Office automation is a widely used term today. It generally means the application of computer and communication technology to improve the productivity of ‚knowledge works‛.
Office automation refers to the use of sophisticated electronic equipment and communication systems to carry out the ‚electronic tasks‛ the tasks include:
- Text processing,
- Data processing
- Information storage,
- Information retrieval and updating,
- Message distribution,
- Document transmission and reproduction,
Office automation is a process that involves people, procedure and technology. Office automation technology include word processor, telecommunication, reprographics, e-mail, e-filing, facsimile transmission, micro-graphics and voice technologies.
Office automation involves the use of computers, in conjunction with other electronic-equipment to automate the basic secretarial and clerical the basic secretarial and clerical tasks of office.
Basic office automation consists of word processors connected to one another to means of a local area network.
Office automation should be designed as a multi-function information system to provide executives decision support tools such as:
On-line access to databases,
Model building and forecasted building and forecasting,
- Risk analysis,
- Sophisticated graphics,
- Integration of data and text,
- Data communication
Some office automation systems go far beyond the function of providing word processing on networks. PCs or workstations are connected to a network.
Office automation support a large number of software packages that could be used as decision support tools. Important ones are:
- Word processor, database management systems,
- Electronic spreadsheets,
- Graphics packages,
- Electronic mail systems
Benefits of office automation include increased productivity, greater accuracy, lower clerical cost, continuously decreasing cost, decreasing size and increasing capabilities, quality and flexibility of outputs, and ease of operations.