What is Information Technology?

Information technology (IT) incorporates the use of computers, networks, storage, and infrastructure to create, retrieve, store, process, and exchange electronic data. It involves the management of data in the form of voice, text, or graphics.

IT is mainly used for business operations than personal entertainment. Businesses often have an information technology system that comprises all hardware, software, and other necessary equipment required for handling data. Information technology professionals handle IT systems.

IT involves handling several functions to ensure that businesses run smoothly. However, the primary role of IT can be defined as follows:

  • IT governs guidelines and processes to ensure IT systems run effectively and efficiently.
  • The information technology department is responsible for monitoring, optimizing, and troubleshooting the performance of software, services, and infrastructure.
  • IT facilitates tech support, maintenance, device management, and security testing.

Departments in Information Technology

The IT department in a company is responsible for handling several tasks. Hence, a dedicated department is created to handle specific tasks in most companies. The common departments include:

  • Production: The production department handles the decisions related to the company’s products and services. It is responsible for controlling, supervising the workforce, planning, and production scheduling.
  • Human resources management (HRM): HRM deals with the recruitment process. It also handles matters related to employee training, health, and employee relations.
  • Purchasing: The purchasing department is responsible for buying raw materials, office hardware, writing material, furniture, and other office equipment.
  • Research and development: The research and development team develops new products and processes to boost the business.
  • Marketing: The marketing department handles the promotion and selling of the company’s products and services.

Tasks of Information Technology teams

IT teams handle several tasks. However, the day-to-day operations in every company include the following:

Server upgrade

Industries use several data servers for data management and business operations. The IT staff is responsible for checking each server and arranging replacement servers in case of failure. The IT staff also has to configure new servers, backup applications, transfer data to new servers, and ensure the proper functioning of the new servers.

Security monitoring

While using information technology software, companies may face security issues such as unauthorized access to company data. IT professionals need to develop tools to alert companies when people try to access restricted company files. Such systems notify the IT department or manager when unusual activities are detected in the company software.

Develop new software

IT developers need to plan and develop the appropriate software whenever a business determines the need for new software. The department records each software detail throughout the project and reports it to the senior management after deploying the software.

Business advancement

As the business grows, the need for more capable software or the existing software to meet the growing demands arises. The IT team has to regularly check and inform the management regarding the capability of the software. If required, the IT team should suggest developing new software.

Examples of Information Technology softwares

Nowadays, various types of IT software are available in the real world. Some of these include:

Examples of IT software
  • Telephone equipment
  • Radio equipment
  • Personal computer devices
  • Content management software used for blogging or collaboration (like WordPress)
  • Video conferencing software
  • Performance management software

Importance of Information Technology

Nowadays, industries need to rely on computers partially or entirely to meet the fast-growing demands of clients. The use of computers makes it necessary to have systems that can handle and interpret data so that industries can profit from it. This is where the need for reliable and efficient IT systems arises.

IT systems are beneficial for companies working in all sectors since these systems help in carrying out tasks like:

  • Product design and development
  • Marketing
  • Sales and invoicing
  • Accounting
  • Handling human resources and payroll
  • Regulatory compliance

Careers in Information Technology

Currently, jobs in the IT sector are booming. Skilled professionals can gain high-paying jobs in this field. Some of the popular careers in information technology are:

  • Computer support specialist: Computer Science or relevant bachelor degree holders, having knowledge of database programs, operating system software, and hardware, can opt for this career.
  • Network and computer systems administrator: This career is ideal for individuals having a keen interest in computer network hardware, backing up data, and troubleshooting networking issues. Individuals should also possess knowledge of database management software, web platform development tools, and network monitoring.
  • Computer network architect: Network administrators having previous work experience in the IT field are perfect for this job role. Network architects are responsible for creating networks such as local area networks and wide area networks.
  • Database administrator: This IT job deals with data protection and data security. Candidates holding a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field can apply for this job. Individuals should know how to use database management software, operating system tools, web platform software, and planning tools.
  • Computer systems analyst or system architect: Candidates having hands-on experience in programming software, development environment software, and database management software are highly preferred for this job role. This career option is constantly growing, and with the advancement of cloud computing, more job opportunities are opening up.
  • Information security analyst: Information security analysts are responsible for protecting the company’s systems and data from cyberattacks. Companies prefer candidates having previous work experience in the IT sector and a bachelor’s degree in information technology or computer science for this position. The potential candidates need to know network monitoring tools and security tools.

Context and Applications

Information technology is an essential concept in the computer and information science field. Concepts of information technology are covered in courses like:

  • Bachelors in Computer Science
  • Bachelors in Information Technology
  • Masters in Computer Science
  • Masters in Data Science
  • Masters in Information Technology

Practice Problems

Q1. Which of the following is a task of IT systems?

  1. Sales and invoicing
  2. Request information
  3. Resource gathering
  4. Entry-level sorting

Answer: Option a

Explanation: One of the tasks of IT systems is sales and invoicing.

Q2. Which IT department deals with the recruitment process?

  1. Marketing
  2. ABET
  3. Information technology program
  4. Human resource management

Answer: Option d

Explanation: The human resource management department is responsible for carrying out the recruitment process in an industry.

Q3. Which of these is an example of IT software?

  1. Computer-based graphs
  2. Science system
  3. Personal computer devices
  4. Real-world gadgets

Answer: Option c

Explanation: Personal computer devices, telephone equipment, radio equipment, and content management systems are examples of IT software.

Q4. IT professionals are responsible for which tasks?

  1. Server upgrade
  2. High-demand changes
  3. Making presentations
  4. Managing the company

Answer: Option a

Explanation: The IT team is responsible for tasks like server upgrade, security monitoring, new software development, and business advancement.

Q5. Who handles IT systems?

  1. System engineer
  2. IT professionals
  3. System developer
  4. Marketer

Answer: Option b

Explanation: IT professionals are responsible for handling IT systems.

Common Mistakes

Students often interchange the terms information systems and information technology. However, information systems involve the study of the technology, processes, and individuals concerned with data. In contrast, information technology deals with the planning and handling of the data in the information system.

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Agile software development
  • Process automation
  • Data synchronization

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