What is Information technology?

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Information technology (IT) is the application of computers and telecommunications equipment to store, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data,[1] often in the context of a business or other enterprise.[2]

The term is commonly used as a synonym for computers and computer networks, but it also encompasses other informationdistribution technologies such as television and telephones. Several industries are associated with information technology, including computer hardwaresoftwareelectronicssemiconductorsinternettelecom equipmente-commerce and computer services.[3][a]

Humans have been storing, retrieving, manipulating and communicating information since the Sumerians in Mesopotamiadeveloped writing in about 3000 BC,[5] but the term information technology in its modern sense first appeared in a 1958 article published in the Harvard Business Review; authors Harold J. Leavitt and Thomas L. Whisler commented that "the new technology does not yet have a single established name. We shall call it information technology (IT)." Their definition consists of three categories: techniques for processing, the application of statistical and mathematical methods to decision-making, and the simulation of higher-order thinking through computer programs.[6]

Based on the storage and processing technologies employed, it is possible to distinguish four distinct phases of IT development: pre-mechanical (3000 BC – 1450 AD), mechanical (1450–1840), electromechanical (1840–1940) and electronic (1940–present).[5] This article focuses on the most recent period (electronic), which began in about 1940.

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