Information technology is defined as “the application of computers and internet to store, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data, or information, often in the context of a business or other enterprise.” Whenever we talk of technological development, we more often than not mean “Information Technology” development to a large extent. Today IT has helped several businesses realize their organizational goals and automate their processes. As Bill Gates has said “Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without the talking about the other.”
Nowadays it is very difficult to spend even a single day without any IT related device. Yes it is not impossible (nothing is!) but it is difficult, that no one can deny. How many of us can consciously avoid using the phone and internet for a day and not be bothered or restless about it? Just imagine how you feel when you forget to take your phone to office for one single day.
The moment you reach home, the first thing you do is check out your phone! How many missed calls, messages, whatsapp and Facebook messages have you got in the day?!! That is the kind of dependency we are talking about! Terms like website, mobile applications, portals, online etc. are used just like any other usual English language words. They have become common parlance as everyone talks about them.
The dependence of banking on IT is absolutely huge! ATMs, online banking, mobile banking, you name it. Where would they all be if IT had not progressed to this extent? The world of finance is heavily dependent on IT for every single dollar that needs to be accounted for. IT plays a key role across industries whether they be manufacturing, transport, logistics, travel, pharmaceuticals or whichever. And of course how can one ignore the fact that IT helped create a completely separate digital social environment called “Social Media”. Here let me quote the celebrated British biologist Richard Dawkins. He says “I’m fascinated by the idea that genetics is digital. A gene is a long sequence of coded letters, like computer information. Modern biology is becoming very much a branch of information technology.”
The amount of data that is being stored, accessed and analysed every single day, worldwide, is too huge to even fathom. And this brings us to the question of ethics in IT. There are people who “hack” other people’s data and misuse that information for their own personal gains or for causing financial damage or purely for mischief. More dangerous is the act of introducing new viruses in the IT ecosystems which can cause immense data and financial loss to the affected parties. This is a very dark side of IT that needs to be nipped in the bud as quickly and effectively as possible. Other unethical use of IT is electronic spamming. This refers to sending unsolicited mails (especially advertisement e-mailers) to unsuspecting users. I intend to write a separate blog on these issues later on. So do watch out for that! Though IT has it’s downside but since I firmly believe that IT is capable of generating more benefits to human kind than harm, let me end this blog with a quote by Steve Ballmer. “The number one benefit of information technology is that it empowers people to do what they want to do. It lets people be creative. It lets people be productive. It lets people learn things they didn’t think they could learn before, and so in a sense it is all about potential.” Thank you for reading and keep an eye out for my next blog!