Information Technology

We explain what information technology is, what its characteristics and examples are. In addition, we tell you his story.

information technology
Information technology encompasses the implements that produce, retrieve, or transmit information.

What is the technology of the information?

Information technology, abbreviated IT or IT information technologies), and sometimes referred to in the plural as information technology, is the name given to the use of computers and digital networks to store, transmit, and manipulate data, usually in the corporate and business world. It is, essentially, another name for ICT, that is, Information and Communication Technologies, only with emphasis on the storage of information, rather than its transmission and dissemination.

It is common to speak interchangeably of IT and ICT, when referring to the impact that digital networks and the world of the Internet have on the economic and professional world. Both terms are useful to think about the contemporary way in which information is produced and stored, which has no comparison with any other era of humanity.

In this way, information technologies cover all those implements created by the human being that serve to produce, retrieve or transmit information quickly, efficiently and massively.

When we speak, therefore, of YOU, we refer to both hardware and software, both to computer networks and personal computers, that is, to the set of technological tools for information management. Furthermore, as a field of study, information technology is closely linked to informatics and information science.

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Information technology history

information technology history
Today we produce, store and transmit much more information than ever before.

Information has always been a very valuable resource for human beings, but never before have they been able to produce and manage it so easily and in such large dimensions. In fact, the history of information technology It begins with the invention of writing, around 3000 BC. c.when Mesopotamian cultures invented what is thought to be the first ancient system of written record, useful for keeping track of herds, raw materials, or other countable assets.

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This primitive system of markings on some surface was the first known information technology, and over the centuries it evolved into the various types of writing known today. Writing became so important that it forced humanity to design new supports, more resistant, lighter and more comfortable, in which to work with it.

Paper was, for thousands of years, the ideal support for manual writing, made with ink or graphite, until the invention of the printing press in the 15th century, which made it possible to massify texts with an ease and speed never seen before: what took a group of monks in the Middle Ages a year to transcribe, a device could do it in just a few weeks. Lithography and other ways of reproducing images on paper were later added to this invention.

The next milestone occurred in the 20th century, with the invention of typewriters., and above all with the creation of the first electromagnetic supports, that is, the first computers and digital systems. In the mid-20th century it became clear that the calculating machines available to date were just the beginning of what humanity could achieve in terms of information storage and processing.

In fact, the second half of the 20th century and the first decades of the 21st century witnessed an unprecedented transformation in human capacities to produce and store data, with the rise of new and more powerful generations of computers. Hard drives, mobile media (floppy disks, laser discs, flash drives), and computer networks maximized the amount of information that could be stored accurately and retrieved quickly.

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Hence, current times are called the “Information Age”: human beings produce, store and transmit in an ordinary way much more information than that produced, stored and reproduced in all previous eras of history.

Information Technology Features

information technologies characteristics
Wireless technologies make it possible to retrieve data stored on remote media.

Information technology today is fundamentally characterized by:

  • Immateriality. The advancement of the digital world and technologies wireless It allowed the data to rest on supports far from our sight, recoverable quickly, but located in an inaccessible place. Hence the metaphor of “the cloud” to refer to the internet: a place full of information that is everywhere, but at the same time we cannot see or touch it.
  • Interconnection. Information currently flows without stopping, being transmitted from one geographic location to another in a matter of seconds, but always from one end of a network to the other. To access it we must, therefore, connect: have an artifact capable of connection.
  • instantaneity. The speed of data transmission today is only comparable to the speed of transmission of electrical impulses between the nerves and the brain of animals.
  • Omnipresence. Information is everywhere in the contemporary world, it is produced, collected and transmitted even without our realizing it.

Information Technology Application Examples

Some examples of the use of information technologies throughout history are:

  • The writing at any of its levels.
  • The diffusion in social networks advertising content to thousands of potential users.
  • The registration and study of stock and financial systems (such as the stock market) through large computers dedicated to calculating.
  • The digital storage from the historical archives of a newspaper or from the archives of a nation.
  • recording of steps given by a person who exercises through an app on his smartphone.
  • Transactions for the purchase and sale of financial assets through online banking portals.
  • Storing thousands of photos on the HDD of a person.
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types of information technology

Information technology can be organized and classified according to different criteria. For example, based on their main roles in society, we can distinguish between:

  • IT for data processing. The one that is used to solve problems of process automation, calculation and prediction of results, and everything that involves the recovery of collected information.
  • management IT. That which is used to contain or distribute information and allow access to it by third parties, whether they are users or other computer systems.
  • Decision Support IT. That which is used to support the exchange of data and decisions between one or more users and a computer system, such as the algorithm of a social network, for example, or access to a newspaper file requested by a user search.
  • IT expert systems. The one that is used to develop artificial intelligence and predictive systems (very advanced algorithms) that perform tasks impossible for the human mind and provide continuous support to different professional and daily scientific tasks.

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References

  • “Information Technology” on Wikipedia.
  • “What are information technologies?” at the European Postgraduate Center (Mexico).
  • “Information Technology (IT)” (video) on Conversus TV.
  • “What is the technology of the information?” at the Maranathá Center for Higher Studies (Mexico).