27 Pages

IT Operations Environments: Complexities and Control Issues

Historically, organizations have perceived several advantages in centralizing computer operations. A major advantage relates to economies of scale. It was widely accepted that a large computer was more cost-effective than a small computer. Advances in processor technology and vendor pricing policies, however, have made this belief obsolete. It is now possible for a microcomputer to connect “seamlessly” through a local area network (LAN) to a host file server, mid-range, or mainframe computer which, in turn, may be connected to other remote computers. Exhibit 1 illustrates the five most common topologies for networked distributed processing systems. Most distributed or wide area networks (WANs) use a hierarchical or tree topology (although mesh topologies are becoming increasingly popular).