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Mainframe vs. Personal Computing

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Managing enterprise data used to fall primarily on mainframe computing but then personal computers were introduced. How are the two computer styles different? How did the management of data shift from a mainframe system to a PC-based computing system?

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The shift from mainframe computing to PC-based computing has been intriguing and we must revisit how the mainframe was used. First of all, we must define what the mainframe computer is. A mainframe computer is a type of big, powerful, large, expensive, and reliable computer that has been around for decades. IBM announced the System/360 50 years ago. A lot of applications running on the machine were written in COBOL, which is a programming language used for the mainframe computer. Mainframes runs big ...

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This response looks at the shift from mainframe computing to PC-based computing and looks at the uses of each system. A mainframe computer is a type of big, powerful, large, expensive, and reliable computer that has been around for decades, while a PC is a personal computer that is fast and efficient.

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The Big Wheeled Bike Company manufactures exercise bicycles

The Big Wheeled Bike Company manufactures exercise bicycles. The company was formed five years ago and has experienced a 50% annual growth rate. The company is organized by function, with vice presidents for manufacturing, marketing, finance, accounting, and general administration. The firm operates a small mainframe computer, which runs batch applications for all five departments. The manufacturing system also includes an online system to schedule production and provide inventory stocking levels. The manager of the computer department (DP) reports to the vice president of general administration.

Because of the company's rapid growth, department managers has demanded more computer support and reporting but due to the limited computer resources, their requests have not been fulfilled. The vice president of manufacturing complained about this lack of support to the company president. He prepared a proposal for a state-of-the-art manufacturing system that would operate on personal computers linked with a local area network. He argued that his department would be able to pay for this system with increased efficiency and functionality.

The president recently received a request from the vice president of general administration to fund a significant upgrade of the firm's mainframe computer system to handle the workload. The finance and accounting divisions have recently purchased several personal computers and are planning to request funds for additional hardware purchases along with a new file server to connect them.

The president realizes the importance of adequate computer resources to the firm's operations but has begun to wonder whether there is sufficient control and adequate planning for the acquisition and use of computer resources. The president thinks forming a steering committee might help solve these problems.

Required: What is a steering committee and what role can they play in planning for the acquisition of new computers. What initial actions should this new committee take?

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