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IEEE Computer Volume 16 Number 6 -- THE OPEN CHANNEL Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131622D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Document File: 4 page(s) / 20K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Charles McCabe: AUTHOR [+3]


THE OPEN CHANNEL * Problems of computer management in a developing country ** Staff recruitment. ** Staff training. ** Staff retention. ** Resource acquisition. ** Maintenance. ** Infrastructural inadequacies.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 33% of the total text.

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Charles McCabe

"Any clod can have the facts, but having opinions is an art."

The Open Channel is exactly what the name ilmplies: a forum for the free exchange of technical ideas. Try to hold your contrilbutilons to one page maximum in the final magazine format (about 1000 words).

We'll accept anything (short of libel or obscenity) so long as it's submitted by a member of the Computer Society. If it's really bizarre we may require you to get another member to cosponsor your item.

Send everything to Jim Haynes, Computer Center, UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064.

Problems of computer management in a developing country

Special problems confront managers of computer installations in developing countries. Interestingly enough, lack of funds may not be one of them, since the companies and institutions that install computer systems are usually financially strong. Other problems, such as turnaround time, quality of operating systems, and rapidly changing technology, are worldwide in nature and not peculiar to developing nations. The areas that do present special difficulties are staff recruitment, training, and retention; resource acquisition and maintenance; and infrastructural inadequacies.

Some practical approaches to overcoming these difficulties are outlined here, not only to assist people who are seeking business in developing environments but also to further understanding and cooperation between developed and developing countries. My suggestions are based on experience in managing a minicomputer installation at the Department of Computer Science, University of Ife, Nigeria, and on detailed investigations into the management problems of four fairly large computer installations in Nigeria -- those of a university computer center, a commercial bank, a service bureau, and a government-owned telecommunication corporation. The Nigerian experience, more than that of any other developing country, can be given wide interpretation. This is mainly because Nigeria, as pointed out by Lavington,' is a leader in computer activity, with an estimated need for more than 1000 computer science graduates by 1983.

Staff recruitment.

The shortage of qualified and experienced computer stat is a worldwide problem. But it is even worse in developing countries, which tend to place more emphasis on agriculture, mining, and medicine than on sucl things as computer science. Since few institutions offer computer science courses, it becomes necessary to look elsewhere for qualified personnel.

In recruiting new graduates from re...