The Social Impact of IT in the Workplace

Social Impact: using information technology in business has caused a number of changes in the way that people communicate and work with eachother.

Communications

Improvements in communications technologies have made some issues particularly interesting:

  • The electronic office: allows people to produce reports and other documents far more quickly, with greater access to relevant information.
  • Variety of contacts: people can communicate by email, fax, mobile phone, pager or any one of several other methods including teleconferencing - which has the advantage of being far cheaper than flying several people to the same conference room..
  • Responsibility: new laws have been made in order to make sure that people do not misuse the large amounts of personal information they now have access to with new technologies, or to deter them from trying to get unauthorized access to information they are not entitled to.

Working

With new technologies, new practices have been adopted in the workplace this affects issues like:

  • Training: people might need to be trained to use the new hardware and software. If they canít learn these new skills, they might end up without a job.
  • Productivity: using a computer, more work can be achieved in less time by fewer people.
  • Working from home: people no longer need to commute into a large city to work in an office with other employees.
  • New jobs: although some jobs have disappeared through introducing new technologies, whole new industries have been created in order to build, maintain, write software and provide support and training related to IT.

Questions

  1. A company is upgrading its computer system. Your friend is worried that they may lose their job as a result. Write a note to them, outlining some of the possible advantages to them arising from the upgrade.
  2. Describe two problems that could result from personal data being accessed by unauthorized people in a company.
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