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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The impact of computer networking developments on computer based information systems, user organizations and their management Stevenson, David Lyle

Abstract

In the past few years, the technical and economic feasibility of computer networks has been demonstrated. This cost effectiveness has resulted ln a rapid growth in the demand for computer network services. Thus, a number of organizations are developing computer networking offerings ranging from the supply of data communications links, which allow organizations to network their own computer centers, to the supply of access to the resources of fully developed computer networks. These developments are having considerable impact upon the task of designing and implementing computer based information systems (CBIS) for user organizations, as well as upon the management of such systems. Furthermore, there are wider implications for the user organizations and their management, in terms of information flows and management structures within the organization. This thesis surveys and examines the network developments, and considers the potential impacts on, and implications for both the CBIS, its development and management, and the organization and its management. There are three main sections in the thesis. The first is an introduction to computer networks and their development, including a survey of the relevant technologies and techniques, a number of examples of existing networks and their user organizations, and an analysis of the economics of networking as experienced by these organizations. The second section considers some of the potential impacts of networking developments on contemporary information system design, implementation, and management, including hardware and software resource considerations, as well as the implications for information system management of participation in a network. The third section analyzes some of the impacts of computer networking developments and participation on the user organizations in terms of the effects on information flows in the organization, and the resulting Impacts on operating structure and functions. This section also outlines some of the opportunities and challenges which face network user organizations and their management.

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