5AppendixB - Confirming Pages Confirming Pages Hardware and...

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Hardware and Software Basics Introduction Managers need to determine what types of hardware and software will satisfy their current and future business needs, the right time to buy the equipment, and how to protect their IT investments. This does not imply that managers need to be experts in all areas of technology; however, build- ing a basic understanding of hardware and software can help them make the right IT investment choices. ± Information technology (IT) ±is a fi eld concerned with the use of technol- ogy in managing and processing information. Information technology can be an important enabler of business success and innovation. Information technology can be composed of the Internet, a personal computer, a cell phone that can access the Web, a personal digital assistant, or presentation software. All of these technologies help to perform specifi c information processing tasks. There are two basic categories of information technology: hardware and software. Hardware± consists of the physical devices associ- ated with a computer system. Software± is the set of instructions that the hardware executes to carry out specifi c tasks. Software, such as Microsoft Excel, and various hardware devices, such as a keyboard and a monitor, in- teract to create a spreadsheet or a graph. This appendix covers the basics of computer hardware and software including terminology, characteristics, and the associated managerial responsibilities for building a solid enterprise architecture.± B.1 B
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Appendix B Hardware and Software Basics B.2 Hardware Basics In many industries, exploiting computer hardware is key to gaining a competitive advantage. Frito-Lay gained a competitive advantage by using handheld devices to track the strategic placement and sale of items in convenience stores. Sales rep- resentatives could track sale price, competitor information, the number of items sold, and item location in the store all from their handheld device. 1 ± A computer± is an electronic device operating under the control of instructions stored in its own memory that can accept, manipulate, and store data. A computer system consists of six hardware components (see Figure B.1 ). Figure B.2 displays how these components work together to form a computer system. CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT The dominant manufacturers of CPUs today include Intel (with its Celeron and Pentium lines for personal computers) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) (with its Athlon series). AMD was initially dismissed as a company that simply cloned current chips, producing processors that mimic the features and capabilities of LEARNING OUTCOMES B.1.± Describe the six major categories of hardware and provide an example of each. B.2± Identify the different computer categories and explain their potential business uses. B.3±
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5AppendixB - Confirming Pages Confirming Pages Hardware and...

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