Information Technology (IT) refers to techniques used in business for transmitting, storing, manipulating and retrieving all kinds of data, including speech, text, movies, graphics and reports of events such as equipment malfunction, intrusion etc.
Typically, Information Technology relates to the hardware and software that businesses use to manage and operate a range of business processes. Most businesses network their computers so that information can be shared.
Examples of the use of IT in business include:
- Storing information about products such as stock control using sophisticated databases.
- Making business calculations such as costing and profit calculations using spreadsheets.
- Providing advertising and promotional literature using computer graphics packages.
- Processing information, writing letters, and other documents using word processing packages.
- Internal communication using fax, e-mail and other methods of communication including telephone linking.
- Using presentation software such as PowerPoint to make colourful presentations.
- Creating websites as promotional and informational tools for an organisation.
IT applications are everywhere in modern business and their great advantage is the way that they can lower costs. One way that costs can be lowered is through time saving.
For example, time is saved in the retrieval of information from a database or website. Rapid searches can be carried out by simply cueing in a keyword such as the name of a customer or a component.
Another way that time can be saved is through the rapid duplication of information. For example, an e-mail can be sent to all of the relevant members of an organisation simply by creating a pre-prepared mailing list for all communications of a certain type.
Material can be rapidly edited and altered using modern desktop computers.
Information Technology enables the global communication of information, as well as the global retrieval of information from databases and websites regardless of geographical distance.