The aim of this article is to focus attention on the major application areas of the computer. Computer applications can be divided into three broad areas. All of these application area of the computer are described below:
Table of Contents
Application areas of computer
There are mainly 3 application areas of computer and these are as follows:
- Office automation
- Management applications
- Scientific, engineering, and research applications.
This is the most common and popular application areas of computers.
This application area of a computer is used worldwide and more famous than the other two. These applications include the use of computers for clerical activities in public and private organizations.
Office automation involves the use of computers, in conjunction with other electronic equipment, to automate the basic secretarial and clerical tasks of the office.
The routine nature of office procedures is suitable for automation. Reduced equipment costs now make it cost-effective. Word processing is a basic job in an office.
Some office automation systems go far beyond the function of word processing on networks. PCs or workstations are connected to a network that provides access to a wide variety of functions including:
- Word processing
- Spreadsheet analysis
- Drawing diagrams
- Database applications
- Electronic mail facilities
- Access to other networks for information exchange
- Electronic commerce.
There may be a number of file servers and print servers connected to a network. A popular example is a client-server arrangement.
In most client-server arrangements an application program (the client) runs on another computer. The server machines are usually more powerful and are popularly dedicated to providing access to:
- A printer
- Electronic Mail
- Another system.
This is one of the most important application areas of computer and it covers various sector which is mention below.
The management application is one of the most important application areas of the computer. A commercial organization often needs information on which to base decisions concerning the current operations and future plans.
This information should be timely and accurate. Examples of the use of computers for management and control are given below.
A computer can process data quickly and thereby make available information on stock levels. A computer can be used to link widely separated warehouses, thus treating them as one vast stock control system.
Customer orders can be served from an alternative warehouse if an item is not available in the local one. Thus the computer enables stock holdings to be kept to a minimum and thereby reduces cash requirements for business.
It is an extremely complex area, especially in factory automation. Production should respond quickly to changes in demand and other circumstances. This requires accurate up-to-date information which should also be timely.
Online systems help to get data quickly enough to influence current events. A computer can make machine loading, materials control, machine utilization, etc. A computer is more efficient because of its ability to make complex calculations and shift data quickly and accurately.
Some of the information used in the control of labor can be obtained from the payroll and personnel records. An analysis of labor hours for idle time, sickness, and absence can aid in forecasting future requirements.
Results of analysis help to highlight these problems accurately and actual performance can be measured quickly against planned performance. Reports for the shop-floor manager aid control of routine operations and can help better utilization of manpower.
Network analysis is used for the planning and control of complex projects. Examples are the building of a factory, the installation of a new plant, and the manufacture of an aircraft or ship.
A model is used to show each stage in the project and its dependence on other stages. When the necessary data have been supplied, the program produces a plan for the management.
The plan can be quickly modified by the program in the light of actual progress, and revised plans produced at a short notice. The program also indicates the interdependent activities that take the longest time to complete and could hold up the project.
This is used to find the optimum solution which maximizes profits or minimizes costs. A considerable amount of data are supplied to construct a computer model.
The computer has the storage, capacity, and speed to calculate and execute every feasible solution and thus to find the best one.
A model can be constructed for a company’s finance comprising of its resources, income, and expenditure. This can be used to simulate the effects of different policies.
It is possible by a series of computer runs, with variations of the basic assumptions to obtain a forecast of the likely effects of alternative policies. the usefulness of the computer lies in its high speed, which enables it to execute instructions quickly.
Scientific, Engineering, and Research Applications
These types of application areas of a computer include the use of a computer for complex mathematical calculations, analysis of data of various nature, design, analysis, and control of physical systems, etc.
Here is the main emphasis of data processing in research and development for scientific, engineering, and industrial applications. A few areas are described below:
Weather forecasting demands vast computational powers. This is an area that requires super-computers.
Mathematical and statistical analysis
These analyses require large calculations and solutions to mathematical and statistical problems.
The applications include research in physics, chemistry, geology, archaeology, medicine, astronomy, social science, etc.
Some commercial problems have a mathematical bias and require mathematical analysis to determine the optimum use of resources.
Computers can be used as a design tool in engineering and other disciples.
CAD (Computer-Aided Design) is used in electronic, electrical, mechanical, aeronautical, civil engineering, architecture, and many other disciplines.
A computer can be used as an aid to medical research by analyzing data. The computer acts as a large bank of data about known medical conditions.
These application areas of computers are mainly used in the medical section.
Once a computer system has been set up by medical experts an ordinary doctor can be taken through a question and answer session by the computer until a correct diagnosis is made
A computer can be used to hold details of patient data. The microcomputer system is now used for this purpose in increasing the number of computerized health records that can be used by medical officers health visitors and researchers.
Computers are used extensively as a part of the study in computer science itself. They are used as a way of aiding the understanding of a wide variety of other subjects. The computer can provide instructions and ask a question.
This kind of activity is called computer-aided learning or computer-aided instruction computers are also used for a number of other applications in education, an example is marking multiple-choice examination papers and processing examination results.
Some examples of the use of a computer in manufacturing are stock and production control engineering design etc. the industrial design manufacturing and testing processes are becoming increasingly computerized.
The terms CAD-CAM (computer-aided manufacture) and CADMAN (computer-aided design manufacture and testing) are familiar words in industries now.
The word robot comes from a Czech word whose meaning is to labor for many years the term robot was associated with science fiction rather than science fact. That association has changed now.
The basic difference between industrial robots and other automated machines is that a robot can be programmed to carry out a complex task and be reprogrammed to carry out another complex task. A complex task is a series of actions involving mechanical manipulations.
Other application areas of computer
Some other popular application areas of computers are mentioned below.
Computers are used for a variety of applications and there are some applications that do not fall into either of the application mentioned above. Some of these applications are discussed below.
An expert system is a program package that can perform the function of a human expert. Some of the initial expert systems were used for medical diagnosis.
A medical consultant assisted by staff takes part in a lengthy exercise in which both the knowledge and the decision-making procedures are transferred to the computer.
As a result, the computer can ask a question and draw a conclusion from the answers and a junior doctor aided by the computer could be as expert as a consultant.
There is much application for expert system example are company law investment, finance, and personnel management, etc. expert systems normally have the following features:
- An organized base of knowledge in the form of a database.
- A user interface to support diagnostic discussions with the user.
- A facility to hold details of the consultation.
- An inference engine is software that can use the knowledge base and current consultations to formulate further questions or draw conclusions from actions. A knowledge acquisition system, to update the knowledge base.
Although the basic components of an expert system are bound to vary from one discipline to another the basic structure is the same.
The user of the expert system sits before a PC and takes part in a question and answer session in which data about the problem are typed in at various stages during the session or at the end, the system makes an assessment of the problem and recommends actions.
The expert system package is not confined to large computers several are available now for personal computers.
Intelligent Knowledge-Based System (IKBS)
These are intended to provide an expert consultative service to management and are also called expert systems. A typical system is an interactive one and contains a large database.
The system is programmed with a decision-making strategy developed by careful consultation with experts in the file.
The user takes part in a question and answers session in which data about the problem are supplied through the keyboard. At the end of the session, the system makes an assessment of the problem and suggests actions.
The use of an application package is an alternative to developing programs. Many small organizations cannot afford to employ a programmer, and individual users may not be capable of writing programs. As an alternative, many firms and individuals purchase programs.
An application package generally includes a full description of the operation of the program, user instructions, and documents.
There are many large organizations that find it more economical to purchase application packages rather than writing their own applications. Some advantages connected with the use of application packages are:
- No need to employ a programmer for program development
- The program is ready immediately
- The developer of the application package employs skilled programmers
- It is possible to get help or share the experience with other users of the package.
There are, however, some disadvantages in the use of application packages as compared with program development. the most important are:
- The programs may be too general and not readily matched to the needs of the user.
- It may be difficult to adapt the program to the changing needs and growth of the user’s application.
Hope you find all application areas of computer otherwise you can comment below.
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