We live in the ‘Information Age’. At least that is what they say. Computers run everything now. Information Technology is everywhere; from your watch to your phone, your car, your alarm system, your door and even your coffee maker. Everywhere you look, you will see the digital revolution in play. The world is a more of a global village now thanks to the internet. Years ago, if you wanted to talk to someone across the globe, you would have to pick up the phone, go through a million connections and spend about as much as it would take to run a small economy and you would still get a bad connection with impossible lag-time. Now all you have to do is FaceTime, Facebook, Email or Skype them. All of this is Information Technology at work.
What exactly is IT?
It is difficult to define IT because quite frankly, it is still changing even as we speak. There was a time when it was all about computers and electronic data conveyed between machines operated primarily by experts. Today, however, it is in everything we do. The Information Age has created a knowledge-based society where a teenager can create something so powerful that it propels them to the top of the world’s most famous and wealthy people and changes the way our society relates.
The video below gives you a brief overview of what Information Technology is today:
As you can see, it is a wide field that covers almost everything we know. Banking, transport, agriculture, work scheduling, medicine and a lot of leisure activities all depend on IT. The impact of information technology on the world today is immense. There is no doubt that as the world continues to develop, we will see more positive and negative effects of IT as it impacts and shapes our society. Today, one of the biggest concerns is that it has created an aloof society where people would rather associate virtually through their handheld devices than meet and talk face to face. But aside from what social media has done to our world, there are immeasurable positive effects of IT on how the world operates and our quality of life.
The first and perhaps the most profound impact IT has made in this planet has to do with the way we communicate. Nowadays, as long you have a smartphone with internet access you are connected to the world. Over 2.8 billion people have internet access across the globe. These are all people who can get news, transfer data and do business within the blink of an eye with people half a world away from them. Companies can now have offices in different continents without having to spend millions of dollars and countless man-hours on travel. An innovator can use various programs to run a team of workers scattered all around the world in different time zones and still be on the same page with everyone on that team. You can find a date in the blink of an eye and you can buy products that will take days to get to your doorstep in a matter of seconds. We are more connected now thanks to IT.
File management and data storage
You will find that IT is about much more than computers and system networks. Although technically speaking the entire concept is based on the marriage of hardware and software manipulation, all facets of contact touch on IT. Take file and data management for example. Simply typing out a word document and leaving it on your computer might not sound like the application of IT to you, but once that file gets stored on an online storage and transfer system like DropBox, then you instantly have Global connectivity. Anyone with access to that file can receive no matter where they are or when they access it. Cloud-based technology, which has made data storage and management more efficient now all fall under this purview.
Medicine and research
Thanks to technological advancements, data sharing & storage as well as better manufacturing standards and skills, medicine has progressed to incredible levels where we now know more about the human body than we did before. Now we do not have to cut into you just to see if you have a broken bone or fracture. X-ray imaging takes care of that just fine. That is all thanks to developments in the IT sector.
Netflix, Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube, the list is endless. These are all avenues through which we get our daily dose of entertainment and human contact. From reading digital eBooks to watching movies and finding new hidden places to visit through online websites, all this information is readily available because of IT.
Disadvantages of IT
Of course, with something so powerful and so prevalent, there are bound to be some associated disadvantages:
– Cyber bullying.- Hate mongering.- Reduced productivity thanks to online distractions.- Moral degradation thanks to pornographic sites. – Digital espionage.
These are all disadvantages of IT. These, however, cast a very pale shadow on all the good this information age has brought to the world. Besides, with good management and security implementations, a majority of these disadvantages can be neutralised.
Jobs and careers in IT
With such a wide range of application, it is only natural that Information Technology should have a long list of possible career opportunity and jobs. The following are just some of the mainstream options available for those with a degree in IT:
Information Technology Architect Information Technology Specialist information Technology (IT) Trainer Information Technology (IT) Manager Information Technology (IT) Director Information Technology (IT) Supervisor.
Then, of course, there are stellar examples of people who have made a name for themselves because they have mastered a specific school of IT and used that knowledge to create marvellous products and completely change the way the world works. People like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Travis Kalanick are all good examples of how much IT can change a person’s life and fortunes.
Information Technology (IT) has made more billionaires in the last 50 years than any other traditional industry in the last 200 years.
Yes, IT is a vast field that is constantly evolving. We may not be entirely sure what it will be 50 years from now, what we do know is that it will be a huge part of how the world works centuries from now. The Age of Information is just beginning and IT is right at the centre.