Abstract

The advent of true client/server technology, high speed personal computers and global access through the internet is causing the two worlds of the business process and the computer to collide as management demands better information to use in decision-making. This paper will focus on the concept of organizing the business process to fit the goals and objectives of the enterprise, then tailoring the use of computers and software to the people, processes and data in a coherent fashion, enabling management to "see" the business more completely and therefore manage it more effectively.

Computer systems are used to store and process enormous amounts of data for various parts of a business; accounting, land, reserves, documents, geotechnical and so on. Reports containing portions of this data are generated for both internal and external purposes and are often stored and processed by computers at the receiving end. Expert systems and application software are used to analyze technical data for reservoir modeling, geological and geophysical analysis and interpretation, land price analysis, and history-based forecasting for economics and planning. The problems facing management in the mineral resource industry relate to the many facets of managing risk in a volatile environment. They must be able to grasp and manipulate complex essential information to ensure the best use of their people, capital and opportunities within the business process they have adopted to achieve their goals and objectives. They want business process related information that tells them about their own operation and their marketplace. They need reporting methods that tell them about their return on assets, capital, business units and specific properties. They need to know how they compare to their competition and how the investment community perceives them.

People planning, blueprinting and executing the business process to achieve corporate objectives is at the heart of commerce. The use of computers must facilitate the business process without interfering with, or attempting to replace it. Client/server, internet, multimedia technology offer the means to enhance the business process, but only through first defining and understanding the process, then choosing and implementing the most effective combination of computers and software to enable the business process to succeed.

Introduction

The situation in today's mineral resources industry is one of tremendous growth and change. New players appear daily, old players consolidate, mergers and acquisitions create new superstars and they all need information that is current, relevant and easily digested to stay in the game. The data that forms the basis for this information is captured, stored and managed by different parts of each organization for their specific functional needs and for purposes of reporting to management on their activities. Once the data is put into context it becomes "information". Our industry generates such large volumes of data it has spurred the development of electronic means to store and process the data so that it may become information.

"Computerization" of the industry began long ago with the development of accounting systems and geophysical systems.

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