What is Information and Communications Technology?

What is Information and Communications Technology?

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Jaya Sharma
Assistant Manager - Content
Updated on Jan 18, 2023 04:20 IST

ICT is the information and communication technology used in modern computing by its components and infrastructure. It consists of both internet and mobiles connected through wireless networks.


In this article, we will discuss Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in detail.

Table of Contents

What is Information and Communications Technology (ICT)?

Information and communications technology is an extension of the term Information Technology. It focuses on the integration of telecom and computers to allow users access to information along with transmitting, understanding, and manipulating it. This technology is the convergence of telephone networks and audio-visuals with computer networks through single cabling systems.

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Using a single unified system of cabling to merge telephone networks with computer networks, there are many economic benefits. ICT is an umbrella term that covers products that store, retrieve, manipulate, transmit and receive information electronically in digital form. While ICT is sometimes interchangeably used instead of Information Technology, the two have different meanings. 

IT is used for discussing technology in terms of business operations; information and communication technology is used in the context of government and education. It is a technology that we use in every spectrum of life to resolve problems. Without ICT tools, it is almost impossible for an organization to function. 

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Parts of Information and Communications Technology

ICT is the infrastructure that facilitates the communication of organizations and people in the digital world. It includes networking components, devices, applications and systems. Information and Communication Technology as a whole is the combination of the following:

  • Information Technology: It is the part that is used for collecting, storing, and processing data.
  • Communication Technology: It uses technology for broadcasting, audiovisual processing, telecommunication, and transmitting information through wireless or wired networks. 

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Information Communications Technology(ICT) Tools

These include digital infrastructure such as laptops, mobile phones, smartboards, tablets, emails, etc. These tools are cost-efficient and paperless in nature. Due to this, ICT tools are preferable over other tools. These tools facilitate remote usage, which makes them useful for everyone regardless of their location. However, these tools are digital which means they are prone to cyber bullying, which may raise privacy concerns. 

Components of ICT

ICT has major components, including the following:

  • Hardware: These physical components support the way a piece of information is created, transferred, managed, and stored.
  • Software: These include SaaS and local client applications that provide support to workflow management, personal productivity, and digital design
  • Data: This refers to raw facts, figures, and statistics. 
  • People: These are the workforce that enters data into the system through various means such as voice recognition and keyboard.
  • Information: It is the processed data that is relevant and useful.
  • Procedure: These are the series of actions in a particular order to ensure a smooth running system.

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Applications of ICT

Information and Communications Technology has a wide range of applications in every profession which is expected to broaden in the coming years. 

  • Workplace: In the workplace, ICT is helping in data transmission due to the availability of the internet. In recent times, fax has been replaced by emails, whereas communication has become smooth due to the availability of instant messaging. However, easy access to the internet does cause some distractions, due to which limitation to internet access is also important.
  • Healthcare: ICT has the potential for promoting patient-centered healthcare at a reduced cost, educating health professionals and patients, and increasing quality care and sharing of information. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, ICT methods help in providing medical education. As per the data of bmcmededuc.biomedcentral.com, 84% of healthcare professionals utilize ICT in healthcare professionals. This is followed by 58% utilization of Information and Communications Technology in environmental health, followed by anesthesia at 56%.
  • Governance: ICT helps in achieving e-Governance through which government can achieve its objective anytime from anywhere. This reduces the need for citizens to physically visit government offices to get their work done. Through ICT, governance has become simplified for citizens, government agents, and businesses. It facilitates e-democracy, which removes the barriers of communication between the electorate and the electoral. Through e-governance, it has become easier to deliver government services, stand-alone systems, communication, and services between government and citizens. 
  • Business: Many e-businesses use Information and Communications Technology to promote their websites. It helps businesses from making transactions to delivering anything without any need for paperwork. Businesses use this technology for recording and retrieving data and maintaining cash flow. 
  • Agriculture: ICT is useful in improving agricultural practices. It offers guidance on state-of-the-art farming techniques, effective production strategies and improved access to natural resources. 
  • Education: Through ICT, students are able to access learning resources irrespective of location. Whether they are in school or outside, they can refer to learning material at their convenience. For disabled students and those who have financial constraints, ICT in education has been beneficial since they can keep on learning on low-cost electronic devices. 
  • Finance: The finance domain has also found the application of Information and Communication Technology. ICT helps in faster calculation of data and access to global markets. Through ICT, electronic transfer of money and e-commerce have been made possible. 

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Organization’s ICT maturity level must be assessed to understand the adherence to the law and regulations; it is important to create ICT policies. To formulate these policies, it is important to first identify applicable laws and legal regulations. Once identification is made, a committee must be appointed to oversee ICT compliance management. 

Internal controls must also be put in place to enforce the ICT policies. It is important to develop benchmarks and KPIs to measure privacy and compliance. To ensure compliance is done properly, any gaps in ITC skills must be identified as well. Regular audits must be conducted to ensure compliance regulations are adhered to.

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About the Author
Jaya Sharma
Assistant Manager - Content

Jaya is a writer with an experience of over 5 years in content creation and marketing. Her writing style is versatile since she likes to write as per the requirement of the domain. She has worked on Technology, Fina... Read Full Bio