John Diebold

Document Type

Research Paper


The potentialities of computers have not been fully exploited in the U.S. because management has underestimated the task of putting them to proper use. Management has believed that computers themselves are automation. But automation places a premium on good management. Without careful management planning, business resources are wasted in terms of managerial and technical time and abilities. Since computers are capable of handling many tasks simultaneously, it is only by casting aside the departmental concept and substituting the integrated systems approach that the true value of these machines begins to be appreciated. Automatic data processing provides for the tighter control that is important in competitive markets. The key to the whole problem of putting automation to work is education of personnel. Knowledge of equipment and techniques is not enough. Automation, by permitting handling of many jobs simultaneously, is in direct conflict with the concept of division of labor. The businessman, faced with wholesale reorganization of work, must train more basically and broadly. Current training for this field is largely dependent upon specialized courses offered by the manufactures of computers. The responsibility for training these people is largely that of private business, and it is a larger task than most managers realize. If a businessman is to feel confident that his company’s data processing is not just a gamble, he must accept this new challenge to management. Reprint of a paper from elektronische datenverarbeitung 1(1)1959:20–23.