Information technology (IT) is the application of computers to collect or retrieve information and data and then utilize it in various contexts. Generally, IT is used in conjunction with communication technology and information sciences. IT is generally considered to be a sub-set of computer sciences and information science. In addition, many people are not aware that there exists such a thing as information technology; however, in the more technical sense, IT exists throughout the entire spectrum of human endeavor. Some examples include:
The term “computer systems” generally refers to the set of hardware and software that together deliver computer operations. These computer systems may be individual computers or the workings of a network of networks. One example of a computer system is the information technology network, which consist of networks, servers, workstations, operating systems, storage devices, input and output devices, and application software. There are also other components that are involved, such as desktop machines, printing machines, telecom equipment, personal computers, network switches, routers, internal computer components, memory, battery power supply, power management circuitry, hard drive, video output, input devices, audio output devices, web services, and so on.
Information technology also includes software applications. Examples of software applications include word processing applications, spreadsheets, databases, and web services. With the advent of desktop publishing programs and the rise of the Internet, information technology has played an integral role in the way companies and individuals communicate. In particular, word processing and database applications have become integral aspects of how companies and individuals communicate with one another. For instance, a business firm may require staff members to fill out forms and submit documents in order to do business with another firm. Without the use of word processing software and database applications, a business would be unable to accurately process and present this data.
Computers are also part of information technology. The development and manufacture of computer hardware and software have become a large part of how organizations operate. Examples of computer hardware include desktop and laptop computers. Other examples of software include cell phones, handheld computers, mainframe computers, mainframes, servers, networking equipment, printing equipment, and so on.
The Internet is another aspect of information technology that is very important. The Internet has become a critical part of how people communicate, conduct business, research information, and store and retrieve information. As such, this aspect of information systems is critical to all career paths within information technology. Major areas of Internet usage include web site design, e-mail, file sharing, online storage, image hosting, web browsing, intranet use, time server, and voice over IP (VOIP) usage.
All career paths within information technology have the ability to utilize the many different types of hardware, software, and networking equipment that are available on the market. For those interested in learning more about the hardware that is used in these job titles, there are job titles such as computer support specialists, network administrators, and consultants. More information about the software that is available include jobs such as information systems analysts, software engineers, software designers, product testers, and security engineers. It should be quite easy to see how the information technology field is broad and deep and how these various job titles fit into everyone’s life.