What is ICT and how does it differ to IT?
Most business functions involve some form of ICT. To reduce risk and increase productivity, a business should develop a best practice framework for ICT.
But what does ICT mean?
It’s easy to get buried in acronyms these days. IT [information technology] and ICT [information and communications technology] get bandied around all the time, sometimes interchangeably. So what’s the difference, and why is it important?
Essentially, ICT contains IT as an umbrella term. IT is a term related to computer science: digital technology, software, hardware. ICT includes ‘communications’ to sum up your daily dealings with computers, phones, audio-visual devices, satellite systems and the internet.
ICT also covers activities working across these systems, like video-conferencing, data storage and distance learning. It’s a more useful term than IT when you are talking about the bigger picture of all the components that make up your IT and communications environment.
Therefore ICT stresses
- The role of unified communications. Computers are integrated with telecommunications, audio-visual and other systems that enable users to access, store, transmit and manipulate information.
- The cost-effective convergence of audio-visual and telephone networks with computer networks through a single unified cable or link system.
It’s a huge area, often broken down into specific contexts of ICT such as education, health care or libraries.
Due to the constantly evolving nature of information, communications and technology, the term ICT does not have a universally accepted definition.
The term ICT covers any device or tool that can transmit, retrieve, store and manipulate information in digital form. This includes bots, email, digital TV, PC’s and data storage.
When ICT is referred to in business, it is often broken up into 2 areas:
- The more traditional PC based technology.
- Digital communication technologies that allow people and organisations to share information electronically and communicate digitally.
So whether it is the phone on your desk or your accounting software, it’s easy to see how ICT is a crucial part of all business. Just as you maintain your car so it stays safe and working at its best, effective ICT ensures your business will always remain connected to the digital world.
ICTAA provides nationally recognised training and accreditation to enable organisations to increase productivity and reduce risk by developing a better understanding of the issues and best practices for ICT at work.