A communication system is a collection of individual communications networks, transmission systems, relay stations, tributary stations, and data terminal equipment (DTE) usually capable of interconnection and interoperation to form an integrated whole. The components of a communications system serve a common purpose, are technically compatible, use common procedures, respond to controls, and operate in unison.
Information and communications technology or information and communication technology (ICT), is often used as an extended synonym for information technology (IT), but is a more specific term that stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of telecommunications (telephone lines and wireless signals), computers as well as necessary enterprise software, middleware, storage, and audio-visual systems, which enable users to access, store, transmit, and manipulate information. Information and communication technology (or ICT) is a common expression for a variety of different computer, information and communication devices (hardware), applications (software), networks (internet), and services. It is a general concept which encompasses all communication devices of the modern society and their usage. Its primary purpose is mediating information and enabling the communication process. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) refers to technologies that provide access to information through telecommunications. It is similar to Information Technology (IT), but focuses primarily on communication technologies. This includes the Internet, wireless networks, cell phones, and other communication mediums.
In the past few decades, information and communication technologies have provided society with a vast array of new communication capabilities. For example, people can communicate in real-time with others in different countries using technologies such as instant messaging, voice over IP (VOIP), and videoconferencing. Social networking websites like Facebook allow users from all over the world to remain in contact and communicate on a regular basis. Modern information and communication technologies have created a “global village,” in which people can communicate with others across the world as if they were living next door. For this reason, ICT is often studied in the context of how modern communication technologies affect society.
Advantages of ICT
- Globalization: True globalization has come about only via this automated system. The creation of one interdependent system helps us to share information and end linguistic barriers across the continents. The collapse of geographic boundaries has made the world a ‘global village’ The technology has not only made communication cheaper, but also possible much quicker and round the clock. The wonders of text message, email and auto-response, backed by computer security applications, have opened up scope for direct communication.
- Cost-effective: Computerized, internet business processes have made many businesses turn to the Internet for increased productivity, greater profitability, clutter free working conditions and global client?le. It is mainly due to the IT industry that business has been able to make their processes more streamlined, thereby becoming more cost-effective and consequently more profitable. People are able to operate their businesses anytime, even from remote locations only due to the advent of information technology.
- Communication: Quick and effective communication is vital to any business anywhere in the world. Information technology gives an entrepreneur or business the tools, like email, video conferencing, SMS, etc ., essential to communicate efficiently and effectively. to the business world, and information technology gives your company the resources it needs to communicate quickly and effectively. Not only do people connect faster with the help of information technology, but they are also able to identify like-minded individuals and extend help, while strengthening ties.
- Storing and Protecting Information: IT provides a low-cost business options to store and maintain information that may be important from a business or service point of view. Virtual vaults and other such security systems not only store vital data but also allow control over the access to such information. IT security systems will also protect virtual data from being hacked or wiped out in case of any technical failure.
- Creation of New Jobs: One of the biggest advantage of IT has been the creation of a whole new field of opportunity for skilled personnel leading to new and interesting jobs. Hardware and software developers, computer programmers, web designers, system analyst, the list of new jobs created could go on. IT has also been attributed to be the major cause of surge in the economies of certain Third World nations too.
Disadvantages of ICT
- Access to damaging Information: I.C.T technology has provided access to damaging information through various websites that host destructive and immoral content.
- Unemployment: While information technology may have streamlined the business process it has also created job redundancies, downsizing and outsourcing. This means that a lot of lower and middle level jobs have been done away with causing more people to become unemployed.
- Lack of Privacy: Though information technology may have made communication quicker, easier and more convenient, it has also brought along privacy issues. From cell phone signal interceptions to email hacking, people are now worried about their once private information becoming public knowledge.
- Lack of job security: Industry experts believe that the internet has made job security a big issue as since technology keeps on changing with each day. This means that one has to be in a constant learning mode if he or she wishes for their job to be secure.
- Dominant culture: While information technology may have made the world a global village, it has also contributed to one culture dominating another weaker one. For example it is now argued that US influences how most young teenagers all over the world now act, dress and behave. Languages too have become overshadowed, with English becoming the primary mode of communication for business and everything else.
TYPES OF ICT
Information and communication technologies can be classified into four major types, which are:
- Data Network.
- Information system.