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Networking Basics:
The Importance of Computer Networks

Describes why and how computer networks support successful work

Information and communication are two of the most important strategic issues for the success of every enterprise. While today nearly every organization uses a substantial number of computers and communication tools ( telephones, fax, personal handheld devices), they are often still isolated. While managers today are able to use the newest applications, many departments still do not communicate and much needed information cannot be readily accessed. 


To overcome these obstacles in an effective usage of information technology, computer networks are necessary. They are a new kind (one might call it paradigm) of organization of computer systems produced by the need to merge computers and communications. At the same time they are the means to converge the two areas; the unnecessary distinction between tools to process and store information and tools to collect and transport information can disappear. Computer networks can manage to put down the barriers between information held on several (not only computer) systems. Only with the help of computer networks can a borderless communication and information environment be built.

Computer networks allow the user to access remote programs and remote databases either of the same organization or from other enterprises or public sources. Computer networks provide communication possibilities faster than other facilities. Because of these optimal information and communication possibilities, computer networks may increase the organizational learning rate,  which many authors declare as the only fundamental advantage in competition.

Besides this major reason why any organization should not fail to have a computer network, there are other reasons as well:

  • cost reduction by sharing hard- and software resources
  • high reliability by having multiple sources of supply
  • cost reduction by downsizing to microcomputer-based networks instead of using mainframes
  • greater flexibility because of possibility to connect devices from various vendors

Because of the importance of this technology, decisions of purchase, structure, and operation of computer networks cannot be left to technical staff. Management as well has a critical need for understanding the technology of computer networks.



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