By Adaeze Theresa Ogeah
June 29, 2020
Basically, when the word IT is mentioned, the thought of that young or average-aged guy you call upon when you need help with your computer (yes, I mean that IT guy), readily comes to mind, right? Or, maybe the thought of that relatively young person, usually of the male folk, who spends so much time with their computer, doing and writing “weird” stuff that look like special characters or symbols, often difficult to comprehend, huh? If those are your thoughts about IT, you are not alone, and whatever your thoughts are, stay with me while I straighten things out.
Before anything else, it is important to note that IT is an abbreviation for Information Technology, and by implication, they are one and the same.
By definition, information technology has been presented by different professionals and authorities in different ways, with emphasis laid on particular processes, services, and/or devices. However, to drive the message home, let’s take a look at how the MacMillan Dictionary of Information Technology defines IT. According to the dictionary, IT (information technology) is,
the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a micro-electronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications.
Though the definition may seem a bit technical, the message that is being conveyed here is that IT is more than the cliché of being perceived as Computer Science, which basically deals with the theory of computation and the design of computer systems. Perceiving IT as Computer Science is a common error, especially when we think of that IT guy as the “Computer Wizard”, and vice versa. However, they may both be similar, but they actually have different areas of specialization and focus. While IT basically involves the installation and management of hardware, software, networks, and databases, Computer Science focuses on programming computers, using mathematical algorithms. To further buttress the point, IT covers a wide range of other information distribution technologies aside computers, such as telephones and televisions. If that be the case, I’m sure you now catch the gist of who the real IT person is.
Okay, let’s also look at it from this angle. Imagine trying to shop online for foodstuff and other household items you’d need in 1960. It is ridiculous, right? Okay. Why is it so? Because the world was in no position as at that time to enable such transaction. However, over time, information technology (IT) developed, and now enables us to do what we could not do at some point in time, even better, faster and cheaper. So, what changed? you may ask. The answer is simple. Networking expanded, and IT bridged the global gap in networking. IT expanded the systems of communication, thereby creating interconnected streams of networks, irrespective of geographical distance, making the world a Global Village.
From the foregoing, the impact of IT cannot be underestimated or overemphasized, as virtually all ramifications of life thrive on information technology.
So, one thing we have established is that IT is not an alien word, but only misconstrued, and, another is that people whose job functions or chosen career centre around the installation and management of hardware, software, networks, and databases, as well as other information technologies other than computers, like telephones and televisions, among others, are IT people, irrespective of sex and age. Thus, correcting this misconception will require education down to the grassroots, and one of the ways we can achieve that is to leverage Information Technology, which can assist us with widespread communication and networking. However, in doing that, we must remember that input equals output.
So, when next you see the man in the street who has that popular, but incorrect notion about IT, or who an IT person is, change their notion by informing them right.
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