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Definition

information technology (IT)

Contributor(s): Stephen J. Bigelow

Information technology (IT) is the use of any computers, storage, networking and other physical devices, infrastructure and processes to create, process, store, secure and exchange all forms of electronic data. Typically, IT is used in the context of enterprise operations as opposed to personal or entertainment technologies. The commercial use of IT encompasses both computer technology and telephony.

The term information technology was coined by the Harvard Business Review, in order to make a distinction between purpose-built machines designed to perform a limited scope of functions and general-purpose computing machines that could be programmed for various tasks. As the IT industry evolved from the mid-20th century, computing capability advanced while device cost and energy consumption fell lower, a cycle that continues today when new technologies emerge.

IT software and hardware

IT includes several layers of physical equipment (hardware), virtualization and management or automation tools, operating systems and applications (software) used to perform essential functions. User devices, peripherals and software, such as laptops, smartphones or even recording equipment, can be included in the IT domain. IT can also refer to the architectures, methodologies and regulations governing the use and storage of data.

Business applications include databases like SQL Server, transactional systems such as real-time order entry, email servers like Exchange, Web servers like Apache, customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning systems. These applications execute programmed instructions to manipulate, consolidate, disperse or otherwise affect data for a business purpose.

Computer servers run business applications. Servers interact with client users and other servers across one or more business networks. Storage is any kind of technology that holds information as data. Information can take any form including file data, multimedia, telephony data and Web data, data from sensors or future formats. Storage includes volatile random access memory (RAM) as well as non-volatile tape, hard disk and solid-state flash drives.

IT architectures have evolved to include virtualization and cloud computing, where physical resources are abstracted and pooled in different configurations to meet application requirements. Clouds may be distributed across locations and shared with other IT users, or contained within a corporate data center, or some combination of both deployments.

IT education and job functions

A team of administrators and other technical staffers deploy and manage the company's IT infrastructure and assets. IT teams depend on a wide range of specialized information and technology skills and knowledge to support equipment, applications and activities. Third-party contractors and IT vendor support personnel augment the IT team.

The information technology profession is extremely diverse. IT workers can specialize in fields like software development, application management, hardware components such as desktop support, server or storage administrator and network architecture. Many businesses seek IT professionals with mixed or overlapping skill sets.

Common IT careers:

Chief information officer: This person is responsible for IT and computer systems that support the enterprise's goals.

Chief technology officer: This person sets all technology goals and policies within an organization.

IT director: This person is responsible for the function of all of the business's technology tools and processes. This role is commonly called IT manager or IT leader.

Systems administrator: This person configures, manages, supports and troubleshoots a multi-user computing environment. Within an enterprise, this role can be segmented by technology, requiring an administrator or team dedicated to server, desktop, network, virtualization or other components.

Application manager: This person's role centers on the provisioning and management of a high-value business application, such as Exchange.

Developer: This person or team writes, updates and tests code for programs to meet business objectives internally or facing customers.

Architect: This person examines and changes IT functions to best support the business.

This was last updated in February 2019

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thank you for the information am in kenya wanted to learn more about IT hope to be assisted from you, thank you responce
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What is changing today about information technology roles?
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Today's IT professionals need to be quicker to respond to new technologies and more focused on what users want than ever before - if they don't, they risk users taking tech into their own hands. It's about supporting a lot more devices and user-friendly apps than in the past.  
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Hii sir!, am finding for the IT technician to help me some things can you help me?
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Read the all points & then we think about this and start the work.
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One option is to look at what causes the most day-to-day problems and identify a better process/tools to automate it. Or if the problems are personnel related, find ways to motivate the team to change. 
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IT needs to see itself as a function that provides business value. Software developers and others in IT should understand the goals and direction of the business, and it's important to keep the business perspective in mind. This is difficult for a lot of people I know in IT, who really enjoy the heads-down programming aspect of what they do.
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Many things have changed due to the encouragement and motivation.
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It needs to see itself as the most valued jobs in the world of today. Today no good work can be performed without proper us of technology.
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Hello. My name is hakim i am willing and able to learn to achieve a great reward of knowledge under your assistant .
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Good Day! I am curious about IT. I dont know how it works and i want to learn from you.
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Thanks for sharing the knowledge! I'm doing my research for how information technology has developed and contributed to shaping our society today and this article helped a lot :)
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Sir, please tell me the definition of IT and what are the fields of IT.
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Every year our technology updated in the future all we can develop and improve one of the example is computerized library. Which is you can search without any hesitation that you want to search ^_^
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As IT Professionals we give contribution. By doing of the best of our abilities, talents and that knowledge to develop our country. To make a big benefits and effect.
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many things have changed based on self inovations
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Now a days, what is information technology? I think it's totally changed as comparing to past. Is any one say what"s going on in this generation?
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Dear all, the Daily Technological progress and new inventions are happening at a rate faster than before and increasing every day. Keep an eye on the Security during the Transformation.
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Programming and Information Technology should understand the objectives of the business, and basically to remember its professional view. Information Technology is devising more user-friendly and supporting system within multiple fields of business and technology.

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I am in kenya and i am learning more about IT hoping to change my life with the changes of life and one day become a chief officer of IT.

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Hi, 
  am in Tanzania i need to know much about IT
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i am in Kenya wanted to learner about IT hoping that you will assist me thank you
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please i need to know more about IT
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thank you, I'm now learning about information technology (IT), and this article is very helpful. and I will bookmark it


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thank you for the information am in Bangladesh wanted to learn more about IT hope to be assisted from you, thank you.
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thanks you for this information 
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I want to know what is IT
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IT is the day to day what we are using that we will make or update as our new technics, that is information technology
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hi am want to get knowledge about IT 
what type it and 
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Thank you Margaret, because IT is my career.
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Information Technology has to do with Cyber Security, a process whereby information and other details about a person, company etc are kept safe from intruders. 
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Hi i,m new studen i need to learn about IT but i don,t no from were i start pls i need your help thanks

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google it on line classes
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thank  you  information technology  is  playing  very  important  role  in  our  daily  life  it is a  part  of  our  life  now . i  m  from  Maldives
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