Basically a changeover from manual to computerized system includes all those activities, which must be completed successfully to convert from the previous system to the new information system. Fundamentally these activities can be classified with five broad categories as explained below:
(1) Procedure Conversion: Operating procedure should be completely documented for the new system. This applies to both computer operations and functional area operations. Operating procedures must be clearly spelled out for personnel in the functional areas undergoing changes. Information on input data files, methods, procedures, output and internal control must be presented in clear concise and understandable terms, both in written and oral form.
(2) File Conversion: Because large files of information must be converted from one medium to another this phase should be started long before programming and testing are completed. The cost and related problem of file conversion are significant. Computer generated files tend to be more accurate and consistent than manual files. The formats of one computer files may be unacceptable for the other system. To be accurate files conversion programs must be thoroughly tested and adequate combats must be generated. The existing computer files must be kept for some time as back up since they may be needed for reconstruction in case bug is discovered later on.
(3) System Conversion: Now daily processing can be shifted from the existing system to a new one. A cut off points is established so that data base and other data requirements can be updated to the cut off point. All transactions initiated after this time are processed on the new system. If necessary, appropriate changes are made to the new system. The old system is dropped as soon as the data processing group is satisfied with the new system.
(4) Scheduling personnel and equipment: Schedules should be set up the system manager in conjunction with departmental managers of operational units The time required to assign remote
batch programs under normal operating conditions in real time is a problem which is solved designing a block of time each day for the operation of remote devices.
The equipment and the operating personnel must be scheduled for maximum utilization.
(5) Alternative plans in case of equipment failure: Priorities must be given to those jobs critical to an organization such as billing, payroll and inventory. Documentation of alternative plans is the responsibility of the computer section and should be fully covered the organization’s systems and procedures manual.