The growth of, and changes in, cable television during the past three years have made computer technology cost-effective for cable systems. Computers are no longer optional operational tools, but integral to the conduct of business. Cable management personnel have had to absorb the recent technical and marketing changes in the cable television industry and now have to learn the basis of another technology--the use of the computer. Cable television's management should, therefore, understand available equipment, software, and implementation alternatives sufficiently to successfully apply computer technology. Computer systems, chosen wisely, can help increase penetration, improve operational efficiency, and· deliver services that otherwise could not be offered. This discussion highlights the important areas to be explored in the application of computer technology.
New franchise construction is taking place at an unprecedented rate. The volume of record keeping is increasing substantially. Franchises are increasing penetration by adding new services; these services require additional information storage. Many services require close monitoring operationally and from an accounting viewpoint. Computer storage offers the most efficient method of organizing and updating large amounts of detailed information.
Cable is growing so rapidly that there is a lack of experienced personnel to fill available positions. Because cable is becoming more sophisticated the industry is competing for more sophisticated personnel; employees are becoming more expensive. Properly implemented computer technology can maximize each employee's effectiveness and increase the ratio of subscribers per employee.