What is IT or Information Technology

IT is an abbreviation for Information Technology, a subset of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). The two terms are used interchangeably in this article.

A whole industry, the Information Technology Industry has sprung up over the past 10 or 15 years or so. The IT industry consists of all the occupations that are involved in creating, repairing, maintaining and using ICT products. “Information technology (IT) is the branch of engineering that deals with the use of computers to store, retrieve and transmit information. The acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications are its main fields.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_technology)

The Information and Communications Technology industry includes Computer Retailers, Chipmakers, Software Developers and Publishers, Equipment Manufacturers and Service Companies.

IT Jobs are generally in the following areas: “Business and Information Systems, Computer – Animator, Computer and Office Machine Repairer, Computer and Video Game Development, Computer Engineering, Computer Forensics, Computer Game Designer, Computer Graphic Specialists, Computer Hardware Engineer, Computer Information Systems, Computer Programmer, Computer Science and Engineering, Computer Scientists, Computer Security Professional, Computer Service Technician, Computer Software Engineer, Computer Support Specialist, Computer Systems Engineer, Computer Systems Manager, Cryptanalyst, Database Developer, Digital Media, Games Programmer, Graphic Design Careers, Information Systems, Internet System Administrator, Multimedia Careers – Graphics, Network Administration, Network Systems Analyst, Robotics Engineer, Software Developer, Software Engineering, Software Programmer, Software Tester, Systems Analyst, Telecommunications, Web Design, Web Developer.” (http://www.whatis-it.com/)

IT and Business

Information and Communications Technology serves a vital role in our society particularly in the running of a business and the operations of our governments. Information Technology is applied by businesses and governments in the following key areas:

Improved Communications

The ability to communicate with others within the organisation, with clients, potential customers and suppliers of goods and services is crucial to business success. Several forms of communications and information technology allow for these interactions to be faster, more economical and richer than they were in the past. These include improved telephone systems and networks, the advantages provided by mobile phones, fax machines, videoconferencing, email and Internet Chat Groups. These technologies have speeded up the transfer of information and significantly reduced the tyranny of distance.

Efficient Management of Office Systems and Procedures

The efficient management of office systems and procedures is another vital requirement for an effective business or public service. Technology, in the form of targeted software programs have been instrumental in improving efficiency and reducing the time needed to complete tasks in the modern office.

Examples of the useful application of Information Technology include: integrated software packages such as Microsoft Office, and web apps such as Google Docs and gmail; accounting packages such as MYOB and Quickbooks; and a variety of packages directed at more specific aspects of business management such as business planning and preparing specific types of documents such as Business-in-a-box.

Assisting Research and Development (R&D)

Investopedia defines Research and Development as the “Investigative activities that a business chooses to conduct with the intention of making a discovery that can either lead to the development of new products or procedures, or to improvement of existing products or procedures. Research and Development is one of the means by which business can experience future growth by developing new products or processes to improve and expand their operations.”

Information technology provides a number of tools to facilitate a business or Government’s R&D efforts including: determining potential customers and desired products and services; and evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of their competitors. The internet and the WWW in particular have opened up easy and speedy access to a large amount of information to inform the R&D process.

Efficient Production

Computer based, computer-assisted and/or computer-controlled equipment can significantly increase the accuracy, efficiency and the quality of goods produced by businesses.

E-Commerce

Information and Communications Technology is providing the platform for the growth of E-commerce. E-commerce involves: developing new products and services; analysing competitors, initiating and improving relationships and suppliers, redesigning business management systems and business processes and selling goods and services online.

Opportunities in E-Commerce

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IT Has a Significant Impact on Our Lives

IT has has had a significant impact not only on our lives today but also provided Business with untold benefits as well.

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