infoTECH Feature

April 15, 2011

The History of Information Technology

Information Technology is defined as the use of computers and software to manage information. In some companies, it can be called Management Information Services (MIS) or Information Services (IS). The information technology department of a large company is responsible for storing information, protecting information, processing the information, transmitting the information, and later retrieving information if needed.

Around 1980, computers with integrated circuits on a single chip started to become available as an affordable item, specifically designed for use by consumers. The first IBM (News - Alert) PC was released in 1981. Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs), which are the programs that enable users to look at screens with windows, clickable commands and color—appeared in the late 1980s. Windows was introduced in 1983, while the first Apple Macintosh came on the market in 1984.

Fifteen years ago, a computer with 24 megabytes of random access memory (RAM (News - Alert)) was great amount of memory. Currently, most new computers boast a memory of one gigabyte – which is an increase of over forty times.

Information technology has also shifted from focusing on single computers to networks of computers, as the years have passed and technology has advanced. Networked computers allow many different users to have access to common databases, which has allowed databases to be where most business records for big companies are held. Software that implements these databases has quickly become a billion-dollar industry. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software drives business activities for many large enterprises who sells products across the world.

Information technology has brought us the Internet. The web has quickly grown to become a primary choice in order for people to communicate whether it be through email or instant messaging services. The Internet also works as an advertising platform for millions of businesses around the globe.

Information technology has made banking online a reality. So much time was once spent on daily trips to the bank, but now via the Internet people can keep tabs on all their bank transactions with the click of a mouse.

Some big companies in the IT industry are Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Cisco, Apple, Dell (News - Alert), Hp, Toshiba and Compaq.

Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

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