The computer plays many roles in business, including communications, data storage and data analysis. Additionally, the computer can save businesses money through making employees more efficient and providing tools that without a computer would cost too much money. Finally, the computer makes some things possible that were not even 15 years ago.
Businesses use computers for communications across a number of types of people, such as between employees, between the business and its customers, and between a business and its suppliers. One major advantage of computer communication is that it is often asynchronous, which means that communication can happen even if one person is not available by telephone. Additionally, computers can store huge amounts of data that, if printed, would take rooms and rooms full of file cabinets (this is one way in which computers help save trees). It is also easy to find particular data or to pull two data sets together using a computer; this would consume a lot of time with paper records in a file cabinet. Employees who use computers can get more done than their non-computer-using peers because both communication is easier to accomplish and finding and using information is easier. Another role that the computer has played in recent years is the ability to do things easily that would have been difficult in the past. For example, in the past, if a company wanted to produce a video, it would have had to rent or buy large video cameras and the equipment to process video. Digital video and the software to edit videos are much less expensive. Finally, computers allow business employees to analyze huge data sets and to find out new information that can help with business decisions.