Information Technology is a set of tools, processes, and methodologies such as programming, data communications, data conversion, storage and retrieval, system analysis and design, system control, and associated equipment employed to collect, process, and present information.
Information Technology helps to produce, manipulate, transmit, communicate, and store various forms of information. Information Technology encompasses all forms of technology to create, store, and exchange information (such as business data, video, audio, still images, motion pictures, etc.) with high-speed communications links carrying data, sound, and video.
Components of Information Technology
- Hardware: Physical layer of the information system is called hardware. The hardware consists of the input-output device, processor, operating system, computer networks, communication equipment, media devices, etc.
- Software: Software consists of various programs and producers. The software may be system software with utilities and application software. System software helps to control the computer and includes the operating system, device driver, and utilities. It let users access a local or wide area network, a company intranet, or the internet.
Application software is a special program that supports its user and enables companies to carry out business functions efficiently as well as effectively. This software increases their productivity with tools such as spreadsheets, word processors, and database management systems (DBMS).
- Data: Data is the raw facts and figures required to process or organize to produce meaningful information. An information system transforms data into useful information which is helpful for decision-making purposes.
- Database: The database consists of data organized in the required structure.
- Network: A system that connects multiple users and system components for sharing available resources and information is known as networking. The information system should be integrated with a networking structure that helps to manage the data sources and users. The network consists of hubs, communication media, and network devices.
- Users: The purpose of an information system is to provide valuable information to managers and users within and outside the company. Users consist of device operators, network administrators, employees, customers, vendors, system specialists, etc. The success or failure of a system depends on whether users are satisfied with the system’s output and operations. Successful information requires the efforts of skilled professionals such as system analysts, programmers, IT managers, etc.
Importance of Information Technology
- In business: IT helps in creating information as well as aids in information exchange. Due to this, businesses can work with their clients in any corner of the world. The concepts of e-commerce, e-business, etc. are possible because of the introduction of IT in business sectors.
- In medicine: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans and other tools are used to diagnose major and critical conditions. There are computer-aided surgeries that are being performed as well.
- In science and engineering: IT helps in the collection and exchange of demographic data, weather reports, behavioral sciences, and numerous other areas where automation and quick work is needed.
- In the security system: IT has contributed to various security systems for homes as well as businesses. It also supports complex security systems such as government agencies and military bases.
- In the entertainment sector: IT is extremely important to the entertainment sector. Numerous special effects, graphical additions, and innovative multimedia applications are being used these days in movies.
- In e-governance: E-governance is the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to transform the traditional government by making it accessible, transparent, effective, and accountable. It establishes a relationship between government officials and citizens, providing greater access to government information and services by making the government accessible online; promoting citizen participation by enabling citizens to interact more conveniently with government officials.
Applications of IT in Science and Engineering
Information Technology is addressed as the main part of our society. It has a great impact on science and engineering also.
So, some of the major applications of IT in science and engineering are:
- New software tools and multimedia modules for engineering education.
- Development and implementation of internet and web-based courses.
- New software tools for virtual reality and real laboratory development.
- Distance learning and use of technology-based tools in classroom teaching.
- Visualization, computer graphics, social networking tools, and I/O issues.
- Use of commercial software tools in education.
Applications of IT in E-commerce and Business
E-commerce stands for electronic commerce. It is an online activity of business without the need of going to a store. E-commerce is a global phenomenon of marketing in which tangible and intangible services are offered through the internet. It is an internet business.
E-commerce is a modern term that describes the ever-growing and expanding online economy. Since the internet began, thousands of new companies have come into existence and are trading goods and services electronically.
E-commerce business may be for products sold directly to the consumer or to other businesses involved in e-commerce. Business selling directly to consumers is known as B2C e-commerce, and business selling products to other businesses is known as B2B e-commerce.
Thousands of e-commerce are thriving because of the internet, providing people with a way to purchase goods and services electronically. For small businesses, the internet can provide them with opportunities to enter the global market.
Applications of IT in Education
E-learning comprises all forms of electronically supported learning and teaching. The information and communication systems, whether networked or not, serve as specific media to implement and learning process.
E-learning is essentially the computer and networked-enabled transfer of skills and knowledge. E-learning applications and processes include web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual classroom opportunities, and digital collaboration. Content is delivered via the internet, intranet/extranet, audio/video, satellite TV, and CD-ROM.
Application of IT in Government
E-government is the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to transform the traditional government by making it accessible, transparent, effective, and accountable. E-government doesn’t mean installing more computers on the desks of government officials. And e-government is more than just a government website on the internet.
It establishes a relationship between government officials and citizens, providing greater access to government information and services by making the government accessible online; promoting citizen participation by enabling citizens to interact more conveniently with government officials.
It includes requesting government service online and filling required documents through the website; increasing government accountability by making its operations more transparent, thereby reducing the opportunities for corruption, and supporting developmental goals by providing business, rural and backward communities with information, opportunities, and communications capabilities.
Application of IT in Medicine
E-medicine is not an evolutionary concept but a revolutionary concept in itself. It represents a very innovative approach to providing quality health care whenever and wherever needed by using the online system especially using the internet.
It has been defined ‘as the use of telecommunication’ to provide medical information and services. It may be as simple as two health professionals discussing a case over the telephone, or as sophisticated as using satellite technology to perform a surgery by guiding the patient through videoconferencing.
The simplest definition of e-medicine is that it uses multimedia technology (voice, video, and data) to deliver medical services. It uses a hybrid technology incorporating elements of television, telecommunication, computers, engineering, and medicine. Services can be delivered on a combination of technologies with a variety of equipment.
Objectives of e-medicine are:
- To make high-quality healthcare available to the traditionally underprivileged populations of rural areas.
- To save the time wasted by both providers and patients traveling from one place to another to avail of service in time.
- It also helps to reduce costs that would be generated at different stages of medical services.
Application of IT in Entertainment
Computers have endless uses in the entertainment industry by directly marketing products to users.
- Music: Computers now have almost unlimited access to any songs by any artist.
- Television and Movies: With the advancement of video cards and internet speeds, movies and television streaming platforms are now at the click of a mouse button.
- Art: Art is readily available online at any moment. Pictures, paintings, poetry, and more are just a click away.
- Games: Computer games are a quickly growing market just like all other forms of video games. However, computer games offer a very wide array of possibilities. Computers have access to many peripheral devices such as keyboards, computer mouses, joysticks, controllers, and more.
- Animation: Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images to create an illusion of movement. Animation can be used to make cartoons, animated movies, etc.