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Things That a Computer Cannot Do Regardless of Time


A computer is a programmable machine that many management teams in different organizations have adapted. It receives input from the users, stores it, manipulates it, and provides output in a format that the user can understand. It helps make work efficient using codes that are written for the functions. However, it is important to note that computers can only solve problems that have been experienced before. The codes are also written to solve specific problems in different organizations. A program that is written to attend patients in a hospital cannot be used to solve a problem in a manufacturing organization. The major functions of management in many organizations are planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling the work and employees in the organizations. The knowledge of individuals is used to write programs that are used address the different operations in an organization. The planning function of the management helps to address a future needs, a computer cannot be used for planning but can be used to make the process efficient. A computer helps in speeding some processes in an organization but cannot carry out the management functions of an organization (Rooney 2006, p. 4). Invention of the computer has led to other inventions such as the internet. The internet exposes many organizations to hackers who are willing to crash the websites to many organizations. Data insecurity has been a major concern to many organizations but the computer has not been able to address the problems that organizations are going through. Hackers have broken organizations’ websites and stolen millions of money (Stewart 2005, p. 32). The computer has not been able to completely eliminate this vice. As more advanced strategies to provide security emerge, smarter hackers arise. Information systems are very important to the management in all its operations. However, the computer cannot completely provide secure information systems. This means that there are certain things that a computer cannot do. This paper will seek to analyze certain things that a computer cannot do regardless of time.

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Management and Security of Information Systems

Information systems deal with the interaction between people, processes, data, and technology. Many organizations use information and communication technology to support the business processes that they carry out. Individuals in an organization interact with the information and communication technology to use resources to produce products and services that can benefit consumers. There are many components of information systems that an organization employs (National Research Council 1998, p.21). Examples of these components include hardware, software, input and output devices, applications, interfaces, and many others (Sergienko 2003, para. 12). All these components are aimed at ensuring that the interaction between people, processes, data, and technology is efficient. Interaction is very important for the management when planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling all the operations in an organization. Some disasters such as terrorist attacks expose organizations’ information to danger. The inability of the computer to offer enough security forces organizations to use back up for security purposes (Shon 2008, p. 44). Each organization has some information that can be regarded as private and confidential (Farmer 2005, p.12). All the information that belongs to an organization needs to be secure (Stamp 2001, p. 6). Organizations are transferring information across networks everyday. This exposes the information to hackers who can crash websites for the fun of it or with other intentions such as theft.

Experts in the computer field have developed software to ensure that information is secure but with time, the software becomes inefficient. Software that has been developed has worked for a short time and hackers have been able to break through. In the early days, information security was not a big issue and the operating system that was used could provide security to an organization’s information. One of the reasons why information was secure is because information was rarely transferred across networks. The machines in many organizations were not interconnected and a password was efficient. The machines were also used by the management and other subordinate staff could not access them. Most individuals did not have the knowledge to code programs that could be used to break passwords. All the data to an organization was also hosted in large proprietary machines with no other machines in the organizations. The systems were also closed meaning that as they were being created, security was one of the major considerations (Seacord 2005, p. 65). The security considerations were however minimal because the threats were limited. When the local area network and the wide area network were introduced, the operating system available could not offer security to information as it was moving across networks. Hackers could now crash into systems belonging to large organizations and access confidential information such as passwords (Casey 2000, p.65). This is a clear indication that software that will be developed will be broken to after a certain period of time.


Cryptography has been used to ensure security but has not been successful. Cryptography defines a process by which ordinary information is encrypted so that the information is not readable when in transition (Menezes 2000, p. 54). When security became a major threat, experts came up with cryptography thinking that the issue of information insecurity was over. However, this provided no solution because organizations that have implemented cryptography still encounter the problem. The number of hackers increases with every day and they are becoming more advanced every day. Computer viruses, denial of service attacks, malware, and others have been used to attack networks. Some blame implementation but the fact remains information security has not been achieved.

Internal and External Threats

Threats that pose danger to the security of information are internal or external (Peltier 2002, para.140). Internal threats allow different individuals in an organization to have levels of privileges. For example, the management in an organization can access information that other subordinate employees in the same organization cannot access. Database administrators have some privileges that other employees in an organization do not have. This can only serve to protect the information to the users in the organization. External threats are those that are posed by individuals not in an organization. These individuals attack the information while in transition. This has resulted to encryption and decryption which has not been very successful. The internal and external threats pose danger to the security of information in an organization.

The Future of Information Systems

All the organizations that have had operations have been subject to fraud as a result of information insecurity. The fraud could come through cheating, denial of service, forgery, misinterpretation, rigged scales, phony invoices, and others. Threats to security include privacy violations, criminal attacks, electronic vandalism, and others. All these threats come in unexpected times and ways. The frauds are as a result of insecure information that is accessed by some unauthorized individuals.

Security information systems have been an area of concern to many organizations but computers have not been able to address the issue of insecurity (Goldreich 2004, p.78). Computer networks are growing bigger and bigger every day due to commerce and communication between organizations. Information insecurity in electronic commerce has become an issue of every day. Financial transactions have been invalid especially if carried out in certain locations (Macchi and Guilbert 2000, p.124). Cryptography was designed to provide fairness, confidentiality, accuracy, and accountability (Bosworth 2004, p. 49). The process was aimed at hiding information that is private and confidential (Dwight 1999, p. 29). However, third parties have been able to access communication taking place between two individuals in commerce. Encryption was designed to ensure that the third party does not access information as long as he or she is not part of a system. Organizations have tried encryption to prevent vandals from altering organizational websites and also prevent competitors from viewing confidential documents belonging to a company (Crazier 2007, p. 14). Cryptography that is used by organizations today is not the best. The computer has not been able to provide a lasting solution to this problem.

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The first cryptography systems that were developed were broken into. Experts tried to upgrade them but this only worked for a short while. Organizations spend much money in security only to buy some software that meets their requirements for a short period of time. Intruders have been able to modify the software and they eventually brought entire systems down (Nelson 2004, p. 31).

The computer security that is in use today can always be updated to address the present information insecurity but it will be ineffective with time (Matsuura and Fujisaki 2002, p.76). New products are being released each and every day. Intruders have not attacked these products because they are still young (Libicki 2000, para.5). The fact that the products are young means that they have not been used widely and the intruders have not known of their existence. When individuals will start using the products extensively, criminals will always be tempted to attack them. Criminals are determined and can do anything to ensure that their mission is achieved (Schneier 2006, p. 91). If such products are attacked, the press will give information about the attacks to the public. This is likely to lower the confidence of the customers in the products that have been attacked. Regardless of the amount of time taken, a computer cannot completely solve the issue of insecurity.

There is no security software that can be termed to be a hundred percent efficient in offering security (Scheiner 2000, para. 8). There is an argument that the best thing that an organization can do is to working towards risk acceptance where even if intruders attack its system, the organization will still make some profit. Whichever the security system that an organization may develop in the future, intruders will always find a way to break in. A cryptography security system is necessary but will not provide security that cannot be broken into. Organizations spend a lot of money that can withstand security only to a certain extent. However smartly a security system for an organization is designed, there is a very high chance that a criminal will find a way into the system (Halderman, Schoen, Heninger & Appelbaum 2008, para..8). Even those that are designed in the best way only survive for a short period of time.

When using cryptography, there are certain parts that defy analysis. Such areas are those that interact with people, computer interface, human interface, access control, key management, and others. The way that individuals understand certain parts such as computer security, software security, network security, hardware design, and others is very poor. This makes it quite hard for the implementation. In addition, cryptographic systems are fragile (Stinson 2006, p. 45). Many individuals who have implemented the system have experienced failure. Implementation of such systems is also complex and leads ineffective implementation. This makes the system more vulnerable.

Major Functions of Management

As stated before, the major functions of management in any organization are planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling. The functions that a computer performs are directed by programs that are written to perform them (Shah 1999, p. 28). A computer can only help in solving a problem using a program that has been written. It cannot think and can therefore solve only problems that have been previously experienced. The management has to deal with new issues that arise with time.

A computer cannot the management in planning even if it was given years. When planning, the management in an organization considers the resources that are available, its type, significance of work, and future trends. This helps the management to develop plans that combine continuity, unity, precision and flexibility. The different levels of employees in an organization must be coordinated for success to be achieved. A computer cannot plan for an organization because the factors that the management uses to make decisions keep on changing frequently. Again, it does not think but only knows how to process what the programs have been designed to do. A computer can only help making the process of planning efficient but cannot plan itself.

A computer cannot be used in organizing the work in an organization. The management comes up with ways that will be used to provide capital, personnel, and raw materials that can be used for the day to day running of an organization and building a structure that will match the work. A computer cannot tell the requirements in an organization not unless a program has been written and the needs are already coded into the program. In addition, such requirements will be only for the specific time when the program was developed. Future requirements will be different and will depend on such factors as number of employees in the organization. This is a clear indication that a computer cannot organize work in an organization.

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A computer does have the characteristics that allow for commanding. Characteristics such as personal integrity and clear communication are necessary for a manager to be effective in giving directions (Oz 2004, p.14). The major purpose of demand is to optimize results from all employees so that the entire organization can achieve success. The managers are capable of making the employees to be loyal and increase their competence. These characteristics are absent in a computer making it unable to carry out certain tasks.

Coordinating is another task that a computer cannot carry out. This is the process by which the management in an organization harmonizes and unifies all the activities within the organization (Rothbauer 2005, p. 5). This is important in the organization flow well. For this to be achieved, the managers must keep on moving from one place to another within an organization. Networked computers here can be used to make the work efficient because departments will be able to communicate (Stefanek 2002, p. 29).

A computer cannot identify weaknesses and errors in employees that lead to inefficient production. The management can however control feedback and integrate various activities using plans, instructions and policies. A computer cannot have such control over individuals.

Computers in Healthcare Organizations

Recently, computers have been used in healthcare organizations to attend to patients. A program is written that encompasses all diseases and their respective characteristics (Carrier 2003, p. 224). A patient is required to enter his or her feelings and the computer will give prescriptions of suspected illness. The use of a computer in this case is very inefficient in that it doers not have eyes to see how weak the patient is before recommending some medicines. Some illnesses have characteristics that are very close. The computer may confuse and give the wrong medicines for such illnesses. The computer cannot know of emergence of a new disease and may recommend the wrong medicines.

Computers and Artificial Intelligence

Although computer systems cannot work without programs written to perform certain tasks, it is important to note that artificial intelligence makes computers behave like human beings in some cases. Programs are installed in a computer system making it to perceive its environment and take some actions just like the human being. Design of an artificial intelligence involves experts in the computer field and experts in the specific field where the system will be applied. Numerous research is done so that enough and efficient information is gathered. Today, several fields are using computers to carry out some functions that could only be done by human beings in the past. For example, computer systems are implemented in a banking system to detect attempted credit card fraud. Artificial intelligence is used in heavy industries to control robots (Waktz 2008, para.2). These robots are given certain jobs that are quite dangerous to be carried out by the human being. Artificial intelligence is also applied in hospitals to attend to patients, make staff rotations, organize bed schedules, and others. Other fields where artificial intelligence is applicable include aviation, telecommunications, finance, and many others. In all these instances, research is done so that all the components of a system are incorporated in the software that will be performing these tasks. The software will make the computer behave just like a human being could have done.


A computer is important in many organizations because it helps in making the work more efficient. However, there are so many things that a computer cannot do. Most of the things that it cannot do are those that require thinking and whose trends keep on changing. This is basically because, computers work using programs that are written to solve problems that have already existed before. The programs can only solve similar problems. Security of information systems is an area that has bothered many organizations (Troek 2006, p. 19). Experts have tried to develop programs that can help secure information but the ones that have been developed work for a few days. Hackers are increasing at a high rate and this has helped increase information insecurity. Threats to information are both internal and external. Cryptography was used by experts thinking that a solution to information security had been discovered for hackers to break into systems after a short while. In general, the computer cannot provide a solution to information security. Other functions that a computer cannot carry out include planning, organizing, commanding, controlling, coordinating, and staffing. However, programs installed in the computer systems enable them to behave like human beings. Artificial intelligence is applicable in many fields and makes computers behave like human beings.


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