What is Information Technology: Definition, Applications, and Importance

What is Information Technology: Definition, Applications, and Importance | Information Technology | Emeritus

Nowadays, IT or Information Technology has become synonymous with everything related to digital communication and technology. From checking email to running software on our laptops, a zoom call with colleagues at work or live streaming on social media, analysing consumer data from a marketing campaign to even booking online vaccination appointments on a healthcare website, IT is everywhere. Let’s take a closer look at the meaning, scope and career potential of the IT sector in today’s world.

What is Information Technology (IT)?

The term Information Technology (IT) in its simplest form covers every task that computers are used for. The usage of technology to crunch information and resolve business challenges or to streamline and organize processes through technology in an organization is commonly known as IT. A few examples of IT are –

  • Building communication networks within the organization
  • Security of data and vital information
  • Creation and management of databases, CRMs, and other tools

This helps employees overcome operational challenges, boost efficiency, and improve speed, accuracy and convenience of processes.

In business organizations, the IT department is entrusted with three key operational areas.

Key Operational Areas of IT Department:

  • IT hardware and infrastructure – The IT department is responsible for planning. And putting in place all the necessary hardware, software and related infrastructure as per the company’s needs.
  • IT operations – This pertains to the day-to-day functioning of the digital infrastructure.
  • IT governance – The framing of an organization’s IT policies, and rules. It ensures effective operations, and compliance with the government’s rules related to IT operations, come under the scope of IT governance.

Why is Information Technology Important?

In today’s era, global connectivity and operations are solely dependent on IT systems. IT services are essential to keep systems running, networks connected and data secure. Nowadays, the usage of AI and data analytics is also growing rapidly in the IT sector. The integration of smart technologies is enabling businesses to improve their speed. And market coverage alongside enhancing operational efficiency and resource utilization. There are various rapidly growing functions that the IT workforce is expected to manage:

Data Analytics

With social media, websites, and third-party platforms generating data streams for the business, the need for greater computing, and advanced software including AI analytics and cloud tools is increasing. This is creating demand for professionals in these areas.

Mobile and Wireless Infrastructure

The era of remote or on-the-go working has necessitated the building of robust networks. And cloud platforms for organisations that employees can access from any location at any time. Development and management of such solutions are another key demand vertical.

Cloud Technologies

The good old ‘server rooms’ or ‘server farms’ are now being increasingly replaced by cloud platforms, and serverless operations wherein the maintenance of hosting infrastructure is taken care of by the cloud service providers or data centre companies.

Network Bandwidth

With video communication becoming more popular by the day, greater network bandwidth and professionals to manage the infrastructure are also in high demand.

IT Career Opportunities

Considering the prevalence of IT and its role as the framework upon which modern businesses across industries are being built, there are ample career opportunities in the arena. From niche consulting firms to global IT enterprises, software and cloud giants to startups, companies all over the world are looking at hiring hands-on technical staff with information technology diplomas to advanced IT course certifications, innovators to IT experts with strong industry experience. Some of the most promising IT sector career opportunities are:

Computer Support Specialist

This profile is best suited for people who can comfortably and skillfully answer computer software/hardware queries, help set up hardware/installing software and train computer users on new equipment. One would typically need to be a graduate with information technology courses or other similar certification to be eligible for this role. Nowadays, you can do an IT diploma online to gain good proficiency with software, handling database interface programs, or developing tools and operating software etc. These jobs are growing at a healthy rate and the remuneration is quite lucrative for youngsters entering the industry.

Network and Systems Administrator

It is another profile that would necessarily require a relevant IT diploma or IT course to go along with the college degree. It is another area where freshers or employees with little experience, but with the right information technology diploma enjoy good hiring opportunities. A typical network and systems administrator would need to manage network hardware, software, data backups, and troubleshoot any problems that come up.

Network Architect

This is a higher profile compared to the network administrator, and a candidate would typically need to be a graduate with an advanced IT course and past experience working in the industry. The network architects design and build organizational intranets, LANs, and WANs. They are specialists who understand diverse software systems such as administration tools, operating systems, and development software etc. Architects also need to work with clients or customers as well as sales and marketing teams to create impactful service offerings, and project deliveries.

Database Administrator

Database Administration is a fast-growing field and it is an advanced role involving the protection and security of crucial data such as customer details or financial information. These are typically jobs in data-heavy sectors such as banking and insurance or in IT outsourcing services provider firms that help other businesses with their needs. The applicants should be well versed with database management, web platforms, operating system tools and development environment etc. A good information technology course from a reputed institute helps candidates land such jobs with greater ease.

Systems Analyst

Systems analyst/computer analyst/system architect is a role that requires a detailed understanding of IT and business systems. While an IT degree is not a must, one should have a good IT diploma or certification to be fit for this role. It would require strong computer skills. And programming tools knowledge. Also, the ability to handle database management and development environment software. It is a high-paying job and there is plenty of growth potential.

Information Security Analyst

This is one of the highest paying, fastest growing and most impactful IT jobs today. Security analysts are responsible for analysing cyber threats. And protecting the company’s networks from any attacks. An ideal candidate would require some work experience. Also an advanced information technology course or degree helps. Nowadays, there are some highly reputed institutes that offer IT courses online, and learners can gain the requisite qualification even while continuing to work in their current jobs.

What Employers Look for in IT (Information Technology) Candidates?

Businesses hiring IT workforce look for candidates that are proficient with computer skills, and also have strong communication and interpersonal skills. They would help other team members in troubleshooting problems. And also play a part in the development of advanced technology-driven solutions, managing network challenges to planning. And implementing infrastructure needs or security measures for their own or client organizations.

As people need to work with colleagues, customers, clients and vendors, strong technical knowledge alongside personal traits is vital. This includes empathy, good listening skills, comprehension and problem-solving abilities. They are considered essential for IT personnel.

A positive attitude, love for technology and ability to remain focused on the project for longer durations are key attributes that the IT personnel should have alongside technical skills and knowledge.

Are You a Good Fit for an IT Career?

Despite the incredible potential and good pay, IT roles are not for everyone. Here are some of the things that would help a person figure out whether he/she is a good fit for the IT industry or not.

Ability to Learn New Things

Technology is constantly evolving! And people who are able to make it big in this arena, need to have the ability to constantly learn new things. And improve their expertise and know-how. For tech professionals, education doesn’t end with graduation. Or when they enter the professional world. In fact, it only begins from that point.

Team Spirit

An IT professional needs to have good team spirit. And the ability to collaborate with different personnel. Technology is no longer a lone field where tech experts with poor command over language or behavioural skills can do well.

Bouncing Back from Failure

Technology is often defined by experimentation and innovation. Software development or establishing technology infrastructure often doesn’t go as per plans. Changes, alterations or restarting from scratch as well as the failure of technology products are part and parcel of the work of IT professionals. And one should have the ability to take failure in stride.

Keenness to Make an Impact

There is no joy greater than seeing one’s work make an impact in resolving problems and creating a difference in the society through usage of technology. Whether it is designing an app, creating a tool that automates critical processes or building a highly useful web platform.

Being a Problem Solver

The ability to solve problems creatively, and quickly is an essential need for technical professionals. There could be any minor or major problems that impact workflows at any time. And the IT personnel need to quickly and accurately resolve the problem to restore services as soon as possible.

Best IT courses for Industry Aspirants

Emeritus offers highly impactful and diverse learning options for experienced IT professionals as well as aspirants. Founded in 2015, Emeritus is an internationally acclaimed career learning and development brand with over 2000 employees. It has offices in Mumbai, New Delhi, Shanghai, Singapore, Palo Alto, Mexico City, New York, Boston, London, and Dubai. We are committed to teaching the most advanced and futuristic IT skills to individuals, companies and governments all over the world.

Emeritus offers the best IT courses courtesy of its collaboration with over 80 top-tier universities. These are across the United States, Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia, India and China. Learners can enrol for IT diploma courses on the website. This includes short-term courses, long-duration information technology courses, programmes, bootcamps and senior executive programs to acquire new skills and transform their lives, companies and organizations.

Learn With Emeritus

Emeritus’ unique teaching model makes the difference! It includes an innovative curriculum. Furthermore it has a state-of-the-art technology and hands-on instruction from senior faculty, mentors, and coaches. So far, these have benefitted over 500,000 students across 80 countries, each year.

Some of our selected courses like online data science and analytics courses help the learners to extract actionable insights from vast and complex data silos. And enhance the quality of business decision-making. An online IT diploma in data science such as that from the Indian School of Business enables the learners to master the concepts and applications of business analytics, data visualization, gamification, machine learning, and AI technologies. This gives them a competitive edge in the data-driven business landscape of the day.

Moreover, IT skills are in demand in almost every industry vertical these days. And as the world further moves towards digitization and automation of processes, the demand will only surge. Therefore, Emeritus India brings to you the best IT courses and IT diploma courses, in collaboration with top universities of the world.

About the Author

Content Writer, Emeritus Blog
Sritoma's tryst with education started during her early years as a teacher. Drawing from her teaching experience, Sritoma understands how students learn and educators teach, which helps her create content for edtech. With an extensive experience in content creation over 6+ years, she has an innate ability to research and convert complex information into reader-friendly content. Sritoma is a creative soul, and during her free hours, she loves turning blank canvases into captivating works of art.
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