ICT stands for Information and Communications Technology.
It is also known as IT, that is Information Technology, and it includes: –
- Computer hardware, such as computer, printer, digital camera, digital TV decoder, keyboard, scanner, touch screen monitor;
- Software programs, such as word processors, databases, web browsers, and video players.
- Communications that occur through the Internet between computerized devices (digital radio, networks, Global positioning system (GPS), mobile phone, instant messaging).
ICT is the use of technology for input, storage, processing, and transfer of data and information.
Components of an ICT System
An ICT system is made up of a number of components, these are people, data, hardware, software, procedure, information, etc.
People are the user of an ICT system. In addition to the people, an ICT system is dependent on system analysts and ICT support staff.
- System analysts study the tasks that the system is required to undertake. They design the system and oversee the development of software by computer programmers.
- The ICT support staff is responsible for training ICT users and resolving any problems that they experience when using the ICT system.
Data is input into an ICT system. Data can be:
- Entered manually using the keyboard,
- Transferred electronically to the ICT system over a network or Internet,
- Read from a smart card,
- Scanned from a bar code,
- Scanned from a machine-readable from etc.
Hardware includes the physical devices that are needed by an ICT system to enter data for processing and to display information in the most appropriate format.
Hardware includes a keyboard or scanning device for entering data, a microprocessor for calculating and processing the data into information, and a printer to print.
The software includes programs that store data such as names and addresses, rates and charges, and instruct the processor to produce the results of the calculations.
Procedures are the ways in which tasks should be done as required by the system of an organization. This includes how data have to be used and how systems are developed to suit the requirements.
An ICT system processes data to produce useful information which can be: viewed on screen, printout or transferred to another ICT system over a network or the internet.
Example of an ICT System
An ICT system consists of input, process, and output.
Hardware is used to input data into an ICT system. This is usually known as encoding data. Examples are PIN (personal identification number), barcode, phone number, etc.
A process involves manipulating, that is calculating, querying, arranging, searching, input data into information that is understandable to the users; Examples of processes are counting the number of items purchased and adding up the amount of money; searching the contacts in the mobile phone, etc.
It is the presentation of the results of the processing into a format that can be printed, displayed, or heard by humans. Examples are the on-screen presentation of available balance or printed output, the receipt printed for items purchased, showing the cost of individual items, and the total price.
Not all systems need to produce an output every time. A monitoring system may not produce an output at all if there is no need to inform a human.
However, if there is a need, the output could be in the form of an alarm. All information systems produce output.
The image shows an input-process-output (IPO) system that uses in-account transactions in a bank.
Here the input captures the PIN number of a customer, the processor identifies the PIN code and matches it to the customer account, and finally, customer details and available balance are presented on the screen. Feedback might then be used to affect another input into the same or a different system.
ICT Services and Application
The main aim of ICT services is to save cost and time, and access from anywhere, anytime. The table shows commonly used ICT services that can be used for the modernization of any country.
ICT application’ is a technical term for a standard computer program. Common ICT applications are word processors, desktop publishing (DTP) software, spreadsheets, databases, presentation software, graphics software, etc. Examples of ICT office applications are given in Table.
Commonly used ICT services
|E-commerce||It allows customers to purchase online. (e.g. Www.amazon.com)|
|E-banking||It allows users to have control over their account by viewing balances and making transactions|
|E-government||It provides better public access to government information (e.g, www.most.gov.bd)|
|M-commerce||It is the buying and selling of goods and services through wireless handheld devices.|
|E-Learning||It consists of all forms of learning and/or knowledge transfer without direct teacher-student contact via ICT|
|E-Health||It is the cost-effective and secure use of ICT in support of health and health-related fields.|
|It is the transmission of text messages via the Internet.|
|IM||IM (Instant Messaging) service is used for instant message exchange and real-time communication. Mostly used IM services are Windows Live Messenger, Skype, and Hangout.|
|VoIP||Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) protocol enables audio/video communication between users.|
|RSS||Really Simple Syndication (RSS) enables end-users who are monitoring their RSS feeds to read new titles and access news summaries using appropriate software.|
|BLOG||The blog allows legitimate users to re-post or write their opinion on any topic using the Internet.|
|POSTCAST||A podcast (POD: Personal On Demand and broadCAST) is digital audio or video content. It is distributed over the Internet using RSS technology.|
Examples of ICT office applications
|Standard Office Applications||Examples|
|Word processing||Microsoft Word: Creating letters, reports, etc.|
|Spreadsheets||Microsoft Excel: Analysis of financial information; calculations; creating of forecasting models, etc.|
|Database software||Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Access: Managing data in many forms, from the basic list.|
|Presentation software||Microsoft PowerPoint: Making presentations, either directly using a computer screen or data projector, such projection in digital format can be transmitted via email or the Internet.|
|Desktop publishing||Adobe Indesign, Quark Express, Microsoft Publisher: producing documents for newsletters, magazines, and other complex documents.|
|Graphics software||Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator; Macromedia Freehand, and Fireworks: Creating and editing images such as logos, drawings, or pictures for DTP, websites, or other publications.|
- ICT stands for Information and Communications Technology.
- ICT involves the use of technology for input, storage, processing, and transfer of data and information.
- An ICT system is made up of a number of different components, these are people, data, hardware, software, procedure, and information.
- Common ICT applications are word processors, desktop publishing (DTP) software, spreadsheets, databases and presentation software, and graphics software.