Too many times probably you have heard about the word information technology being peddled around and probably even wondered what the information technology definition is. Human beings have come a long way to reaching the present stage often called the information age by some quarters. Others simply call it techno-capitalism or simply globalization. In a summary, the information age or computer age in human history refers to a period whereby an economy is based on information computerization. This represents a big leap from the traditional economy of industrialization. Even though people are often raised across different cultural, economic, social, political and educational settings; each strives to bridge the gap between them by acquiring and availing information. It is through information development and acquisition that helps them in improving their living conditions and influencing new cultures. Information technology definition refers to a broad subject apprehensive with the altogether aspects of managing and processing information.
These aspects include; networking, hardware, software, the internet and the people working with these technologies. Networking refers to the physical construction, design and the eventual use of a network, including telecommunication protocol selection and use of a computer software, and the formulation and establishment of policies and procedures governing the operations of a network. The hardware includes switches, gateways, network interface cards and networking cables among others while software can be either system or application software. Word processor, a spreadsheet, media player consists of some of the application software. On the other hand, system’s software consists of; operating systems (OS), game engines, and industrial automation among others. Having looked at the information technology definition in entirety, it is also of importance to have a look at various career jobs associated with IT. These includes; systems administrator, IT director, Chief information officer, application manager, developer and architect.
There are various roles played by Information Technology in different organizations in the modern world which include the following :
Applications of Information Technology
Distance learning is possible at the comfort of your choice whether you are at home rather than the traditional classroom learning setting. The advantage is the reduced travelling expenses, overcoming geographical remoteness, reduced learning cost and also a strong appeal to those who prefer home-based learning.
Online library. With the traditional set up of learning, most of the learning resources were either accessible through learning institutions or public libraries. The downside to this was that a lot of time and travelling expenses were incurred and also the resources were not as such exhaustive, readily available and did not encourage learning as with the online library which has an aura of richness.
Collaborative learning is now possible involving various groups or people through efficient postal systems, the telephone and various recording and playback based on computer technology.
The spread of agricultural breakthroughs throughout the world is possible and even faster. The breakthroughs can be in terms of new and improved grains that have short maturity time and are not susceptible to weed, pests and diseases. The breakthrough can also be possibly new farming techniques.
Better planting in terms of when to best plant and which crops to plant in a suitable area, predicting yields and better tracking of crops. For example with global warming, seasons have become unpredictable to farmers; through IT crucial information will be availed to them.
Decision making has been improved as for example farmers can be able to make better informed decisions such as when and to where to sell farming produce at a better price. A chain of decision that has to be made from production to distribution will thus have a strong backing. Techniques such as GIS are used for precision farming and also there is the availability of automatic milking systems.
Easier to track warnings of unforeseen drug interactions involving connected healthcare IT systems.
Electronic health records are more reliable and safer in terms of prescription. Documentation of a patient’s health history is also possible for future diagnosis
Informatics enables high quality and error-free care in both efficient and effective ways.
Challenges of Information Technology
There exist a lot of challenges which have continued to hinder the full exploitation of the benefits attached to the adoption of information technology use. These challenges which must be addressed overtime include;
Illiteracy and ignorance-Use of information technology are bound by some level of skill/knowledge of computer use, and as such lack of or inadequacy in terms of skill would impede any potential user. Ignorance especially among the old age who thinks the technology is for the digital generation alone or just for fear of change. The divide between the old and the young in terms of technology is often referred to as the digital divide.
Security and privacy-Hackers have been a cause of headache of late as it is possible to hack into a computer through an internet connection by using IP address .Even with online banking; transfer of money can be hijacked by a hacker which would affect the bank and the customers.
Interoperability-There happens to be a great desire to users and customers to communicate with each other, and this is only possible through compatible systems whether on their mobile devices and or on their computers. It is to this sense that open applications and systems built on open standards have been deemed as a way of the future.
Obsolescence-There is a lot of changes that have taken place in regards to information technology ever since its inception. Through its various components as we had seen in information technology definition, each has continued to be improved over time. Software such as those associated with Microsoft continues to be improved on, year in year out. In many years to come, we will have a different set of software, systems and equipment altogether.
Poor customer service-You have probably had an experience with poor customer service, when the work sought out for is not done correctly or to a customer’s requirements. The work can be for example that one concerned with computer repair. A misunderstanding of some sort between the customer and a business is a usual occurrence with information technology.
Social issues-a lot of people spend time on their phones and laptops more than they do the traditional roles of socializing such as in playing football or nature walks. There is also a lot of negative information that can overwhelm a user of information technology, and end up doing what is not socially acceptable within an area. Terrorism influence has been hugely attributed to this fact.
In conclusion, a better understanding of Information Technology will go a long way in improving the various crucial facets associated with our lives. As I have appropriately painstakingly exhibited from this discourse, the role of IT cannot be ignored or wished away. It is here to stay for the unforeseeable future. More research should be encouraged through financing into the area and more IT learning should be incorporated in learning within learning institutions. This would help in timely availing and in understanding the expected future enhancements which will go a long way in making information more readily available, secure and effective as was intended.
© 2016 InformationTechnology.com. All rights reserved