I agree with the statement that computers have resulted in job losses. The automation of many business tasks has meant that few personnel are required to perform the tasks. Many organizations have taken advantage of automation to downsize their labour forces. Specific industries in which downsizing has occurred include:
1. Banking industry
Adoption of ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) has resulted in many over-the-counter transactions being redirected to the ATMs. This has resulted in the downsizing of bank clerks.
2. Supermarket industry
The adoption of point of sale systems has improved the efficiency of sales processing. This has resulted in fewer counters hence, fewer sales clerks.
Computer programs have automated many accounting functions e.g maintenance of ledger accounts, preparation of financial statements, etc thus improving their efficiency which means that fewer accountants are now required.
4. Manufacturing industry
Process control systems have eliminated the need for a human being to monitor and control industrial processes e.g. maintaining a constant temperature during distillation of spirits, manufacture of rubber, etc
5. Music industry
The mp3 revolution has drove out music retailers out of the industry. Nowadays, mp3 versions of hit songs and albums are available freely over the Internet. This has resulted in a decrease in the number of original CDs sold by CD and tape vendors which results in job losses in the music retailing industry to cope with the decreased business.
I disagree with the statement that computers result in overall job losses. Despite the fact that computers have resulted in initial job losses, they have created many jobs to offset the initial losses. These jobs are concerned with systems support, systems development and management of information technology. The jobs/ roles include:
1. Network administration
This comprises of system administration (providing user support) and maintenance of computer networks.
2. Systems analysis
This consists in examining a business area to identify areas that need computerization, designing an information system to meet user requirements and implementing the information system to solve business problems. Systems analysis carried out by the systems analyst.
This involves translating program design into program code in a high-level language.
4. Database administration
This involves managing an organization‘s database.
5. Systems support
This involves providing technical support to ordinary computer users.
6. Information technology management
It involves overseeing the running of the information technology department. The information technology manager also works with other senior organization managers to formulate policies that will help the organization attain a strategic advantage.
7. Data entry
This consists in entering data to the information system through a computer.
It could also be argued that cost savings by firms that have adopted the use of information technology have been rerouted to other investments/ branches opened thus providing an opportunity for creation of other non-IT related jobs e.g. management, public relations, accounting, etc