I.T. is a word that is very common in this modern age and time. Severally, people use certain terms like “the I.T. guy”, or “an I.T. company”, and so on. And most times when the word I.T is mentioned, people easily take their minds to computers, phones, and other types of high-tech gadgets used today. But this is a very great misconception, as I.T. encompasses several other things than just tech gadgets. Similarly, too, when I.T professionals are mentioned, one may begin to picture a nerd with glasses, sitting in front of a computer all day, doing all sorts of ‘computer magic’. But there are several professions in I.T. and computer geeks are just a very small fraction of professionals in the world of I.T.
What Is I.T?
I.T. stands for Information Technology. It is the use of computers to create, process, store, and exchange all kinds of electronic data. Its major function is to pass information effectively and efficiently. But before I.T. can come to be, there has to be a system set up for it first. This system is known as an Information Technology system. An Information Technology System (or an I.T. system) is an informative system or a computer system (including all hardware, software and peripheral equipment), operated by a group of I.T. users.
Types Of I.T. Systems
1. Transaction Processing System: Transaction processing systems handles all of the customer and employee transaction data so as to create safe storage and also easy retrieval. A bank, for instance, will have to set up this system to process bank deposits, withdrawals, and automate checks and balances.
2. Office Automated System: An office automation system is a network of tools that manages all of the clerical and managerial daily tasks in a business, improving communication across the various departments in the company. These sorts of tools and technology can assist in printing documents, producing reports, and so on.
3. Knowledge Management System: A knowledge management system is basically tasked with storing and extracting information, for the benefit of users. Employees, customers, and management can find necessary helpful information on this I.T. system (such as FAQs, Company policy, and training materials) It can help workers get more informed and thus enhance their job performance.
4. Management Information System: A Management Information system uses the Transaction Processing System data to create more defined and segregated data to help middle managers monitor performance. Reports such as sales data and performance data can be generated using this system.
Decision Support System: A Decision Support System is used to process data, store and gather the necessary information needed to aid the manager in taking the right decision at that time. For instance, a manager may use this to check how much sales have increased from a particular method of advertising, so as to know if he should try a different method.
Executive Support System: These I.T support systems serve the same purpose as the Decision Support Systems, only that they are used primarily by executives, or owners.
Goal Of Information Technology:
The main goal of I.T. is to establish a stable communication network, safeguard data and information, as well as create an information database. This is achieved by applying top-notch technologies and devices that will facilitate better and quicker results.
Evolution Of I.T.
The primary device or equipment involved in Information Technology is computers. Without computers, there would be no I.T. In fact, the fusion of Computers and Information, gave rise to the term “Information Technology”. So as computers evolved over time, so also I.T. evolved and kept getting better, smoother, faster, and more efficient. And today we have the internet, the largest and best form of Information Technology, consisting of millions of computer networks linked from all over the globe, with vast data and information shared every minute. The internet’s database is so large that it would take about 1,000,000 brains to completely store the information it contains. It can be termed a super-super computer powered by other supercomputers. But I.T. didn’t start with the internet, and I.T was not always so easy and efficient as it is today. Back in the day when technology was not so advanced and computers were nothing to write home about, getting or handling information was a burden. These were the early ages of Information Technology. There are said to be 4 stages (or ages), in the evolution of I.T. so far:
Ages In The Evolution Of I.T. .
|I.T age.||Time frame||Devices Used|
|Mechanical.||1450-1840.||Pascaline, Difference Engine|
|Electro-Mechanical||1840-1940||Morse code, Telegraph, Telephone, The Mark 1|
|Electronic||1940- Present.||ENIAC, Desktops, laptops, phones, etc.|
General I.T. Devices And Examples
|Telephone and Radio Equipment.||Microphone, headphones, speakers, etc.|
|Video conferencing equipment.||TV screen, microphones, recorders cameras, desktop monitors|
|Personal Computers||Desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet, pocket pc, palmtop, smartwatch, etc.|
|Performance management software||Microsoft Office, Apple Office Suite, Dropbox, Google workspace|
|Content management software.||WordPress, Secure space, Shopify, etc.|
As you can see from the above examples, an I.T. device must not necessarily be a gadget. It can also be software.
I.T. In Business
No business or company can do without information, and they also need technology to run smoothly as well. As such, I.T. is unquestionably a necessity for every business. This is why most companies have I.T. departments, to manage the technical aspects of the business. Business owners can use certain software, technology gadgets, or computer programs to increase productivity and also enhance efficiency. Applying these things, gives them an edge over competitors, especially if those competitors are using outdated technology.
Merits Of I.T. In Business
I.T. can play an important role in any business in the following ways:
1. Helping the company save time (thereby saving money)
2. Optimize business performance
3. Safeguard data and troubleshoot when necessary
4. Improve customer experience
5. Streamline communication systems
6. Expand the reach of the business
7. Reduce costs
8. Provide easy access to company data.
Demerits Of I.T In Business
1. Leaking and stealing personal information: Hackers sometimes steal the personal information of people, companies, etc. for fraudulent purposes.
2. Costs of Setup and maintenance: Setting up an I.T. system may be expensive, and the business may find it difficult to maintain the system over time.
3. Security risks: From hackers to online bots, to spyware, computer viruses, etc. The risks involved in I.T.
Jobs In I.T.
Being an I.T. professional goes beyond sitting in front of a computer wearing glasses, hacking, and typing codes. I.T. is a very wide field, and there are many jobs that one may find that will pay very well. Some of such jobs include:
Support specialist, Computer programmer, Quality Assurance Tester, Web developer, I.T. Technician, System Analyst, Network Engineer, Network administrator, Information Systems Manager, Software architect, Information security engineer, Infrastructure architect, Application architect, Computer scientist, Software engineer, Data scientist, I.T. Director, I.T. security specialist, User experience designer, Data Analyst, and a host of others.
In summary, I.T. is a vast topic and can be said to spread across all the spheres of life. It doesn’t matter the race, location, profession, or occupation, we all encounter and utilize I.T. at one time or the other. Information technology has brought a significant positive difference to our lives, so much that it has become something humans, businesses, companies, and all other facets of society can’t do without.