We are in the thick of a digital age – the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). We are in an age where cutting edge technologies are steadily becoming main stream. Things that used to be a preserve of Sci-Fi movies are now happening in real life. Innovations like artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, robotics, nanotechnology and several others are redefining the human experience. All these leaps forward in the advancement of the human race would not have been possible had it not been for the core role of the computer. Virtually any human endeavour now is directly or indirectly hinged on the use of computers. Herein we shall be discussing some of the common uses of computers.

Data Management And Security

One of the foremost uses of computers is data management and security. By ‘data management’ we are referring to a very broad and diverse domain of activities or processes. Some of those are data storage and data processing amongst several others. Storage and processing here is largely digital which brings about numerous benefits. For instance, data for a whole organization can fit on a single computer’s internal storage. Data can be converted into various formats as needs be – this is all possible on a computer. Computers also facilitate data security through elements such as passwords and encryption.

 

Internet Connectivity And Navigation

Computers are used for purposes of connecting to the internet and also navigating or surfing the internet. Computers are fitted with or are connectible to hardware that enables you to be connected to the internet eg modem. Computers also come with browsers (e.g. Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome). These browsers make it possible to surf through the internet – this is enhanced by search engines within those browsers e.g. Google or Bing. Internet connectivity and navigation now forms a huge aspect of many people’s day to day lifestyles. This is a very important use of computers in this modern world.

 

Communication Amongst People And Devices Or Machines

Computers are used for quite a number of applications in communication. Just earlier we were talking about internet connectivity and navigation. Computers play huge roles in facilitating communication through various media or platforms. Some of the examples here are email, social media platforms, VoIP (voice over internet protocol – i.e. voice calls over the internet), just to mention a few. We can also mention things like video conferencing which is becoming increasingly popular.

 

Overall, the state of the world being labelled a global village has been mainly due to the use of computers. Computers are heavily used in enabling communication between people. The communication can also be between machines or devices. When you look at the concept of IoT (internet of things) you can see it is another angle of communication that computers are used for. Communication is one of the most important uses of computers.

 

Academics

Computers are being extremely used in the field of academics. If you look at, for instance, the MS Office package you can see that it is specially designed for applications in academics. There is a rapid shift currently at play where people are moving away from hand written work in the field of academics. Students can now store and read notes on computers. Teachers or lecturers can now conduct lessons or lectures using computer-based presentations. Some have even taken it further to fully online learning or distance learning. This has made it possible to facilitate academic institutions that operate wholly online. The use of computers in academics has revolutionized the field in remarkable ways.

 

Entertainment

Computers can be and are being used for virtually any entertainment purpose. At the most basic level we can talk about computer games. Computers make it possible to interact with video-based or audio-based materials e.g. movies and music. Earlier we spoke about internet connectivity which also feeds into this entertainment aspect. People can now watch live streams of live entertainment events such as conferences, sporting events or concerts, just to mention a few. Nowadays, with a computer and an internet connection you can be guaranteed to unlimited access to entertainment. This is an important usage of computers in this digital age.

 

Office Management

Computers also find diverse and various uses in office management. In fact, the 21st century office would not be really what it is if it were not for the computer. Most of the administrative tasks can be effectively done on computers. Computers replaced the need for typewriters, filing cabinets filled with physical folders and files and so on. Computers have swallowed up all those long and arduous tasks into easy to use computer applications. Computers have led to minimalistic office setups so much that even teleworking has become possible. The whole traditional physical office can be compressed into a laptop. This means that one can now use a single laptop to do all their office work with ease. Office management is one of the essential uses of computers in the corporate world.

 

Industrial Design, Manufacturing And Complex Mathematical Processing

Computers are being used in various fields that are characterised by very complex operations. We are looking at fields like engineering, medical research, and science just to mention a few. Computers are being used for applications such as computer aided design (CAD) or computer aided industrial design (CAID). Computers are also being used for complex mathematical modelling in simulations, machine learning or deep learning (which is central to artificial intelligence and robotics). Some or all of these aforementioned applications can be holed up together for use in computer aided manufacturing (CAM). This is just a brief overview otherwise there is so much to talk about regarding the use of computers in these domains.

 

These are some of the uses of computers. The uses of computers are so many and ever-evolving. Some few years ago there are some industries that did not even exist but do now. Even looking ahead there are also new industries that will emerge all as a result of using computers. Thus the uses of computers will forever keep increasing and changing as society advances forward.