What information technology professionals do for their jobs and careers

The terms “information technology” and “IT” are widely used in business and in the field of computing. People use the terms generically when referring to various types of computer-related work, sometimes confusing their meaning.

What is the technology of the information?

In 1958, the Harvard Business Review referred to information technology in three basic parts: computational data processing, decision support, and business software. This time period marked the beginning of IT as an officially defined business area; in fact, this probably coined the term.

Over the following decades, many companies created so-called “IT departments” to manage the information technologies related to their business. Whatever these departments worked on became the de facto definition of Information Technology, a definition that has evolved over time. Today, IT departments have responsibilities in areas such as:

  • computer technical support
  • Administration of databases and business computer networks
  • Enterprise software deployment
  • Security of the information

Especially during the dot-com boom of the 1990s, information technology also became associated with aspects of computing beyond those owned by IT departments. This broader definition of IT includes areas such as:

  • Software development
  • Computer systems architecture
  • Projects management

Information Technology Jobs and Careers

Job posting sites often use IT as a category in their databases. The category includes a wide range of architectural, engineering, and management jobs. People with jobs in these areas typically have college degrees in computer science and/or information systems. They may also hold related industry certifications. Short courses on the basics of IT can also be found online and are especially useful for those who want to gain some exposure to the field before committing to it as a career.

A career in Information Technology may involve working in or leading IT departments, product development teams, or research groups. Being successful in this field of work requires a combination of technical and business skills.

Information technology issues and challenges

  • As computing systems and capabilities continue to expand around the world, “data overload” has become an increasingly critical issue for many IT professionals. Efficiently processing large amounts of data to produce useful business intelligence requires vast amounts of processing power, sophisticated software, and human analytical skills.
  • Teamwork and communication skills have also become essential for most companies to manage the complexity of IT systems. Many IT professionals are responsible for providing services to business users who are not trained in computer networks or other information technologies, but are interested in simply using IT as a tool to get their jobs done efficiently.
  • System and network security issues are a primary concern for many business executives, as any security incident can potentially damage a company’s reputation and cost large sums of money.

Computer networks and information technology

Because networks play a central role in the operation of many businesses, business computer networking topics tend to be closely related to information technology. Network trends playing a key role in IT include:

  • Network capacity and performance : The popularity of online video has greatly increased the demand for network bandwidth on both the Internet and IT networks. New types of software applications that support richer graphics and deeper interaction with computers also tend to generate larger amounts of data and thus network traffic. Information technology teams must properly plan not only for the current needs of their business, but also for future growth.
  • Mobile and wireless uses – IT network administrators must now support a wide range of smartphones and tablets in addition to traditional PCs and workstations. IT environments tend to require high-performance wireless access points with roaming capabilities. In larger office buildings, deployments are carefully planned and tested to eliminate dead spots and signal interference.
  • Cloud Services – While IT shops in the past maintained their own server farms for hosting business email and databases, some have migrated to cloud computing environments where data is maintained by third-party hosting providers. This shift in computing model dramatically changes traffic patterns on a company’s network, but it also requires significant effort in training employees on this new generation of applications.