Based on the study of expenditures for data processing, a descriptive stage hypothesis is presented. It is suggested that the planning, organizing, and controlling activities associated with managing the computer resource will change in character over a period of time, and will evolve in patterns roughly correlated to four stages of the computer budget: Stage I (computer acquisition), Stage II (intense system development), Stage III (proliferation of controls), and Stage IV (user/service orientation). Each stage is described and related to individual tasks for managing the computer resource.
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