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What is Information Technology?

Information Technology (IT) is the all encompassing term used for all sorts of electronic kit and communications systems found in business today. IT is a broad term to cover the complex electronic systems used on a daily basis by businesses and individuals in todays global economy. As far as individual items are concerned IT includes:

  • Office and Home Computers (servers and desktops)
  • Mobile Devices (laptops/notebooks, netbooks, tablets, smartphones a.k.a cell phones)
  • The Internet and Networks (wide area, broadband, wired ethernet, wireless)
  • Cloud Computing
  • Client Relationship Management Systems (CRM)
  • Business Process Systems, Industrial Control and Monitoring
  • Finance and Accounting Software
  • Databases
  • Printers, Copiers, Telephones, Digital Cameras, Projectors, Teleconferencing
  • Access Control, Time Monitoring, Security Systems
  • Email, Data Backup, Antivirus, Other Software
  • Web Sites, Firewalls

In fact anything that involves the capture, storage, processing and display of data using electronic machines. IT is also concerned with use, configuration and maintenance of such kit. As well as the design, installation and maintenance of the business systems designed around such kit. IT is a cornerstone of modern economic life in developed and developing countries and tightly integrated into business and consumer markets.

Information Technology

IT differs from Computer Science in that it is more concerned with the use and running of systems. Computer Science is concerned with the internals of the devices, how they are engineered and programmed and the research and development of new technology and devices which becomes used in the IT of the funture. The UK Computing at School (CAS) Working Group Curriculm sees IT and Computer Science as complementary subjects and defines them thus:

Computer Science is a discipline that seeks to understand and explore the world around us, both natural and artificial, in computational terms. Computer Science is particularly, but by no means exclusively, concerned with the study, design, and implementation of computer systems, and understanding the principles underlying these designs.

Information Technology deals with the purposeful application of computer systems to solve real-world problems, including issues such as the identification of business needs, the specification and installation of hardware and software, and the evaluation of usability. It is the productive, creative and explorative use of technology.

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