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ICT is an acronym that stands for Information Communications Technology. There is no universally accepted definition of ICT, because the concepts, methods and applications involved in ICT are constantly evolving on an almost daily basis and it is difficult to keep up but also this evolution has far-reaching effects on both businesses and personal lives. A good way to think about ICT is to consider all uses of digital technology that exist to help individuals, businesses and organization’s use of information. ICT covers any product that will store, retrieve, manipulate, transmit or receive information electronically in a digital form. For example, personal computers, digital television, email, robots, et cetera. So ICT is concerned with the storage, retrieval, manipulation, transmission or receipt of digital data. Importantly, it is also concerned with the way these different uses can work with each other.
It should be noted that in business, ICT is often categorized into two broad types of product:
Traditional computer based technologies – Standard office applications – Word processing: eg Ms Word to write letters, reports, et cetera – Spreadsheets: eg Ms Excel to analyse financials, calculations, et cetera – Database software: eg Oracle/Ms SQL Server/Access to manage date in many forms from basic lists (eg customer contacts to catalogues) – Presentation software: eg Ms PowerPoint to prepare presentations – Desktop publishing: eg Adobe Indesign/Quark Express/MS Publisher to produce newsletters, magazines and other complex documents – Graphics software: eg Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create and edit images such as logos, drawing or pictures for use in DTP, websites or other publications. – Specialist applications – Accounting package: eg Sage/Oracle to manage an organisations accounts Computer Aided Design (CAD): to assist the design process.
Specialist programmes exist for many times of design such as architectural, engineering, electronics and roadways – Customer Relations Management (CRM): to allow businesses to better understand their customers by collecting and analysing data such as their product preferences and buying habits etc. Often linked to software applications that run call centres and loyalty cards, for example The first component of ICT relates to people. O’Leary and O’Leary (2007) say that people are the most component of ICT. Simply because it is people who supply data, make judgement and decisions from the output. ICT is used by two types of people in the business environment, those working in the organization and customers who access information about the business. An exchange of information allows leaders and managers to make informed decisions. The second ICT component relates to content. To understand content we need to differentiate between data and information. (Tutor2u, online)
For example, the City of Johannesburg’s Library and Information Services Directorate is responsible for Improve techno-literacy skills of communities to bridge the digital divide and provide access to global information resources to the citizens of the City through eLearning programmes and among other responsibilities, to Improve skills support such as science and technology awareness, career development services, business information support, information literacy support and reference and research support. This is implemented through eLearning digital information services, eWorld, techno literacy skills. Now this is what I regard as evolution. (City of Johannesburg, SDBIP, 2016/17)
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