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What Is Information Technology (IT)?Information technology is one of the very advancing and in-demand technologies of this era. Ever since this technology has emerged, it has heavily dominated many organizations and firms providing them with efficient way of work. Before indulging into the depth of this technology with respect to organizations, it is first important to get a brief idea about what information technology really is. Information technology basically involves all the things that are related to the technology and science of computer and telecommunication systems. Information Technology is concerned with developing technology into something more fruitful.
Information technology is inclusive of both rational and technological elements. On the other side, technological elements comprise of terms and conditions of information technology that are needed for logical structure of a system (Kalam 1, 2000). In other words, it can be said that information technology includes both computer hardware and software like voice, telecommunication stuff, multimedia and so forth. Therefore, information technology is helpful for inserting, extracting or processing information (Kalam 1, 2000). It must be clear to all that information technology is not just limited to computer oriented areas, but also helpful in departments of telecommunication, micro graphics, various firms and other support services.
Internet technology is also termed as “the information revolution” at many instances and as Information and Communications Technology at other instances. Information technology makes life easier for everyday places especially large organizations and places like libraries and is very helpful in managing all types of information in form of databases. Since information technology relies heavily on computers, many firms and educational institutes call their computer departments as IT departments. Such department is also called Information Services (IS) or Management Information Services (MIS) in several organizations (Jidaw, 2008).
Most of the advanced Information Technology Department involves the usage of computers, servers, database management systems, and cryptography. The people needed in such departments are System Administrators, Database Administrators, and Technology Manager and these people are supposed to send all reports to Chief Information Officer (CIO). Since many companies are really concerned about the security and privacy of the information within them, the scope of job inside Information Technology organization is very high and the data security and server experts get highly paid for their jobs (Schneider, 2008).
Impact of Information Technology in the SocietyWith respect to ongoing theories and justifications about the modern changes in the world, it has been justified that this era of humans is in the middle of a third big revolution. Early revolution included innovations and strides in agriculture, mechanization, and industrialization. The third one and the recent one is the Information Revolution. The development in the technology of information and communication has been taking place for nearly hundred years and the growth is still at its pace. It is amazing how easily one piece of information can be transferred from one corner of the world to another in just a blink of an eye. People can exchange all kinds of information to people all over the world or just to a specific group of people. In this ever changing and modernized society, information technology plays a significant part in many aspects.
This approach has proposed fresh business offers and advancements in many organizations. Information technology supplies the organizations with firm communication deals that are helpful for the firms to develop the business at a worldwide level very easily. In order to organize a long chain of distributors, dealers, and purchasers, all the organizations have set up global information systems. These global information systems help in keeping a track of placed orders, delivered products, and payments made all over the world. All the credit goes to the advancement in internet technology which has made all these things possible and made them easy to handle. The setup of basic information is made in such a way that at the lowest stage, there are servers comprising of one operating system. Software like database and web serving are usually installed on these servers, making them interconnected with each other and to the users through the help of a network infrastructure. The users who have access to these servers are facilitated with their personal “hardware, operating systems, and software tools” (Alexandrou).
Basic Elements of Information TechnologyBefore jumping in the depth of the impact of information technology in organizations, it will be handy to learn about the basic elements of information technology so that it will make it easy to comprehend this technology. As it was already mentioned that information technology can be described as such kind of technology which is needed to develop information into something more fruitful. Specifically it can be deduced that employing computer and its software to convert, save, progress, send, and extract information is what information technology is all about. The following technologies are the important technologies generated from information technology:1- Computer Hardware Technologies:Such technologies comprise of personal computers, powerful servers that are maintained by devices that sends, retrieves, and saves information.
2- Telecommunication and Network Technologies:Technologies linked with networking and telecommunication enhance the level of communication between organizations as they comprise of telecommunications media and related software that is both wired and wireless and are helpful for Internet and other networks.
3- Computer Software Technologies:Such technologies comprise of all kinds of software and web browsers useful in educational institutes and business organizations.
4- Data Resource Management Technologies:Such kind of technologies involve all the things needed to maintain a database for a company or institute (Kawatra 25, 2000).
Impact of Information Technology on Various InstitutionsWhen the term institution comes, it does not point out to one specific workplace or anything of that sort, instead all the organizations, companies, firms, and schools can be categorized under the word institution. Organizations are divided according to their role and management policies. This portion will now briefly talk about how information technology has affected these institutions in helping them gain success.
1- Governments:Government itself comprises of various branches and institutions, and each of the institution of government has a particular area to deal with. With the advancements in information technology, all the government institutes have also developed a lot to and have provided the citizens with better services. Not just this, but also, this advancement has heavily improved the security abilities of government by helping them design better and improved weapons and tools for the war and for military and army people (Kawatra 27, 2000). B2 Bomber is one such example of a plane which came into being solely due to the advancement in information technology and modern computer methods. Along with this, government can also keep sensitive information about anything in a safe environment, without the fear of it getting extracted by unauthorized people.
2- Commercial Businesses:Commercial businesses play a vital role in today’s time and therefore, without any doubt, it can be said that the innovations and strides made have affected such businesses too. The extremely vital part played by information technology in such businesses is to supply benefits to the world of commercials. These benefits are achieved by the commercial businesses by the help of the newly progressed software like application software and operating systems (Kumar 104, 2000). Since television is the most entertaining and quick form of showing things all over the world at the same time, commercial businesses have taken the full advantage from this.
3- News & Media Organizations:All the work done by news & media organizations is relied totally on computers and therefore this shows how information technology has put an impact on them. Every task performed by information technology is also needed by news and media organizations, like saving information, sending it out to people, creating information and so forth (Ritendra 42, 2005). Hence, it can be seen how important the information technology is for such organizations.
4- Educational Organizations:Along with providing benefits and advantages to business-oriented organizations, information technology has even influenced the educational organizations. The advancements in information technology has made it very easy for the students as well as the faculty members to pretty much search anything on the Internet, exchange any personal information via emails and share any knowledgeable things on forums and groups (Meadowcroft, 2000).
Impact of Information Technology on Undergraduate EducationEvery industrialized nation has government bodies which try to integrate and coordinate the level of technological progress which aids in the foundation and establishment of educational institutes. Along with having a qualified faculty, it is significant to have information technology as part of the undergraduate education systems. Having information or computer department does not mean that it should only be available to the people of that area; instead students should be involved too by doing presentations, and working on other such things.
Faculty members and undergraduate students can use computer facilities to take the full advantage of this technology on their finger tips. This technology has increased the ease of gaining information and decreased the hassle of worrying about the time it would have taken to seek information otherwise (Williams). The following impacts have been put by those tools:1) These tools help students in copying, presenting, researching and understanding the real-life oriented scientific complications which helps in building the examining capability in students.
2) Information technology helps in building the teamwork and learning capabilities among the students and helps them to solve matters and problems by searching and discussing with each other.
3) As information technology is advancing day by day, this is also bringing rapid changes in the formation and distribution of educational tools.
4) The proper and frequent use of information technology can help in providing an efficient educational system.
5) Information technology also helps the students of one part of the world to interact with the students in other parts of the world (Williams, 1996).
Impact of Information Systems & Technology on OrganizationsIt will be doubtless to say that nowadays, majority of the organizations, whether private or government, rely a lot on information systems. Thus, it can be said that information technology has become truly mixed with all sorts of businesses. Organizations, like telecommunications or finance, involve efficient usage of information technology in order for them to exist successfully.
Ever since the concept of e-commerce has started, this technology plays a vital and significant role in carrying out any business. Organizations are not only employing information technology to improve old ways of business deals, but are also employing it to discover fresh and innovative chances in order to gain success. Though employing old methods and approaches will not do any harm, but they will not lead to a lot of success in the future and will just maintain a stable outcome for the organizations. For instance, there are several banks and insurance companies that still rely on such systems which were introduced nearly 30 years ago (Bharadwaj 169, 2000).
ConclusionIn the end, it can be concluded that the advancements and progresses in information technology in firms and organizations have undoubtedly brought a noticeable revolution. Information technology has led to ideas and notions that not only improve merely one organization, but also increases competition among various organizations to do something better and efficient. Every organization wants to be the best one and therefore, for that purpose it always keeps on looking for advancements and ways to employ them in order to turn itself into a superior and flourishing one. As pressure is building inside organizations and improvements are being made in technologies, all the organizations are making efforts to utilize these technologies and gain success and prosperity from them.
There is no doubt that as things are becoming advanced, they are providing easier and quicker way of performing tasks while giving better results every time. Obvious improvements can be seen in all areas of businesses due to the magic spread by the information technology. New approaches and techniques are followed and implemented by all business organizations and training is being given to people of different firms for the sake of making them experts. The story does not end here, there are yet more advancement expected in information technology and as more tools and technologies will be developed, people will be able to succeed more and the competition will increase.
Information technology is a good base for those interested in computers to have their career in this field, as this field will not only give a start to their careers but it also promises success and progresses in the upcoming years. Educational institutes teach information technology as a separate subject in schools, which shows the importance of this technology and the role it plays in everyday life. It can be deduced that information technology is a necessity of daily life and is a food for prosperity.
1-Jidaw Systems Limited, 2008, ‘What is Information Technology?’, < http://www.jidaw.com/itsolutions/whatisit.html>2-Laura Schneider, 2008, ‘Information Technology – Definition and History’, Tech Careers Guide, 3-Alexandrou, M. (n.d.), ‘Definition of information technology,’ 4-Goel (Ritendra), 2005, ‘Fundamentals of information technology,’ Lucknow: Paragon.
5-Kawatra, P. S., (2000), ‘Textbook of information sciences’, New Delhi: A.P.H. Pub.
6-Abdul Kalam, A. P. J,2001, February 3-9, ‘Knowledge society,’ Employment News7-Meadowcroft, B, 2001, ‘The impact of information technology on work and society,’ from 8-Kumar, K., Singh, S. P, 2000, ‘From information society to knowledge society,’ Journal of Library and Information Science, 25(2), 104-111.
9-Luther S. Williams, 1996, ‘Information Technology: Its Impact on Undergraduate Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology,’ Report on an NSF Workshop, National Science Foundation.
10-A. Bharadwaj, ‘A resource-based perspective on information technology and firm performance: An empirical investigation’, MIS Quarterly, Vol. 24, No. 1, 2000, 169-196.