The History of Information Systems in Business



Main activities

Skills required


Mainframe computers were used

Computers and data were centralized

Systems were tied to a few business functions: payroll, inventory, billing


Main focus was to automate existing processes

Programming in COBOL


PCs and LANs are installed

Departments set up own computer systems

End-user computing with Word Processors and Spreadsheets makes departments less dependent on the IT department


Main focus is automating existing processes

PC support, basic networking


Wide Area Networks (WANs) become corporate standards

Senior management looks for system integration and data integration. No more stand-alone systems.


Main focus is central control and corporate learning

Network support, systems integration, database administration


Wide Area Networks expand via the Internet to include global enterprises and business partners supply chain and distribution

Senior management looks for data sharing across systems.


Main focus is efficiencies and speed in inventory, manufacturing, distribution

Network support, systems integration