Chapter 1 : Introduction to Information Technology


Information Technology (IT)

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. 

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 tapehard 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.

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY.

Advantages

Communication – with help of information technologies the instant messaging, emails, voice and video calls becomes quicker, cheaper and much efficient.

Globalization and cultural gap – by implementing information systems we can bring down the linguistic, geographical and some cultural boundaries. Sharing the information, knowledge, communication and relationships between different countries, languages and cultures becomes much easier.

Availability – information systems has made it possible for businesses to be open 24×7 all over the globe. This means that a business can be open anytime anywhere, making purchases from different countries easier and more convenient. It also means that you can have your goods delivered right to your doorstep with having to move a single muscle.

Creation of new types of jobs – one of the best advantages of information systems is the creation of new and interesting jobs. Computer programmers, Systems analyzers, Hardware and Software developers and Web designers are just some of the many new employment opportunities created with the help of IT.

Cost effectiveness and productivity – the IS application promotes more efficient operation of the company and also improves the supply of information to decision-makers; applying such systems can also play an important role in helping companies to put greater emphasis on information technology in order to gain a competitive advantage. IS has a positive impact on productivity, however there are some frustrations can be faced by systems users which are directly linked to lack of training and poor systems performance because of system spread.

Orange cartoon between plus and minus. White background.

Disadvantages

Unemployment and lack of job security – implementing the information systems can save a great deal of time during the completion of tasks and some labor mechanic works. Most paperwork’s can be processed immediately, financial transactions are automatically calculated, etc. As technology improves, tasks that were formerly performed by human employees are now carried out by computer systems. For example, automated telephone answering systems have replaced live receptionists in many organizations or online and personal assistants can be good example also. Industry experts believe that the internet has made job security a big issue as since technology keeps on changing with each day. This means that one has to be in a constant learning mode, if he or she wishes for their job to be secure.

Dominant culture – while information technology may have made the world a global village, it has also contributed to one culture dominating another weaker one. For example it is now argued that US influences how most young teenagers all over the world now act, dress and behave. Languages too have become overshadowed, with English becoming the primary mode of communication for business and everything else.

Security issues – thieves and hackers get access to identities and corporate saboteurs target sensitive company data. Such data can include vendor information, bank records, intellectual property and personal data on company management. The hackers distribute the information over the Internet, sell it to rival companies or use it to damage the company’s image. For example, several retail chains were targeted recently by hackers who stole customer information from their information systems and distributed Social Security numbers and credit card data over the Internet.

Implementation expenses – to integrate the information system it require pretty good amount of cost in a case of software, hardware and people. Software, hardware and some other services should be rented, bought and supported. Employees need to be trained with unfamiliar information technology and software.

Information systems contribute to the efficient running of organizations. Information systems are showing the exponential growth in each decades. Today’s information technology has tremendously improved quality of life. Modern medicine has benefited the most with better information system using the latest information technology. By understanding and learning what advantages and disadvantages it can bring, we have to try, believe and put an effort with our best to make that existing advantage much better and navigate the disadvantages to have a less impact on organizations and society.


1.3 Categories of computer
 There are 4 types of comptuer :
-Supercomputer
-Mainframe
-Personal Computer
-Embedded Computer

Supercomputer 

The fastest, most powerful, and most expensive computer. 
Capable of processing more than one quadrillion instructions in a single second. 
Supercomputers generally run one program at a time, as fast as possible. 
Applications requiring complex, sophisticated math
ematical calculations use supercomputers.
Example: Large-scale simulations and applications in medicine, aerospace, automotive design, online banking, weather forecasting, nuclear energy research, and petroleum exploration.





Mainframe
A large, expensive, powerful computer that can handle hundreds or thousands of connected user simultaneously. 
Second largest computers after supercomput
ers. 
Capable of great processing speeds and data storage.
With mainframes, enterprises are able to bill millions of customers, prepare payroll for thousands of employees, and manage thousands of items in inventory.
Example: Mainframe is used in large organizations such as hospitals, universities, large businesses, banks or insurance companies that need to manage large amount of centralized data.



Personal computer
A personal computer is a computer that can perform all of its input, processing, output, and storage activities by itself. 
A personal computer contains a processor, memory, and one or more

 input, output, and storage devices. Personal computers also often contain a communications device.

Two types of personal computers are desktop computers and notebook computers.




Mobile Computers and Mobile Devices
mobile computer is a personal computer you can carry from place to place. Similarly, a mobile device is a computing device small enough to hold in your hand. 

Mobile computers
i.              Notebook Computers
notebook computer, also called a laptop computer, is a portable, personal computer often designed to fit on your lap. Notebook computers are thin and lightweight, yet they can be as powerful as the average desktop computer.
ii.            A net book
Smaller, lighter, and often not as powerful as a traditional notebook computer. Most net books cost less than traditional notebook computers, usually only a few hundred dollars. 
iii.           Tablet PCs
Tablet PC is a special type of notebook computer that allows you to write or draw on the screen using a digital pen. Tablet PCs are useful especially for taking notes in lectures, at meetings, conferences, and other forums where the standard notebook computer is not practical.

Mobile devices
Some mobile devices are Internet-enabled, meaning they can connect to the Internet wirelessly. 
Five popular types of mobile devices are smart phones, PDAs, handheld computers, portable media players, and digital cameras.
     i.      Smart Phones
Internet-enabled phone. 
Provides personal information management function such as a calendar, an appointment book, a
n address book, a calculator, and a notepad
Send and receive e-mail messages and access the web.
Include built-in digital cameras   
ii.      PDAs A PDA (personal digital assistant) 
Provides personal information management functions such as a calendar, an appointment book, an address book, a 
calculator, and a notepad. 
Most PDAs also offer a variety of other application software such as word processing, spreadsheet, personal finance, and games.



iii.    Handheld Computers 
Small enough to fit in one hand.
Communicate wirelessly with other devices or computers and also include a digital pen or stylus for input. 
Industry-specific and serve the needs of mobile employees, such as meter readers and parcel delivery people , whose jobs require them to move from place to place.
iv.    Portable Media Players 
A mobile device can store, organize, and play digital media
Can listen to music; watch videos, movies, and television shows; and view photos on the device’s screen. 
v.      Digital Cameras 
Device that allows users to take pictures and store the photographed images digitally, instead of on traditional film. 
While many digital cameras look like a traditional camera, some are built into smart phones and other mobile devices.

Embedded Computers  
Special-purpose computer that functions as a component in a larger product. 

Embedded computers are everywhere — at home, in your car, and at work. 
Perform various functions, depending on the requirements of the product in which they reside.
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