Information Technology, IT, is one of the fastest advancing fields in today’s economy. This is because IT is virtually applied in all sectors; from business and government organization to industries and education centers. Information technology has revolutionized the way day-to-day processes are carried out in organizations and has also helped in the automation of many industries.
So, how can we define information technology?
The term “Information Technology” was published for first time in an article in the Harvard Business review in 1958.
Information Technology is simply a term that encompasses all the forms of technology that are used to create, exchange, store and utilize information in various forms including data, still images, conversations, multimedia presentations, and motion pictures.
Often, the term Information Technology is applied to computer-based systems. However, the basis of the word technology suggests that it’s simply “a means to an end.” It facilitates the computers, networks, data storage devices and communication devices to run and perform their functions.
To further define information technology, let’s look at what IT includes:
Information Technology includes:
– All computers that have a human interface
– All external computer peripherals which will not operate unless connected to a network or computer
– All video, voice, and data networks and equipment, as well as staffs who operate them.
– All technology services provided by contractors and vendors.
– Operating costs associated with Information Technology.
– Costs associated with developing, maintaining, purchasing, and licensing software.
History of Innovation
Innovation has been present since time immemorial; however, the rise of notable innovation can be traced to the human getting smarter. According to the Flynn Effect, the level of general IQ begun to rise in the 1930s; the average IQ has developed from 80 points to 100 points.
While innovations in multimedia and travel improved collective intelligence, they were mainly used as passive forms of learning. However, in the contemporary world, computer applications have switched to an active form of learning and improved the speed with which people learn new things.
The two sectors affected by Information Technology are business and education sectors. Both sectors have experienced massive revolution and changes that have improved and fastened the way processes in these sectors are carried out.
Let’s look at innovation in both sectors
IT in Business
The advancement of information technology in business has led to the development of smarter apps, faster data processing, improved data storage, and wider information distribution. It has enabled businesses to run efficiently and also boosted productivity and value of business services.
In this modern age, digital marketing is a great and effective tool that let individuals and business promote their services and products to the global audience while sitting in the comfort of your home or remote office. All this is made possible by the global organization and monitoring that is enabled by modern communication and cloud computing. Now, let’s briefly look into the role information technology has played in business.
1. Decision making
Every successful organization has to conduct an all-inclusive market research process to help the management make the right decision. In the past, before decisions were made, many people had to be contacted physically, and physical files had to be read before passing a major decision. However nowadays, market research is conducted through online forums, surveys, blogs or through in-person interviews and group discussions through the World Wide Web.
Currently, Google Analytics, Microsoft CRM Dynamics, and Big data are great tools that are used to extract information that can impact on decision marketing. These tools not only provide accuracy of data by minimizing the possibility of human errors but also provide real-time responses from the potential audience.
2. Marketing and Business Growth
The basis of business success lies in its marketing as it enables the management to know its potential audience by observing their needs and trends. The overall marketing covers advertising, promotion, public relation, and sales.
There are various types of marketing, but the one directly impacted by IT is digital marketing. Digital Marketing helps business promote their services and products to the global audience. It is a broad term that encompasses search engine optimization, blogging, pay per click, email short, MMS, social media marketing, discussion forums and smartphone app advertisement.
Currently, the web market is booming as most entrepreneurs have come to a realization that their business cannot succeed without a digital presence on the web. This has led to an emergence of millions of new websites.
3. Customer Support
Effective customer support and satisfaction is the key to success of business. Effective communication is an excellent tool to understand customer trends, demands, behaviors and satisfaction level. Information Technology has provided many channels in which business can engage with its customers. Some of these channels include social media, emails, online letters, member portals, webinar, online newsletters, and many other platforms.
IT in Education
The easy and efficient global communication provides instant access to information and faster exchange of ideas. This has impacted greatly in the education sector as it has revolutionized the learning process.
What Role Has Information Technology Played In The Education Sector?
1. Access To Plenty Of Learning Resources
With the help of IT, it’s now easy to access plenty of resources which enhance their learning ability and skills. Learners use multimedia technologies to describe projects, communicate ideas, and do research.
2. Immediacy to Information
The pace of imparting knowledge and skills is very fast thanks to the emergence of computers and web networks. Information can be retrieved much easier compared to the days when it had to be sourced from physical files and records.
3. Any Time Learning
With the emergence of web networks and computers, one can now study at any time of the day irrespective of their regions. There is an emergence of online studies and online degrees. Also, exams and tests can be done online thanks to the development of web networks.
4. Up-To-Date And Authentic Information
Most of the information found online is regularly updated and referenced well. The tools provided by search engines verify the authenticity and accuracy of the information posted online making this information up-to-date and correct.
In Bottom Line
Information Technology encompasses a lot of things and has cut across virtually every sector. In fact, to define Information Technology, one has to incorporate all forms of technologies. Because of it being used in all sectors, its impact is felt all over with the business and education sector experiencing the greatest impact. The level of IT is advancing every day, and the pace seems not to end anytime soon.
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