Information technology (IT), as defined by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), is "the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware." IT deals with the use of electronic computers and computer software to convert, store, protect, process, transmit, and securely retrieve information.
Today, the term information technology has ballooned to encompass many aspects of computing and technology, and the term has become very recognizable. IT professionals perform a variety of duties 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 the management and administration of entire systems.
When computer and communications technologies are combined, the result is information technology, or "infotech". Information technology is a general term that describes any technology that helps to produce, manipulate, store, communicate, and/or disseminate information. Presumably, when speaking of Information Technology (IT) as a whole, it is noted that the use of computers and information are associated.
The term information technology is sometimes said to have been coined by Jim Domsic of Michigan in November 1981. Domsic, who worked as a computer manager for an automotive related industry, is supposed to have created the term to modernize the outdated phrase "data processing". The Oxford English Dictionary, however, in defining information technology as "the branch of technology concerned with the dissemination, processing, and storage of information, esp. by means of computers" provides an illustrative quote from the year 1958 (Leavitt & Whisler in Harvard Business Rev. XXXVI. 41/1 "The new technology does not yet have a single established name. We shall call it information technology.") that predates the so-far unsubstantiated Domsic coinage.
In recent years ABET and the ACM have collaborated to form accreditation and curriculum standards for degrees in Information Technology as a distinct field of study separate from both Computer Science and Information Systems. SIGITE is the ACM working group for defining these standards.
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