Information Technology (IT) ushered in the information age and set in motion a digital revolution which created a knowledge-based society, sustained by a technologically advanced global economy. Commonly used synonyms for Information Technology include Computers, Computer Networks, Software, Hardware, Web Design, Electronics, Telecommunications and Semiconductors. Fields and sectors are two broad categories that need clarification when associated with Information Technology.
Information Technology fields most commonly refer to higher education (HE) disciplines where the student studies toward a recognized certificate, diploma or degree.
Computer Engineering is a specialized Information Technology field of study. It is a technical domain in which the student learns how to design and develop computer hardware such as personal computers, laptops, tablets, memory, storage, networking equipment and other computer hardware components.
Management Information Systems (MIS) is another Higher Education (HE) IT field of study. It offers a non-technical business degree and teaches students how to manage projects, budgets and people.
Computer Science, as educational field, focuses on software programming and includes areas such as application software, expert systems, artificial intelligence (AI), web development, embedded coding and robotics.
Computer Information Systems (CIS) offers specialized training and enables CIS graduates to establish themselves in the workplace as Network Administrators, Systems Administrators, Systems Engineers, Database Administrators, Computing Security Specialists, and Computer Technicians to name a few.
Information Technology fields define academic disciplines. Information Technology sectors link and interconnect the global economy, industries, the stock market and the financial sector, to name a few. Sectors provide the digital platform for graduates, professionals, the private sector and other experts to contribute towards a rapidly expanding knowledge-based society.
A key Information Technology sector is the Software and Services sector. In the United States, there are more than 100,000 software and Information Technology Services companies of which the largest percentage by far are small and medium sized companies (thus, less than 500 employees). This sector includes software design houses, software publishers and facilities management companies.
Other competitive Information Technology sectors are the Technology Hardware and Equipment sector, and the Semiconductors and Semiconductor Equipment Industry sector. The Dow Jones lists both these sector indices, and Bloomberg Business week regularly analyses the indices.
Many, if not most, businesses today are using Information Technology in some way or another. The value of Information Technology lies in the elimination of manual processes and introduction of automated business processes. The timely provision of information promotes and improves decision-making processes and enables real-time communication with customers.
Both information and technology evolve at an ever-increasing pace – a daunting realization and clear evidence that the digital revolution perpetually changed information management and applied technology within a global economy.