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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. The information technology umbrella can be quite large, covering many fields. 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worked as a computer manager for an automotive related industry, is supposed to have created the term to modernize the outdated phrase "data processing".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.
 See also
- Communications-enabled application (CEA)
- Information and communication technologies
- Information and communication technologies for development
- Information and communication technologies in education
- Information and technologies in education
- Information and technologies in development
- ^ http://www.itaa.org/es/docs/Information%20Technology%20Definitions.pdf | p30, Accessed March 3 2008
- Adelman, C. (2000). A Parallel Postsecondary Universe: The Certification System in Information Technology. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education.
- Allen, T., and M.S. Morton, eds. 1994. Information Technology and the Corporation of the 1990s. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Shelly, Gary, Cashman, Thomas, Vermaat, Misty, and Walker, Tim. (1999). Discovering Computers 2000: Concepts for a Connected World. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Course Technology.
- Webster, Frank, and Robins, Kevin. (1986). Information Technology—A Luddite Analysis. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
The Virginia Tech Information Technology Security Task Force was formed in December, 2003, to review the security of the university's information technology environment.
The goals of the task force are to:
- identify current methods of securing VT computing and network resources;
- identify ways to improve security; and
- propose specific solutions and initiatives to enhance the security of the Virginia Tech information technology environment.
As we have discussed, CRM is more than just software. For the purposes of this introduction - Information Technology (IT) and CRM have three key elements, namely Customer Touch Points, Applications, and Data Stores. This section is based loosely upon Raisch (2001) The eMarketplace.
Customer Touch Points are vital since your business has a marketing orientation and focuses upon the customer and his or her current and future needs. This is the interface between your organisation and its customers. For example you buy a new car from a dealership, and you enter a showroom. The dealership is a contact point. You meet with a salesperson whom demonstrates the car. The salesperson is a contact point. You go home and look at the car manufacturer's website, and then send the company an e-mail. Both are contact points. Other contact points include 3G telephone, video conferencing, Interactive TV, telephone, and letters.
Applications are essentially the software and programmes that support the process. Incidentally, this is what some would call CRM - but we know better. Applications serve Marketing (e.g. data mining software* and permission marketing**), Sales (e.g. monitoring Customer Touch Points), and Service (e.g. customer care).
Data Stores contain data on every aspect of the customer, and the Customer Life Cycle (CLC). For example, an organisation keeps data on the products you buy, when you buy them, and where they are sent. Data is also kept on the web pages that you visit and the products that you consider, but then do not buy. Leads are stored here. Data on the life time value of individual customers is stored here, as well as details of how and when the customer was recruited, how - and for how long - individuals have been retained, and details of any products that have been extended to individuals are also stored. The data is analysed using Applications.
*Data Mining is where an organisation evaluates large Data Stores for patterns, or relationships between groups or individuals (or segments). Applications present 'patterns' in a format that can be used for marketing decision-making.
** Permission Marketing is where a customer elects to accept (or 'opt-in' to) marketing material from an organisation e.g. where you buy insurance and the vendor asks if you wish to receive further details from them, or similar organisations. It is so called because marketers need your 'permission' to market to you. Permission marketing can occur at any of the Customer Touch Points.
CRM is a term that is often referred to in marketing. However, there is no complete agreement upon a single definition. This is because CRM can be considered from a number of perspectives. In summary, the three perspectives are:
- Information Technology (IT) perspective
- The Customer Life Cycle (CLC) perspective
- Business Strategy perspective
Our model is a hybrid of many other commonly cited models from a number of sources. If you are undertaking higher-level academic work you need to clarify with your tutor, the nature of his or her preferred model.
Effective communication with target markets via the internet is essential if tourism operators are to reach independent tourists and secure their business with sales.
Appraise the usefulness of information technology systems available to the tourism industry and modify a system used in the industry.
Since the 1930s, research has demonstrated that integrating language arts skills in typewriting and now keyboarding classes does build a variety of important skills. This should not be surprising because reading and writing are correlated -- working on one skill builds the other. Reading and writing underlie virtually ALL school-based learning; they are fundamental skills to master.
As students become comfortable and functionally proficient, composing skills are introduced and reinforced. After all, keyboarding is the way people write today. Studies show that students write more and will edit and revise their writing more if they are writing on a computer. While using a computer, by itself, will not improve writing; coupled with integrated curriculum and effective teaching, dramatic results are possible.
Effectively implemented, writing with computers results in students that:
- Are more motivated, on-task, and actively engaged then when writing with pens and pencils.
- Are more willing to share their work and collaborate when working with legible work they created on a computer.
- Write more and write better.
While all students perform better, low achieving students benefit the most from integrating computers with their writing instruction. Today, a wide range of technologies are working their way into the classroom. The area where technology can provide the greatest positive impact on students learning is in the writing process.
According to research findings, writing skills are enhanced by computer usage for the following reasons:
- Students write more efficiently and write more with computers.
- Student's writing becomes more detailed.
- The more students write, the better they become at it.
- Students can learn language structure and grammar with the use of application software tools such as a spell-check and thesaurus.
While research indicates that computer instruction can enhance academic performance across student populations, this impact is greatest with students that perform below class expectations and "at risk" populations. Alternative delivery methods work, especially with reading instruction. Computers engage students in an active learning mode and can be effective components of reading instruction.
Because current state and federal laws mandate improvement of test scores, increasing the performance of underachieving students is vital - statistically, that is where gains must be made in standardized test scores. The key is to realize that computers are much more powerful tools than drill and practice machines, virtual worksheets, or electronic flashcards.
Effective computer instruction, therefore, needs to:
- Focus on meaning and comprehension
- Apply active learning, analysis, creativity, and reasoning
- Support learning across the curriculum
- Deliver a variety methodology and subjects
- Stress reading, writing, integration of different subjects
- Focus on mandated state approved curriculum
- Involve frequent monitoring and evaluation of students' progress
Information technology is the driving force behind our "new-world" economy. Information technology skills represent information gathering, organizing, and problem solving tools that students will need to be successful in their education and build careers.
Most parents want their children to have computer skills. Today, few would argue against the importance of computer literacy. Reasonable people, however, can disagree about what skills represent computer literacy. Keyboarding is probably part of that skill set, as are software applications like word processing/desktop publishing, Web browsers, and even email.
Is this enough? Knowing HOW to use technology is important, but the real skill is to use technology to identify information needs, research, organize, communicate, and solve problems. Creating lists of specific tasks utilizing technology, by itself, will not move us towards meaningful information and technology literacy. Applying a set of technology skills in different contexts, situations, and actually solve problems represents authentic life skills.
So is information and technology literacy important for today's students? It is when we define it as learning how to learn. The world has changed dramatically as we move forward into the 21st century. Yes, reading, writing, and arithmetic are important; but is everything we need to know found in traditional style textbooks?
Most of us that have been in the workforce for more than 10 years have seen that the skills we need to survive constantly change -- the pace of this change is accelerating. Web-based technology not only allows us more direct access to sources of information that are continually changing, they expand the walls of our schools, libraries, and even home offices and play spaces.
The good news is that locating information has never been easier -- a variety of documents in different formats are widely available in viewable, printable, and downloadable versions. Intellectual access to this information, however, requires strategies that encompass defining needs, locating relevant sources, analyzing, evaluating, synthesizing, creating, and sharing.
These are higher-level skills, actually processes that involve fairly complex, constantly changing perspectives and technologies. Pretty intimidating stuff -- yes, today we demand that schools document student learning and academic achievement. Is it really possible to move students with diverse needs towards these outcomes while continuing to improve academic achievement on core academic subjects?
Perhaps it would be more meaningful to ask:
"Can we expect equitably empower diverse learners to achieve high levels of academic achievement without building the information skills that underlie all learning?"
Core academic skills are important; resources to support that learning are increasingly available in different formats and styles. "Learning how to learn" means identifying information needs and locating and utilizing appropriate resources to meet those needs. Due to the nature of today's information formats and retrieval tools, technology skills are inherently part of most any information search.
Rather than ask if an emphasis on information and technology literacy somehow distracts from academic achievement, it may be more relevant to ask if we can really expect to raise academic standards without teaching relevant skills that form the foundation of learning. In that context, we see that information and technology literacy enhances all instruction across the curriculum.