Information technology refers to the use of computer systems and telecommunication hardware for the purpose of storing, retrieving, manipulating, and processing data and information. Basically, information technology is a catch-all term that refers to computers and all its components, software, the internet, along with other information distribution appliances such as television and radio.

Information technology is commonly used as a synonym for computer systems and networks. Information technology encompasses a number of industries such as computer software, hardware, internet, electronics, semiconductors, telecommunications, and so on.

The term information technology was coined by Harold J Leavitt and Thomas L Whisler in an article that was published in the Harvard Business Review in 1958. Even though humans have been collecting, storing, and distributing information in many forms through the ages, the modern use of the term information technology specifically refers to developments in technology that happened in the twentieth century and are still happening.

Software and Hardware

Hardware and software are the two main components that make up any information technology system. Understanding the distinction between the two will provide a clearer idea of what information technology means.

Software refers to all computer programs and applications that run on “code” or algorithms. Software also includes all the data that is stored on computers. Software does not have a physical presence and can be manipulated by changing their code. Examples of software include internet browsers, operating systems, and word processors.

Hardware refers to all the physical components of a computer system. Hardware includes components such as wi-fi routers, printers, monitors, and CPUs. Essentially, any component of a computer or information technology system that you can touch and feel is called hardware.

Both hardware and software work in tandem to create what is called information technology. Neither can work without the other.

What Does an IT Department do?

By understanding the work of an IT department, we can understand IT itself. An IT department is a crucial component of any business of a certain size.

An IT department makes all the decisions regarding your network administration. This means they control the way data flows through the organization. If you want to access certain data on the computer systems of your organization, then you need to call the IT department.

They are in charge of ensuring that the process of storing, processing, and retrieving data runs smoothly. In short, the IT department is in charge of maintaining the computers and computer peripherals that you need to do your work.

An IT department needs to regularly update your computer hardware and software to ensure that your IT needs are met. A lot of businesses rely on their IT departments to remain competitive and take advantage of the latest developments in IT.


Information technology is a term that is used to refer to a large range of products and services. Information technology has been constantly evolving over the last few decades and is responsible for a large portion of modern development and progress.

If you’re looking for managed end-to-end IT services to help you with your business needs, then book a consultation with SmartWeb today.


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