Information technology

Information technology ( IT ) is the application of computers to the store, study, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data , [1] or information , often in the context of a business or other enterprise. [2] IT is considered a subset of information and communications technology (ICT). In 2012, Zuppo proposed an ICT hierarchy “contain some degree of commonality in that they are related to technologies that facilitate the transfer of information and various types of electronically mediated communications”. [3]

The term is commonly used as a synonym for computers and computer networks, but it also encompasses other information distribution technologies such as television and telephones. Several industries are associated with information technology, including computer hardware , software , electronics , semiconductors , internet , telecom equipment , and e-commerce . [4] [a]

Humans-have-been Storing, retrieving, Manipulating, and communicating information since the Sumerians in Mesopotamia Developed writing in about 3000 BC, [6] intended the term information technology in modern sense icts first Appeared in a 1958 paper published in the Harvard Business Review ; authors Harold J. Leavittand Thomas L. Whisler commented that “the new technology does not yet have a single established name.” Their definition consists of three categories: techniques for processing, the application of statistical and mathematical methods to decision-making, and the simulation of higher-order thinking through computer programs. [7]

Based on the storage and processing technologies employed, it is feasible to Distinguish separate furnace stages of IT development: pre-mechanical (3000 BC – 1450 AD), mechanical (1450-1840), electromechanical (1840-1940) and electronic (1940 -Present). [6] This article focuses on the most recent (electronic) period, which began in 1940.

History of computer technology

Devices have been used to aid computation for thousands of years, probably initially in the form of a tally stick . [8] The Antikythera mechanism , dating from the beginning of the first century BC, is known to the earliest known mechanical analog computer , and the earliest known geared mechanism. [9] : 279 Comparable geared devices did not emerge in Europe until the 16th century, [10] : 94 and it was not until 1645 that the first mechanical calculator capable of performing the basic arithmetical operations was developed. [11] : 3

Electronic computers , using either relays or valves , began to appear in the early 1940s. The electromechanical Zuse Z3 , completed in 1941, was the world’s first programmable computer, and by modern standards one of the first machines that could be considered a complete computing machine. Colossus , developed during the Second World War to decrypt German messages was the first electronic digital computer. Although it was programmableit was not general-purpose, being designed to perform a single task. It also lacked the ability to store its program in memory; was used with plug-ins and switches to alter the internal wiring. [12] [ page needed ] The first recognisably modern electronic digitized-stored computer program was the Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine (SSEM), which ran its first program on 21 June 1948. [13]

The development of transistors in the late 1940s at Bell Laboratories, a new generation of computers with reduced power consumption. The first commercially available stored-program computer, the Ferranti Mark I , contained 4050 valves and had a power consumption of 25 kilowatts. By comparison the first transistorized computer, developed at the University of Manchester and operational by November 1953, consumed only 150 watts in its final version. [14]

Electronic data processing

Main article: Electronic data processing

Data storage

Early electronic computers such as Colossus made use of punched tape , a long strip of paper on which is represented by a series of holes, a technology now obsolete. [15] : 178 Electronic data storage, qui is used in modern computers, dates from World War II, When A form of delay line memory Was Developed to remove the clutter from radar signals, the first practical implementation of qui Was the mercury delay line . [16] : 1 The first random-access digital storage device was the Williams tube , based on a standard cathode ray tube , [17] but the information was stored in its memory and it was volatile, and it was lost. The earliest form of non-volatile computer storage was the magnetic drum , invented in 1932 [18] and used in the Ferranti Mark 1 , the world’s first commercially available general-purpose electronic computer. [19]

IBM introduced the first hard disk drive in 1956, as part of their 305 RAMAC computer system. [20] : 6 Most digital data today is still stored magnetically on hard disks, or optically on media such as CD-ROMs . [21] : 4-5 Until 2002 more information was stored on analog devices , but this year was not enough. As of 2007 almost 94% of the data stored worldwide was held digitally: [22] 52% on hard disks, 28% on optical devices and 11% on digital magnetic tape. It has been estimated that the world has grown in size to 3 exabytes in 1986 to 295 exabytes in 2007, [23] doubling roughly every 3 years. [24]


Database management systems emerged in the 1960s [25] : 2 to address the problem of storing and retrieving large amounts of data accurately and quickly. One of the Earliest Such systems Was IBM ‘s Information Management System (IMS), [25] : 2 qui est still Widely Deployed more than 50 years later. [26] IMS stores data hierarchically , [25] : 2 goal in the 1970s. Ted Codd proposed an alternative based on theory and predicate logicand the familiar concepts of tables, rows and columns. The first commercially available Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) was available from Oracle in 1980. [25] : 3

All database management systems consist of a number of components that together allow the data to be maintained by many users while maintaining its integrity. [ citation needed ] A characteristic of all databases is that the structure of the data is contained in a database schema . [25] : 2

The extensible markup language (XML) has become a popular format for data representation in recent years. Although it can be stored in normal data systems , it is usually held in their databases to take advantage of their “robust implementation verified by the years of both theoretical and practical effort”. [27] : 2 As an evolution of the Generalized Standardized Markup Language (SGML), XML’s text-based structure offers the advantage of being both machine and human-readable. [27] : 4

Data retrieval

The relational database model is introduced to programming-language independent Structured Query Language (SQL), based on relational algebra .

The terms “data” and “information” are not synonymous. Anything stored is data, but it only becomes information when it is organized and presented meaningfully. [28] : 1-9 Most of the world’s data is unstructured, and stored in a variety of different physical formats [29] : 2 [b] even within a single organization. Data warehouses began to be developed in the 1980s to integrate these disparate stores. They are generally understood to be various sources, including external sources such as the Internet, organized in such a way to facilitate decision support systems (DSS). [30] : 4-6

Data transmission

Data transmission has three aspects: transmission, propagation, and reception. [31] : 361 It can be broadly categorized as broadcasting , in which information is transmitted unidirectionally downstream, or telecommunications , with bidirectional upstream and downstream channels. [23]

XML has-been increasingly employed as a means clustering of data interchange since the early 2000s, [27] : xiii PARTICULARLY for machine oriented interactions Such As Those Involved in web-oriented protocols Such As SOAP , [27] : 4 Describing “data-in -transit rather than … data-at-rest “. [27] : xiii One of the challenges of such usage is from XML document Object Model (DOM) structures. [32] : 228-31

Data manipulation

Hilbert and Lopez identify the exponential rate of change (a kind of Moore’s law ): machines’ application-specific capacity à compute information per capita roughly doubled every 14 months between 1986 and 2007; the per capita capacity of the world’s general-purpose computers doubled every 18 months during the same two decades; the global telecommunication capacity per capita doubled every 34 months; the world’s storage capacity per capita is approximately 40 months to double (every 3 years); and per capita broadcast information has doubled every 12.3 years. [23]

Massive amounts of data are stored every day, but unless they can be analyzed and presented effectively, they are called “data archives that are seldom visited”. [33] : 5 To address that issue, the field of data mining – “the process of discovering interesting patterns and knowledge of large amounts of data” [33] : 8 – emerged in the late 1980s. [33] : xxiii


Academic perspective

In the academic context, the Association for Computing Machinery is a business organization that deals with the needs of business, government, healthcare, schools, and other types of organizations. Hardware and software products for an organization, integrating those products with organizational requirements, and installing, customizing, and maintaining those applications for the organization’s computer users. ” [34]

Commercial and employment perspective

Companies in the information technology are often discussed as part of the “tech sector” or the “tech industry”. [35] [36] [37]

In a business context, the Information Technology Association of America has defined information technology as “the study, design, development, application, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems “. [38] [ page needed ] The responsibilities of those working in the field of network administration, software development and installation, and the planning and management of a technology life cycle, by which hardware and software are maintained, upgraded and replaced.

The business value of information technology in the automation of business processes, provision of information for decision making, connecting businesses with their customers, and the provision of productivity tools to increase efficiency.

Ethical perspective

Main article: Information ethics

The field of information was established by Norbert Wiener in the 1940s. [40] : 9 Some of the ethical issues associated with the use of information technology include: [41] : 20-21

  • Breaches of copyright by the United States
  • Employers monitoring their employees’ emails and other Internet usage
  • Unsolicited emails
  • Hackers accessing online databases
  • Web sites installing cookies or spyware to monitor user’s online activities

See also

  • Computing
  • Data processing
  • Health information technology
  • Information and communications technology (ICT)
  • Information management
  • Journal of Cases on Information Technology
  • Knowledge society
  • List of the largest information technology companies
  • Outline of information technology
  • Computer Science


  1. Jump up^ On the later more broad implementation of the term IT Keary comments: “In icts original implementation of information technology ‘was Appropriate to describe the convergence of technologies with implementation in the broad field of data storage, retrieval, processing, and dissemination This term is not used in practice, but without the reinforcement of definition … the term IT lacks substance when applied to the name of any function, discipline, or position. ” [5] : 869
  2. Jump up^ “Format” refers to the physical characteristics of the stored data and itsencodingscheme; “structure” describes the organization of that data.


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