The rise of the computer age has had what is arguably the greatest affect in the history of mankind on how business is done -- information can be transmitted in a split second, calculations done almost instantaneously and massive amounts of data can be processed with ease. For all of those pluses, though, there are some disadvantages that should be considered by businesses owners who have been slow in embracing computers.
Computers -- for all of the advantages they offer -- are machines, and, like any other machine, they are prone to failure from time to time. Hard drives can fail, wiping out mass amounts of data. So-called “cloud” storage, where information is uploaded to the Internet, can sometimes disappear in its entirety. There is a constant need to backup information stored on computers.
Businesses, particularly those small in size, may find computers too costly a proposition. Computers, printers, scanners and software are just part of the expense incurred. Some sellers of software also charge extra fees for each person using software at a company. Additionally, many companies require information technology support for those occasions when computers act up, and such support can be expensive, depending on the severity of the problem.
While many employers are concerned only about their profits, there are those who care about their employees. The efficiencies created by computers can lead employers to difficult decisions in eliminating faithful, long-time workers. Cutting staff because computer usage has made them unnecessary can also cause rifts with customers, particularly those who have worked with and are familiar with employees who have been shown the door.
As businesses have turned more and more to computer usage, so has their danger for security breaches increased. While such instances are rare, there are numerous stories of hackers who have stolen confidential customer information from businesses.
Greg Fish has been writing professionally in Maine since 1987. He has reported and edited at "Lincoln News," "Advertiser Democrat" and the "Bar Harbor Times." Fish currently writes for the "Penobscot Times."