IT uses computers to create, process, store, retrieve and exchange data and information. IT is a form of information and communications technology. An information technology system is generally an information system, a communications system, a computer system operated by a limited group of IT users. The term information technology first appeared in the Harvard Business Review article in 1958.
Several products and services such as hardware, software, electronics, semiconductors, internet, telecom equipment and e-commerce are associated with information technology . IT is a branch of computer science that deals with overall study of procedure, structure, and the processing of various data. The microprocessor invented Intel in 1971. These important inventions led to the development of the personal computer in the 1970s and the emergence of information and communications technology (ICT). The introduction of the email was a really big thing as companies started communicated by e-mail with suppliers and buyers.
IT consists of three categories :
• Techniques for processing
• Statistical and mathematical methods to decision-making.
• Simulation of higher-order thinking
Based on the storage and processing technologies IT can be divided in four distinct phases:
• Pre-mechanical (3000 BC — 1450 AD)
• Mechanical (1450—1840)
• Electromechanical (1840—1940)
• Electronic (1940 to present).
StorageEarlier computers were made of punched tape. Electronic data storage was used in modern computers. The first random-access digital storage device was based on a standard cathode ray tube. The first non-volatile computer storage was the magnetic drum invented in 1932. In 1956 first hard disk drive was introduced. Digital data is still stored magnetically on hard disks and CD-ROMs. Most information was stored on analog devices until 2002. As of 2007, almost 94% of the data stored worldwide was held digitally, 52% on hard disks, 28% on optical devices and 11% on digital magnetic tape.
DatabasesIn 1960 Database Management Systems was emerged to address the problem of storing and retrieving large amounts of data accurately and quickly. IMS stores data hierarchically. First relational database management system (RDBMS) was released by Oracle in 1981. XML data held in relational databases. XML's text-based structure is best for both machine and human being. XML has been employed as a means of data interchange since 2000s particularly for machine-oriented interactions involved web-oriented protocols such as SOAP, describing "data-in-transit rather than data-at-rest".
ManipulationMachines application-specific capacity to compute information per capita. It is doubled every 14 months between 1986 and 2007. The per capita capacity of general-purpose computers doubled every 18 months during the same two decades. Global telecommunication capacity per capita doubled in every 34 months. The world's storage capacity per capita required roughly 40 months to double and per capita broadcast information has doubled every 12.3 years.
Massive amounts of data are stored, analyzed and presented effectively with data mining. Data mining is the process of discovering interesting patterns and knowledge from large amounts of data emerged in the late 1980s.
EmailEmail helps to send and receive electronic messages over a distributed computer network. It has similar regular mail characteristic features. The ability to transfer both plain text and formatted as well as arbitrary files independence of servers sufficiently high reliability of message delivery ease of use by humans and programs.
Search systemSearch system is web interface that provides the ability to search information on the Internet. It means a site that hosts the interface of the system that provides the functionality of a search engine. It is usually a trade secret of the search engine developer company.
Companies in the information technology field are often referred as "tech sector" or the "tech industry." Information Technology departments are a cost center the majority of the time. A cost center is a department or staff which incurs expenses or costs within a company rather than generating profits or revenue streams. Businesses heavily rely on technology for day-to-day operations. Companies have IT departments for managing the computers, networks, and technical areas of businesses.
With BizOps or business operations department companies integrate IT with business outcomes and decision-making. It includes network administration, software development and installation, and planning and management of technology life cycle.
Information services is a term applied to a variety of IT-related services offered by commercial companies as well as data brokers.
EthicsThe field of information ethics was established in 1940s. Ethical issues associated with information technology are:
Breaches of copyright by downloading files without the permission of the copyright holders.
Employers monitors their employees internet usage
Hackers accessing online databases
Websites installing cookies or spyware to monitor a user's online activities
What does information technology encompass?
AdministrationAdministrators handle the day-to-day deployment, operation and monitor IT environment. Admins perform a range of duties such as software upgrades, user training, software license management, procurement, security, data management and observing adherence to business process and compliance requirements.
SupportHelp desk staff answers questions by gathering information and directing troubleshooting efforts for hardware and software. IT support includes IT asset and change management, procurement, handling backup and recovery of data, monitoring and analyzing logs and other performance monitoring tools and support workflows and processes.
ApplicationsBusinesses rely on software to perform work. Software’s are procured and deployed from third parties. Organizations retain a staff of skilled developers tocreate the applications and interfaces to deliver critical business capabilities and services. Applications might be coded in a wide array of languages and integrated with other applications to create smooth and seamless interactions between different applications.
Developers creates interactive business websites and mobile applications. The trend of continuous development require developers to be involved with IT operations such as deploying and monitoring applications.
ComplianceBusinesses are obligated to observe varied regulatory requirements of government and industry. IT staff secure and monitor access to business data and applications. They ensure that resources are used according to established business governance policy that meets regulatory requirements. They are deeply involved with security tasks and routinely interact with legal and business teams to prevent, detect, investigate and report possible breaches.
Examples of information technology1. Server upgrade.
IT staff select and procure replacement servers. They configure and deploy the new servers. They backup applications and data on existing servers. They transfer data and applications to the new servers. They validate the new servers. They dispose of the old servers.
2. Security monitoringBusinesses employ tools to monitor and log activity in applications, networks and system. IT staff receive alerts of potential threats or noncompliant behavior to investigate and determine the root cause of the alert and take prompt action to address and remediate the threat. They make changes and improvements to security posture that can prevent similar events in the future.
3. New softwareBusiness determines need for new mobile application that can allow customers to log in and access account information and conduct transactions from smartphones and tablets. Developers create a suitable application according to a planned roadmap. They posts each iteration of the new mobile application for download. They deploy the back-end components of the app to the organization's infrastructure.
4. Business improvementThe IT staff try to architect a high-availability cluster to provide greater performance and resilience for the application to ensure that the application can continue to function in the face of single outages. It is paired with enhancements to data storage protection and recovery.
5. User supportDevelopers build a major upgrade for a vital business application. Developers and admins collaborate to create new documentation for the upgrade. IT staff deploy the upgrade for limited beta testing. It allows group of users to try the new version while developing and delivering comprehensive training that prepares all users for the new version's eventual release.
Careers in information technology• Chief information officer (CIO)This person is responsible for IT and computer systems that support the goals of the business.
• Chief technology officer (CTO)This person sets the technology goals and policies to avoid irrelevant issues.
• IT directorThis person is responsible for business's technology tools and processes. This role is also be called IT manager or IT leader.
• System administrator This person configures, manages, supports and troubleshoots a multiuser systems. This role is divided by technology. It requires an administrator to server, desktop, network administration, virtualization and other components.
• Application manager This person manages high-value business application.
• Developer or software engineer. This person writes, updates and tests code for computer programs to meet internal or customer-facing business objectives.
• Chief IT architect or IT architectThis person examines IT functions to support the business.
IT skills and certifications
To become successful IT career requires several technical skills. In the current market these 10 skills are in demand:
2. cloud computing
3. edge computing and IoT
4. IT automation
5. software development
6. big data management and data analytics
10. mobile application development