In ASDA’s finance department, as I wrote about in unit 2A, a total of 30 computers are used to deal with business on a daily basis. The specifications of these computers are as follows:
* 30 colour, high resolution and flat screen monitors. Used to display the information produced by the computer. patriotic
* 30 ergonomic keyboards. To type in the information to the computer.
* 30 IBM computer mice which all have infra red enabled wheels. Used to click and go where you want on the computer.
* All computers in ASDA’s finance department have a 1GB RAM and an 80GB hard drive to allow fast running of the computer and a lot of storage.
* All the computers contain sound, graphics and network cards. This allows the computer to use the monitor to display virtually anything.
* The computers have USB ports and CD ROM/DVD drives and CD RW drives. This allows transferring information form work to home in the form of a USB key.
There is also a main file server which all the computers within the finance department have access to and can get some files from. This computers description is different to all the others and has a 5GB RAM and 200GB Hard drive. This is to allow easy and quick access for files and to fit an enormous amount of files.
Other hardware peripherals used in the finance department are printers. There are 16 laser printers in the department meaning 1 printer for every 2 computers. These printers are evenly distributed between each computer and the extra printer is located in the manager of the finance department’s office. Also the printer in the manager’s office also serves a photocopier and a fax machine to utilize work time.
In the finance department there are also 5 scanners, 1 scanner serving 6 computers. The main reason scanners are used in the finance department is to scan important documents such as receipts or pictures into documents. These files which are scanned can also be stored as JPEG files on the main server of all the computers. There is also a digital camera which is always kept in the manager’s office.
The main file server has an excellent broadband internet connection that serves all of the computers in the finance department. This internet is supplied by BT as internet service provider (ISP).
Computer Hardware Used in ASDA’s Finance Department
Input Devices How many and location
Keyboards – ergonomic 30 – One on every computer
Computer mouse – Infra red wheels 30 – One on every computer
Scanner 5 – Six for every computer
Microphones 10 – Used when needed
Debit and Credit Card Machine (ATM) 5 – One between every 6 computer
Output Devices How many and location
Flat Screen high resolution monitors 30 – One on every computer
Speakers 30 – One on every computer
Printers 16 – 2 between 1 computer, 1
in managers office
Processors How many and location
Central Processing Unit 30 – 1 in each computer
Data Storage: How many and location
USB Ports 30 – One in every computer
Hard disks 30 – One in every computer
Ports and Cables How many and location
USB Ports 30 – One in every computer
CD Port 30 – One in every computer
Headphones Port 30 – One in every computer
Microphone Port 30 – One in every computer
Software How many and location
Microsoft Word 30 – One in every computer
Microsoft Excel 30 – One in every computer
Microsoft Access 30 – One in every computer
Microsoft Outlook 30 – One in every computer
Microsoft Outlook Express 30 – One in every computer
Norton Anti Virus 30 – One in every computer
Dreamweaver 30 – One in every computer
Sage Accounting Package 30 – One in every computer
Connections How many and location
Intranet connections 30 – On all computers
Internet link with ISP On main server, but allows
all computers to access
internet and use e-mail
The list above sums up the hardware used by ASDA’s finance department.
Hardware Applications used by ASDA’s Finance Department
Keyboards: This device is essential to the use of computers as it allows you to type in the information that you want to. Without keyboards, computers would obviously be useless. The arrangement of keys on the core part of the keyboard is identical as any other typewriter. The computer keyboard does have keys which are specifically designed for the computer. Function keys, for example, are programmable and are used by software packages to access particular options, such as Help menus.
A number of general uses of keyboards are entering text and numbers into the computer, perhaps using a word processor. Entering keywords into a search engine, a type of program used to find information on the World Wide Web. Controlling animated graphics characters in computer games and entering commands when using a command line interface, such as that for MS-DOS. Keyboards are probably the most commonly used input devices in the finance department along with computer mice and monitors.
Computer Mouse: This device is used to navigate through the computer and click on the application that you which to use. This is essential to the efficient running of the computer. There are many types of mice and they have developed over the years. The mouse which the ASDA finance department used is fitted with optical lights which makes it much more quick and efficient and is much more productive than regular mouse’s. ASDA’s finance department want to provide their customers with the best equipment to help them work to the best of their ability.
Scanner: The finance department uses scanners to insert photographs or other types of images such as graphs and tables into a document. An example of a sort of document which scanners will be used for is a forecast. The finance department will scan graphs of predicted sales into the forecast to show what will have to be done to achieve the aim of the project. Also previous sale trends will be inserted into the document. Now the forecast is done the finance department will produce a budget where yet again, a scanner will be used to insert some images into the document. An example of this could be a table where the company can expect to make a certain amount of money if they charge a particular price for an item.
Microphone: This is an input design which is not used all the time in ASDA’s finance department. This is because it is only used to telecommunicate over a distance where the person who needs to communicate to is not in the same place as you. This allows the finance department to be able to hold meetings despite the whereabouts of the staff and times allows the department to make the most of the time that they have.
Debit and Credit Card Machine (ATM): This ICT peripheral is an input device when the information needed is inserted into the machine. These pieces of ICT are used in the finance department so that ASDA can pay suppliers and also pay their creditors (who they owe money to) and basically clear their debts. ASDA also use these machines to pay people, including their employees and suppliers. So these machines are very useful to the finance department because it allows them to go about their business quickly and very efficiently.
Monitors: The monitors which are used in ASDA’s finance department are flat screen high resolution monitors. This makes the viewing of the screen very easy and you can see the screen without getting sore eyes. This is an output device because it shows the result of your typing and all the work that you have done. The quality of the monitors at ASDA’s finance department is very high and they are 17” in size. The reason why they are used is obvious – they display all the work that you have done and is essential to the efficient running of the computer.
Speakers: This is an output device because it releases the sounds that the computers are making. The ASDA’ finance department uses speakers whilst involved in videoconferencing. This allows the department to hold meetings with their staff despite the fact that they might not be at the office at the actual time of the meeting. The speakers are connected to the big screen in the meeting room so it is as is they are in an ordinary meeting.
Printers: This is an output device as it gives you the work that you have done when you want to print it. There is a printer for every two computers in the finance department making a total of sixteen computers in ASDA’s finance department. The printers in the finance department are fitted with both color ink and black and white ink. This is essential to the finance department as it allows the department to print of vital data from e-mails and documents.
This is a component in a computer which is capable of executing a program and it interprets computer program instructions and processes data. This is the core component of a computer. The processor which is in the computers which ASDA’s finance department has is Pentium XEON Processor which is a very good processor.
USB Ports: The definition of a USB port is a Universal Serial Bus standard to interface devices. In ASDA’s finance department so the employees are able to complete some work at home and then bring it to work and transfer it to their computer at work. However USB connects far more than some people think, they connect: mouse devices, keyboards, scanners, digital cameras and printers. ASDA’s finance department uses this data storage device for all of these reasons.
Hard Disk: This storage device is a non volatile storage device which stores digitally encoded data on rotating platters with magnetic surfaces. The hard disk in ASDA’s finance department contains a memory of 80 GB. This huge hard disk is used to save numerous files such as forecasts, stock control and budgets. Without a big memory ASDA’s finance department wouldn’t be able to operate properly as they wouldn’t be able to store all the files they needed to.
Intranet: The intranet is an internet service based just within the ASDA company. Briefly, an intranet can be understood as “a private version of the Internet,” or as a version of the Internet confined to a company. So ASDA has an internet service based on ASDA so information on the employees, employee of the moth and just general information on the website is displayed on ASDA’s intranet.
Internet: The internet is used in ASDA’s finance department to use e-mail, gain information to help the department create a forecast and check the news as breaking news in the stock market can affect every single business in the UK including ASDA. So ASDA have to be in the best position possible to predict trends and forecast future sales. The finance department uses the internet to send e-mails to
Software Applications used by ASDA’s Finance Department
Microsoft Word: All the computers in the finance department have Microsoft Word as standard. All the computers are updated as soon as the new Microsoft Word comes out so the finance department has Microsoft Word 2007. This has many features which benefits the department and is used for mail merging, memo and also to just write letters to other departments. The finance department of ASDA uses this software to produce the yearly financial report which takes away the profit the company has made from the expenditure to create the net profit of the year. ASDA uses Microsoft Word for this task as it makes the document look more professional ad the spell check tool allows ASDA’s finance department to save a lot of time. Also, the finance department uses Microsoft Word to compile pay slips for their employees. Pay slips are essential as they show how much the worker ahs made and how much tax has been taken away from the worker. Once again the reason why Microsoft Word is used for this task is to make it look more professional and also save time because the finance department probably has a template of a pay slip and just have to alter it to match the correct information for each worker.
Microsoft Excel: ASDA’s finance department uses Excel to produce graphs and tables for several purposes. One of these purposes is to use graphs to accompany forecasts and budgets. They are used in budgets to show how much money is to be spent on each project. More importantly it is in forecasts to validate their prediction by producing graphs of previous trends to show why they think the company will go in the direction they think.
Microsoft Access: The finance department uses this software to create databases for many reasons. One is to keep track of their creditors and keep records of whether they have paid them back or how much they still have to pay back. Also, databases are used by the finance department to keep records of each financial report of the year and see if the net profit of the company is increasing or getting worse. Moreover, Access is mainly used because of the advantages it possesses. These are being able to filter, sort and make queries which saves time. The database includes fields with information of ASDA’s employees such as surname, first and second name, address lines, town, date of birth, date of employment, current position and salary, National Insurance number and notes where ASDA can comment on any employee.
Microsoft Outlook: This software is used to keep the main diary of the office and all the events are noted to the Outlook calendar, using color codes for particular kinds of events. Any member of staff is enabled to access the diary on the main server. Also, Microsoft Outlook is used for workers to notify fellow staff when they are going to take their holidays on the calendar.
Microsoft Outlook Express: This is used for sending e-mails to fellow employees and other departments in ASDA. The finance department needs to use e-mail to communicate to stock holders and stock suppliers and manufactures. Also the finance department needs to stay in contact with stock control to be notified if they need to make orders for the purchasing department
Norton Anti Virus: This software is used to protect and defend the finances department computers against viruses. Viruses need defending against because they can cause damage to computers and destroy vital files. Viruses are so dangerous because they can cause the finance department to lose files that can stop them from operating efficiently. However, Norton Anti Virus prevents this and protects the computer.
Sage Accounting Package: This is professional software for accountants and bookkeepers to help them do the job they need to. It is specially made to help the finance business do what they do.
Dreamweaver: The ASDA finance department uses this piece of software to design a good website to advertise the finance department or just ASDA in general. The site includes opening times, news, online shopping, and history of the company and the mission statement of ASDA.
The ASDA Finance Department Intranet: All the computers in the department have network cards and network software to allow them to access the sever and printers. Every worker in the finance department has their own passwords and this allows them to use all the software available from the main server and access all of their files from the finance department database. There are some ‘common’ files on the server and others which are password protected so that only the person with the password can access them. This also prevents staff members accidentally amending or deleting another person’s work.
The objective of ASDA is to comprehensively be recognised as the best supermarket in the UK.
ICT as a whole enables ASDA’s finance department to achieve its objectives in the following way:
1. Computers allow the finance department to create forecasts which indicate how products are going to sell and how many.
2. The database system which the department uses is much more efficient and quicker than other databases which the finance department was using.
3. ASDA have much software including Sage Accounting Package which is specifically designed for the efficient running of the finance department.
4. The ASDA finance department has the finest ICT equipment for their employees which ensure the employees can do their job with all the help needed from the very best equipment.