Office automation refers to the different computer machinery and software used to digitally create, collect, store, manipulate, and relay office information needed for accomplishing basic tasks. Office automation helps in optimising or automating existing office procedures.
Office automation alludes to the diverse PC peripherals and programming used to carefully make, gather, store, control, and hand-off office data required for achieving basic tasks. Office automation helps in improving or automating existing office activities.
All office functions, including dictations, typing, filing, copying, fax, Telex, microfilm and records management, telephone and telephone switchboard operations, fall into this category. The desktop computer has contributed greatly to office automation, which is why the term office automation was popular in the 1970s and 1980s as the desktop computer exploded onto the scene.
There are some basic activities of an office automation system: data management, storage of information, and data exchange. We shall now discuss each in detail.
1) Data management: Office automation systems are often used to track both short-term and long-term data in the realms of financial plans, workforce allocation plans, marketing expenditures, inventory purchases and other aspects of business. Task management or scheduling sytems monitor and control various projects and activities within the office. Electronic management systems monitor and control office activities and tasks through timelines, resource equations, and electronic scheduling.
2) Information storage: This is the first area within office automation. It is usually considered to include office records and other primary office forms and documents. Data applications involve the capture and editing of files, images, or spreadsheets. Word processing and desktop presentation packages accommodate raw textual and graphical data, while spreadsheet applications provide users with the capacity to engage in the easy manipulation and output of numbers. Image applications allow the capture and editing of visual images.
3) Data exchange: While data storage and manipulation is an important component of an office automation system, the exchange of that information is another equally important component. Electronic transfer is a general application area that highlights the exchange of information among multiple users. Electronic mail, voice mail and facsimile are examples of electronic transfer applications. Systems that allow instantaneous or “real time” transfer of information are considered to be electronic sharing systems. These include online conversations via computer or audio exchange with video capture. Electronic sharing software illustrates the collaborative nature of many office automation systems.
So, this was all about office automation and it has become an imperative for most businesses to invest in office automation system to improve productivity and save both time and money.