When you hear the word “computer,” what do you think of? Most of us probably think of the laptop we have at home or the personal computer we use at work. Those aren’t the only kinds of computers in the world, though.

There are all kinds of computers out there, each with different functions and specialties. Businesses, in particular, have a wide range of needs from their computer systems.

As a result, there are many kinds of computer systems in business. They range from the powerful supercomputer to the simple PC, and everything in between.

Read on to learn more about the different kinds of computer systems in business.

An Overview of Computer Systems in Business

Most businesses use a complex set of information systems to support employees at every level of the company. Managing that information requires a variety of different computers.

Personal computers are the kind that most people are familiar with. There is more variation to these systems than you might expect, though.

The minicomputer was once a popular mid-level computer option. In recent years, these have been largely replaced by more powerful personal computers.

Many businesses still rely on mainframes to store vital data.

Finally, the supercomputer is rarely used in business (for now) but is an important classification with many capabilities.

Personal Computers

A personal computer can refer to many different things. The most basic way to think of a personal computer in terms of business is to picture your desktop workstation. That fits the definition of a PC nicely.

There are many other kinds of personal computer, though. With the rise of the so-called internet of things (smart devices like phones and speakers), more and more items could be considered personal computers.

Personal computers also include things like industrial computers. One example of an industrial computer is an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) gateway.

An IIoT gateway is essentially a system that connects with, and improves the efficiency of, a wide range of smart devices. This is invaluable for businesses with lots of IoT devices.


Minicomputers were a popular choice for many companies in the past. This class of computer fits somewhere between personal computers and mainframes in terms of power.

Although minicomputers were widely used for several decades, they have fallen out of favor today. Personal computers have grown more and more powerful, eliminating the need for the minicomputer.

Mainframe Computers

A mainframe is a large computer used for processing and storing business data. They have much more processing power than a personal computer, but not as much as a supercomputer.

Mainframes are common in business settings. They are a reliable way to store and process large amounts of data, which most large businesses need.


Supercomputers are much larger than mainframes and have significantly higher processing power. In fact, they have a lot more power than most businesses need!

Supercomputers aren’t used by many businesses. Instead, they’re used by scientists who need to run complex simulations or process astronomical amounts of data.

A Computer for Every Job

There’s a surprising amount of variety when it comes to computer systems in business. Of course, most of the time you’ll only need to interact with personal computers and maybe a mainframe. That keeps things simple!

If you’re looking for more articles about computer systems and other technology we use every day, check out our tech blog!