Information technology (IT) is "the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications". The term in its modern sense first appeared in a 1958 article published in the Harvard Business Review, in which authors Leavitt and Whisler commented that "the new technology does not yet have a single established name. We shall call it information technology."
IT spans a wide variety of areas that include but are not limited to things such as processes, computer software, computer hardware, programming languages, and data constructs. In short, anything that renders data, information or perceived knowledge in any visual format whatsoever, via any multimedia distribution mechanism, is considered part of the domain space known as Information Technology (IT).
IT professionals perform a variety of functions (IT Disciplines/Competencies) that range from installing applications to designing complex computer networks and information databases. A few of the duties that IT professionals perform may include data management, networking, engineering computer hardware, database and software design, as well as management and administration of entire systems. Information technology is starting to spread farther than the conventional personal computer and network technology, and more into integrations of other technologies such as the use of cell phones, televisions, automobiles, and more, which is increasing the demand for such jobs.
In the recent past, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology and the Association for Computing Machinery have collaborated to form accreditation and curriculum standards for degrees in Information Technology as a distinct field of study as compared to Computer Science and Information Systems today. SIGITE is the ACM working group for defining these standards. The Worldwide IT services revenue totaled $763 billion in 2009.
- Longley, Dennis; Shain, Michael (1985), Dictionary of Information Technology (2 ed.), Macmillan Press, ISBN 0-333-37260-3
- Isbell, Charles; Impagliazzo, John; Stein, Lynn; Proulx, Viera; Russ, Steve; Forbes, Jeffrey; Thomas, Richard; Fraser, Linda et al. (December 2009), (Re)Defining Computing Curricula by (Re)Defining Computing, Association for Computing Machinery, ACM, pp. 203–225, ISBN 978-1-60558-886-5
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