The term ‘Information Technology’, also known as IT, refers to the use of computers to store, transmit and manipulate information. Information technology is part of the information and communications technology, better known as ICT.
Individuals have started manipulating data since the Sumerians in Mesopotamia (ca. 3000 BC). However, the term information’ technology’ firstly appeared in 1958 with the publication of the work Harvard Business Review by Harold J. Leavitt and Thomas L. Whisler. These authors gave a definition of the IT concept and considered it as a group of different techniques for processing, as well as an application of statistical and mathematical methods to decision-making and a stimulation of higher-order thinking through computer programs.
Nowadays, the term is used as a synonym for computers and computer networks; nevertheless, it also refers to information distribution technologies such as television and telephones. As well as this, products such as computing hardware, software, electronics, semiconductors and telecom equipment are associated with this concept.
There are four different phases related to the IT development: the pre-mechanical phase (3000 BC-1450 AD), the mechanical phase (1450-1840), the electromechanical phase (1840-1940) ad the electronic phase (1940-present).
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