Why Build a Computer Network? (Updated 2019)

Alton Hardin
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Introduction to Computer Networks for Non-Techies

Learn the Fundamentals of Computer Networking for Non-Techies

14:43:43 of on-demand video • Updated August 2020

  • Understand How Computer Networks Work
  • Know the Inner Workings of a Computer Network
  • Understand the Benefits of Computer Networks
  • Know How to Effectively Plan and Design a Computer Network
English [Auto] In this lecture we're going to talk about why we build and utilize computer networks. So if we think about computer networks we think about before there were computer networks people sent and received information data by hand. They did it manually. So if it was from one location to a next they might use a pulse of servers they might use a telegram service such as Western Union. And if it was within a building they may have somebody dictating it then going to a typewriter typing it down and giving them a hand paper copy of it. So if we think about this comparing it to using computer networks the old way was very slow and at times could be very unreliable right. Let's say that you put something in the mail and it wasn't registered mail whereas being tracked went in the mail you don't know if it was delivered on the other side or not. And you don't know when it was delivered. Now when we think about computer networking from the perspective of emailing video conferencing remote working and data sharing and all that in general there's just a lot faster than the old way of doing things. So in general computer networks enable us to work faster enable us to do literally everything in our life faster. So it's a more efficient mode of communication. Now another thing that you probably don't think about is that computer networks and the sharing of electronic data encourages the use of standard policies and procedures. So what in the world does that mean. Well going back to our client server architecture if we have a client server architecture in place what we have to have are I.T. executives or I.T. managers our system administrators our network administrators they have to come up with policies procedures and a level of of controlling access and a level of authentication to determine who has access to what who shouldn't have access to what and they determine that and by doing that they set up standard policies procedures and what we like to call our S.O. piece. Standard operating procedures. So by having this in place computer networking really encouraged us to use standard policies and procedures where in the past while other methods may have encouraged this as well. Not only did computer networks encourages but at times they actually enforce it 100 percent. And we have to follow these standard policies and procedures. So another thing that is an added benefit of having a computer network is that they provide backup and data recovery support so they provide a level redundancy for us with our data and we think about for example if I think about my dentist office they still have paper files and paper charts for everybody and they're certainly nice to them when I go there. Yes they have some of the stuff on the computer but they also have it in a locked file. Well what if that file isn't fireproof and the building goes up in flames and they don't have anything backed up on their systems other than some basic information. Well everything is lost. Well now if we take all that information and we put it on to a computer network on a file server and we have a backup of that will restore off site and then we have a level of redundancy and that's another added benefit of computer networks. The last and final benefit of a computer network is that computer networks lead to cost savings and a lot of people probably don't think about this as being a benefit because computer networks are expensive especially if we work for a large organization. You think about the upfront costs for setting up the network purchasing all the pieces and the servers hiring the I.T. support staff hiring the administrators and so forth. There is a lot of time and money that goes into that not only upfront but also over the long run maintaining and keeping everything up and running. But if we think about it comparing it to not having computer systems in place and computer networks in place we get a lot of added benefit just the added efficiency and how much faster we're able to do our work. And even now in today's day and age we really even couldn't do a lot of our work without computer systems. Just a real quick story to kind of bring all this and tile this into place. So my dad was recently in the hospital. He was in ICU and during his day the computer systems went down for Sutter so he was at a certain hospital and several of their hospitals I don't know how many here in Northern California their systems went off line. I don't know what happened but the story is is that there were the fire in the server room and the fire suppression took out a lot of their servers and the servers were off line for at least a couple days. And so when we went there to visit them they were doing paper charting my ass my dad's eyes and hers and I asked her how it was going back to the manual processes as a contingency plan. And she said they had a meeting and their manager said remember our paper charting. And she she raised her hand said I've only been a nurse for five years I don't know how to do paper charting. So not only did they have to go back to paper charting but they had to learning how to do it and just within a single day for my dad alone. They transferred him from the ICU to a normal room the same day. He had a stack of papers from that day from them having to do everything manually in that stack of papers having to follow him from one area to the next. It was probably I'd say at least around 100 pages in Aster. My dad had an X-ray taken and she said that the radiologist had to come and look at all the X-rays as they were being taken because everything was digital and because the systems were down they couldn't take it from one area the next. So when they took the X-ray the radiologist had to look at it right then and there and write down the results for them on a piece of paper. So if we just think about examples like that and how inefficient it is and how much slower it is and how much more work it is computer networks over the long run do allow a lot of cost saving to a lot of benefits. A lot of strategic benefits for organizations as well and strategic advantages. So anyways you know I just wanted to spend some time talking about this just to get you to think about this. I think it's important that you kind of understand the benefits of computer networks.