ITGS Syllabus

Friday, April 21, 2006

Topic 65

Paper files versus electronic files by Marek

Over the years, as technology has advanced, people have begun to make decisions. Decisions how to run companies, or to change systems or to buy new equipment. Decisions that affect our lives. One of the major decisions faced by many major companies today is “Should we store our data in paper, or in electronics?”

The Answer to this complex question was as simple as possible. Many companies simply choose to do both. This way, they employ a “safety net” system, in which there is a backup readily available should one of the systems become severely compromised. This style of recording keeping is both efficient and safe, as it allows another record of past events to be perused at will, compared, or even copied if the situation were to call for it.

In the past, many firms preferred to keep hard copies or records in paper format, due to the fact that they were readily available and incredibly easy to use. In those days, electronics were complex and confusing, and at some times, downright unreliable. Entire libraries of valuable information could be wiped from the hard-drive by a carelessly placed magnet.

The old fashioned way, on paper, could be categorized easily, and there would be very little chance that it could be damaged, or modified without the proper authorities knowing about it. There was also the psychological influence of keeping paper records, as it would reflect extremely well on the company if it could produce the actual legal document in front of it’s customers are opposed to a copy on the screen of some computer. In a fashion, it is human nature that dictates how we store things, and seeing that appearances are important, many companies have chosen the paper storage as well as electronic.

However, in the present and the future, computer memories seem to be the way the economy is heading. For on, computer technology has become amazingly reliable and simple, and the compression software has advanced such that several thousand books can be store in a portable box roughly the size of a game boy. In doing this, the companies designing the machines have all but assured the extinction of the old fashioned “paper” method.

Another added advantage of such a system is that the files of important information can be accessed globally from any computer terminal, given that the security conditions are all satisfactory. This allows a multitude of opportunities, such as new business transactions, as a person no longer must carry with them, but can pull them up from the recesses of his company’s database and have them in front of his new business partners in less than five minutes.

This apparently useful advantage has its flip-side though. The fact that ANYONE can access the information and modify has lead to the rise in the number of hackers and electronic mischief makers. These legal documents, which were once untouched and left in a locked file cabinet, safely in building with a night guard is now on the internet, left to the tender mercies of the millions of cyber-thieves and other trouble makers around.

In conclusion, it seems apt to state that technology is at once both our salvation and damnation. It is a mixed blessing and curse, allowing us to mingle freely with more and more people, while also having our resources stolen and copied. Modern society in this form appears to take risks, and even though the price is high, we pay it gladly.


Blogger Maersk_Marek said...

A fine example of what an essay should be like. i especially liked the way you went into considerable detail about the pros and cons of having each system in place.

January 26, 2007 9:15 PM  

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