printer chosen are three-in-one printers, which will enable the printing, scanning, and photocopying of documents.
The local network will have an internet connection to enable the employees to send their data directly from their workstations. There is a server room setup within one end of the office, which will host the server, routers, and switchboards. The room will have a permanent air conditioner, which will cool the server computer. There is room for expansion in both server and internet connection once the firm expands to other cities. The internet service provider should provide P2P connection to enable the firm send files remotely to their offices. Lastly, the company will set aside a budget to purchase new laptops for their employees as they plan to shift their workforce to freelancing.
The software used for the system is basic, as it does not affect the current setup. The common operating system, Microsoft Windows, would be ideal for the setup. Apart from that, their office suite would be ideal for the current company operations such as record keeping, accounting, and analysis. However, to add a professional edge to the software setup, the company may choose to buy accounting software such as QuickBooks. However, they might require training on its usage, which would cost the company.
D.3 Innovation and Creative Thought
In the implementation of the computer system, one of the major criteria used is factoring in the usage of these devices ten years to come. The system unit will be in a position to last that long since it surpasses the current recommended requirements. On the downside, it may cost the company a lot but if one factor in the usage of the system, it will be cost effective in the long run.
Computer System. (2015). Retrieved from PC-MAG: http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia/term/40175/computer-system
Kluwer, W. (2012, May 24). Assessing Computer Needs For Your Business. Retrieved from BizFilings: http://www.bizfilings.com/toolkit/sbg/office-hr/vehicles-equipment/computer-needs-business-assessment.aspx
Moss, I. (2012, December 13). The Role of Computers In Different Environments. Retrieved from Prezi: https://prezi.com/5yh1yx9bkeqj/the-role-of-computers-in-different-environments/