Brief Synopsis of What Information Technology Is All About
The purpose of information technology is to process and deliver information in a process that maximizes efficiency and provides users with the greatest degree of control or influence over their data. Information, in a broader sense, is simply processed, structured and organized data. It provides context to other data and allows users to make informed decisions. For instance, a single consumer’s sale in a restaurant is individual data; when this is converted into a situation-by-situation analysis, such information becomes context sensitive and allows the company to make informed decisions on what food to offer. This kind of analysis can help companies in many different ways including reducing waste, increasing productivity, reducing marketing and management costs, increasing sales and bottom line margins, improving internal operations, etc.
Information technology is actually made up of several discrete components such as information systems, information services and applications, infrastructures and cognitive science. These layers together are described by IT and each layer plays an important role in providing the customer with the information it needs or wants. For instance, information systems are comprised of application programs that perform the actual business tasks while information services provide a platform for interaction between these application programs and the rest of the systems. The cognitive science refers to the discipline of thought and the methods by which information and knowledge are synthesized and used to solve problems. Therefore, information technology is actually a collection of practices and technologies to achieve these ends.
In addition to the layers described above, information technology also includes components such as communication systems, workstations, database management systems and applications, client computers and operating systems. The components mentioned above are used together in networks, applications and workstations to provide users with the information they need to perform their activities. In this sense, information systems are operating systems. An OS is the foundation on which all other information systems use to run themselves. For instance, Windows and the Microsoft Windows operating system are both OS. This means that Windows alone is the operating system upon which the iPhone and iPad applications are based upon.