Information Management

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Information technology and information management systems have without question grabbed a big chunk of the marketplace and the spotlight in the last 20 years. From computers that took up entire rooms in the 1950s and 1960s, to the first clumsy little boxes of the 1970s and 1980s, to wildfire spread of the Internet in the 1990s, technology turned communications in the 20th century on its head. Even Alexander Graham Bell and Nikolai Tessla would be astounded.

Information Management and the Microchip

Information management systems are essential to the health of any organization. This is true no matter what the line of business is, whether it's health care, publishing, advertising, social services, or transportation. Fortunately, the ongoing and rapid advance of computer technology has opened the doors to a wide variety of capabilities that paper-based systems simply couldn't offer. Think about it.

With today's information management, multiple users access the same files at the same time. Data is available immediately from any location. File archiving is handled from the keyboard, not in a copy room or from the back of a truck at a climate controlled warehouse. Data storage means not a single facility, but instead multiple secure locations, with automated back-ups occurring on a regular schedule.

Solutions range from off-the-shelf software to customized applications, to any combination of the two. Because the need is so great, the choices are wide and affordable. It's certainly easier than it has ever been to make the move from a paper-based system, if that leap is still to be made, or to streamline an existing computer-based system. The first step is always careful planning. Allowing for growth is critical.

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