Though the word computing refers to mathematical calculations, the work of computing and computers now extends much beyond just mathematical calculations. Computers and computing are also used widely in many other areas such as communications, equipment operation and control, and entertainment. The uses of computing in business today are almost endless. However given below are some broad categories of business uses of computing.
- for mathematical calculations which are carried out in business for various purposes such as accounting, analysis, optimization decision based on mathematical models, and reporting.
- For storing and updating different kind of data required in business. This includes data about a wide range of subjects such as products, equipments, employees, suppliers, customers, sales, purchase, production, and monetary transactions. Many time such data may be captured automatically by computer for example data for billing of customers by telecommunication companies. Similarly it may also feed data automatically to people who need it. For example managers may be receive automatic warnings about malfunctioning of major equipments in a process plants.
- For preparing plans and progress reports.
- For preparing various documents required in business operations - for examples, invoices, purchase orders, pay orders, material requisitions and so on.
- For communication: Most obvious of this application is email, but much greater volume of data is communicated by way of on-line data transfer between different units within same company and between different companies.
- For carrying out business transactions such as selling and buying as ids done through B2B, B2C and C2C systems.
- Advertisements through the Internet.
- Product and process design.
- Operation and control of equipments. This includes among others numerically controlled machined, automatic process control systems, and robots.
- Creation and delivery of products for sale. For example, music delivered on-line over the Internet.
- For training: This includes training of employees as well as information dissemination to customers, buyers and other persons dealing with the company. In addition computer has become a major channel used by educational institutes.
- Actually conducting physical business operations - For example ATM and retail vending machines.