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By A. J. Smith (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0333491610

ISBN-13: 9780333491614

ISBN-10: 134910857X

ISBN-13: 9781349108572

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1987a) 'Run around the clock' Personal Computer World February 1987 pp. 122-126 Malcolm P. (1987b) 'Caught in the net' Personal Computer World May 1987 pp. 134-138 Stobie I. 88 pp. 30-31 Toothill P. (1987) 'Clearing the line' Personal Computer WorldApril1987 pp. 174-176 Walker N. 12 (December 1986)pp. 164-167 Wharton (1987) Image processing Wharton Information Systems Widdeson P. (1980) Computers and Public Authorities Privately published 3 The Selection and Management of an Office Computer System Objectives At the end of this chapter you should be able to: • Discuss the factors to be considered when choosing an office computer system.

There are pressures from the press, salesmen, often from staff, and from attitudes of 'keeping up with the jones'. The first steps are often difficult, usually the most crucial, invariably the ones with the most pitfalls. CICA (1981 :p. 8) Choosing an office computer system, as the above quotation indicates, is often a difficult business, but in many organisations the process is made more difficult than it need be because the decision to acquire a computer is made for the wrong reasons. There are, of course, many reasons why an organisation might want to introduce computers, but among less valid ones might be: i) to keep up with the Jones- 'all our competitors have computers so we must have one as well' ii) 'computers are the tool of the future and you ignore them at your peril' iii) pressure from enthusiastic staff to 'have a go' All of the above are based on 'feelings', none is based on any kind of rational assessment of the contribution which the machine might make to The Selection and Management of an Office Computer System 43 the organisation as a whole, and whilst the above statements might, at least in part, even be true, an organisation which installs a computer system using any of the above for justification is doomed to disappointment.

V) Well supported - for a program of any size there should always be some form of support service. Ask the vendor what you'd have to do to get assistance if the program failed in the middle of a vital run at 4pm on Christmas Eve! Ask about future updates to the system. Carter (1984) reports that the Chartered Institute of Building Services Computer Applications Panel is to publish algorithms for solution of building services problems, and argues that the professional institutions as a whole should take some responsibility for establishing testing and validation procedures for programs which come within their specialist areas.

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Computers and Quantity Surveyors by A. J. Smith (auth.)

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