Information Technology Fundamentals - Introduction
Information Technology Definition
Information Technology is a branch of technology that deals with the use of computing devices to process data or information.
Information Technology is the design and implementation of computer networks and devices for data processing and communication. The modern I.T includes the use of both hardware and software for processing information and connecting separate components as well as developing software that can efficiently and faultlessly analyze and distribute data.
Computers have transformed the way data is created, shared, and consumed. This rapid digitization and growth have led to a world that is interconnected. Information technology has been in existence from the time of man’s existence, and humans have always been quick to adopt technologies as they surface.
History of Information Technology
The Information Technology term or I.T has been around since 1958. The term's first appearance was in the Harvard Business Review, proposed by Harold J. Leavitt and Thomas L. Whisler.
The history of information technology can be grouped into 4 ages:
The Pre-Mechanical Age:- The pre-mechanical age is the earliest of all. This is between 3000 B.C. and 1450 A.D. In the first stages of human communication, they often use language to make simple pictures or petroglyphs to tell stories, map their terrain, or keep accounts. This trend was in existence with the advent of formal language. The first-ever calculator – the abacus was invented during this period after the development of numbering systems.
The Mechanical Age:- The mechanical age is between 1450 and 1840. Due to a high surge of interest in computation and information, a lot of new technologies were developed in this era. Such as Technologies like the slide ruler (the analog computer used for multiplying and dividing), Blaise Pascal invented the Pascaline, a very popular mechanical computer capable of adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing two numbers.
The Electro-Mechanical Age:- This age is roughly at the time between 1840 and 1940. Several revolutionary technologies were invented during this period such as the telephone, morse code, radio, etc. All of these technologies contributed to the modern information technology systems we use today.
The Electronic Age:- This is the late era where machines started using electronic switches, in the form of vacuum tubes, instead of the electromechanical relays as seen in the previous era. The late electronic switches are more reliable because they have no moving parts that would wear out easily, but the technology was still new at that time and the tubes were comparable to relays in reliability. Another major benefit of electronic switches is that they ‘open’ and ‘close’ thousands of times even faster than relays.
The Modern I.T
The Modern I.T is composed of several related parts. Such as techniques for processing large amounts of data effortlessly and rapidly, powered by the high-speed computers. The second part is the application of statistical and mathematical methods to decision-making problems, represented by techniques like mathematical programming and methodologies like operations research.
The information age is made possible by the advent of electronic computers, powered by the information digitization. The onset of the Information Age is connected with the Digital Revolution, just as the Industrial Revolution marked the onset of the Industrial Age.
The Internet which is part of the modern I.T, was conceived of as a fail-proof network that could connect computers together and be resistant to any single point of failure. Because of decentralization, the Internet cannot be totally destroyed in one event. If large areas are disabled, the information can be easily re-routed. This is a break through in information sharing and security.
Although the Internet itself has existed since 1969, it was with the invention of the World Wide Web in 1989 by British scientist Tim Berners-Lee and its introduction in 1991 that the Internet became an easily accessible network facilitating information sharing. The Internet is now a global platform for accelerating the flow of information.