From the introduction of the term in late 70s, information technology has come a long way. The expanding field of information technology (IT) is comprised of various facets, including network administration, design, telecommunications, computer support, computer science, software programming and system analyses. Generally, anything having to do with computer hardware, software, or networks used to store, create, secure, exchange, or access digital data is known as information technology.
IT of the Past
The term information technology was first coined by Thomas L. Whisler and Harold J. Leavitt in a 1958 article published in the Harvard Business Review. Just 50 years ago, this term was rarely known, except by those who worked in large organizations, like banks and hospitals that needed to store data. At that time, the term IT was used only to describe the process of storing information.
Computer programming and software development were handled by mathematicians and computer scientists because they were too complicated to be dealt with by other professionals. At the time, there was no such thing as a degree or certificate in information technology and businesses had no need for large IT departments. There were no interconnected networks, server farms, or complex computer systems. Phone, fax, and regular mail were the main communication vessels.
But with the shift to the paperless office, the rise of computers, and the increased use of the internet in the past few decades, IT has become a household name. Time passed, technology greatly advanced, and just about everyone in the western world knew how to use a computer and had access to one. Businesses started seeing the benefits of information systems. The world moved into the information age.
Modern Use of Information Systems
These days, the vast majority of businesses wouldn’t survive without the use of information systems. They’re sending internal emails, marketing via the web, managing e-commerce web sites, and storing and tracking data online. From the big conglomerates to the smallest home businesses, there’s no doubt that companies all over the world rely heavily on information systems in the cut-throat and competitive world of business. Those with the best and newest technologies are the ones that thrive and the ones that are stuck in the past are left behind.
Those in the IT field work with organizations and businesses to set up viable computer systems and networks and provide continued support and troubleshooting when needed, which may include working with firewalls, media storage devices, databases, intranets, websites, servers, the internet or anything else related to computers. Some IT staff members work behind the scenes to make sure systems and networks run smoothly, while others help design and create the software and systems that businesses use. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of information technology careers.
Certified IT professionals are in high demand, and that demand is only going to grow in the future as more people depend on the expertise and specialized skills of IT professionals in order to effectively run their businesses. Most companies employ a team of IT administrators and technical staffers to manage their IT infrastructure and digital assets, while many also have third-party consultants on contract.
The Necessity of Information Technology and IT Professionals
Information technology is a broad field. It is concerned with all aspects of managing and processing electronic information, especially in the business world, where computers are vital for data management. In today’s competitive environment, almost every company’s business strategy relies on the use of information systems in order to succeed and grow into the future. For this reason, IT professionals are valued members of the organizations they’re involved in, and the need for certified IT experts continues to increase.