Information technology


Information Technology is one of the greatest boons of science to humanity. Its impact can be seen on the economy, communication, culture, education system and social interaction between countries across the globe.

Information Technology can be defined as the set of hardware and software that performs data processing tasks of data capturing, transmission, storage, retrieval, and manipulation or display. It comprises of the hardwares, softwares, telecommunications, database management and other information processing technologies used in a computer information system.

It has enabled the users to transform unstructured processes into structured transactions. Information can be transferred with rapidity and ease across large distances, making processes independent of geography. It has replaced or reduced human labor in processes specially if it is repetitive in nature.

The basic functions performed by the Information technology include Data Capture, Data Transmission, Data Store, Data Retrieval, Data Manipulation and Data Display. Data can be captured and converted into a form that can be transmitted and stored. Keyboards, barcodes, scanners, visual display unit, video camera, mouse, and other input devices are used to perform this function. Modem, cable, television, local area networks, value added networks, wide area networks, wireless broadcast networks, the Internet, Extranets, Intranet are used by the organizations to transmit data. Magnetic tapes, floppy disks, hard disks, optical disks, CD-ROMs, DVDs and flash memory are used to store data for later retrieval.

Information Technology can create new information from the existing information through summarizing, sorting, re-arranging, re-formatting, or various types of calculations done with the help of various softwares. This information can be presented in the form of text, graphic audio and video. Different type of printers such as laser, dot matrix, line printers and inkjet are used for this purpose. In addition screen and speakers are used for presentations.

Information Technology has changed the way you do business. It has changed the very nature of the product or service being delivered or entirely transformed the way business is done in a functional unit or the whole organization. Companies now offer a new kind of business as compared to the traditional business.

The information processing power and programmed decision-making capabilities of the computer-based information system has cut the size of the organizations manpower. Centralized computer system for an organization processes all its data, controls all its operations, and helps take most of the decisions. Another advantage of the Information Technology is the concept of *shared databases, which allows access of the same data to various units. All units can take advantage of the information provided by other units in the organization before taking any action.

Any Information Technology tools functional capabilities can be identified by the type of processing it is intended to perform. It can be measured in terms of capacity, speed, price, reliability, and operating conditions. Capacity is the level of storage and processing, that is, the size of cache, Random Access Memory, or the secondary storage (hard disk). Speed relates to the speed of the processor, which is measured in MegaHertz, GigaHertz, or millions of instruction per second. Price performance of a system is directly proportional to its storage capacity and speed of execution. Reliability is defined as the performance of the technology without errors. Ease of use is another important parameter of Information Technology, which mainly depends upon the quality of user interface and portability. It basically refers to the ease of learning how to use the technology, ease of setting it up and ease of using it directly. Compatibility is yet another parameter, which allows modules to work together. It is the extent to which the characteristics and features of a particular technology fits with those of other technologies relevant to the situation. It involves conformance to standards and interoperability. Once the Information Technology has been set up, it is important to maintain the same. This aspect is measured based upon modularity, scalability, and flexibility of the said technology. A system is easier to be built and understood if it is divided into smaller modules. Scalability is the possibility of significantly increasing or decreasing the capacity of the system or components without major disruptions. Flexibility is the possibility to change the important aspects of the system operation without hampering the overall functions.

The information technology architecture constitutes a technology platform, data resource, application portfolio, and Information Technology organization. The computer system, the application software, and telecommunication networks like the Internet, Intranet, and Extranet provide a computing and communications infrastructure, or platform that supports the use of Information Technology in the business. Many types of operational specialized databases, including data warehouses, analytical databases and, external databases and store provide the data and information for business procedures and managerial decision support. The business application is designed as a diversified portfolio of information system, which supports the key business functions as well as cross-functional business processes. An application portfolio includes support for Internet and Extranet inter-organizational business linkages, managerial decision making, enterprise collaboration, and strategic initiatives for competitive advantage. The organized structure of the Information System functions within a company. The distribution of Information Technology specialists amongst the corporate and business units, can be designed to meet the changing strategies of the business.

The use of Information technology has reduced the cost of Business processes and operations extensively. It has enabled the creation of virtual organizations It has developed organizational systems linked by the Internet, Extranets or other networks, thereby supporting strategic business relationships with customers, suppliers and others. It has considerably reduced the time needed to develop, produce and deliver products and services. Regional and global business expansion has become possible with the advent of Information Technology.

We are living in a global information society, with a global economy that is increasingly dependent on the creative management and distribution of the information. Globalization of the world*s industrial economies has greatly enhanced the value of information, offering new opportunities for business. Information Technology has immensely contributed to globalization by providing the communication and analytical power, that firms need to conduct trade and manage business at a global scale.