Information and communications technology
Information and communications 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.
The term ICT is also used to refer to the convergence of audio-visual and telephone networks with computer networks through a single cabling or link system. There are large economic incentives (huge cost savings due to elimination of the telephone network) to merge the telephone network with the computer network system using a single unified system of cabling, signal distribution and management.
History of the term
The phrase Information and Communication Technology has been used by academic researchers since the 1980s, and the term ICT became popular after it was used in a report to the UK government by Dennis Stevenson in 1997 and in the revised National Curriculum for England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2000. But in 2012, the Royal Society recommended that the term ICT should no longer be used in British schools "as it has attracted too many negative connotations", and with effect from 2014 the National Curriculum was changed to use the word computing reflecting the addition of computer programming to the curriculum. A leading group of universities consider ICT to be a soft subject and advise students against studying A-level ICT, preferring instead A-level Computer Science. §
Global costs of IT
The money spent on IT worldwide has been most recently estimated as US $3.5 trillion and is currently growing at 5% per year – doubling every 15 years. The 2014 IT budget of US federal government is nearly $82 billion. IT costs, as a percentage of corporate revenue, have grown 50% since 2002, putting a strain on IT budgets. When looking at current companies’ IT budgets, 75% are recurrent costs, used to “keep the lights on” in the IT department, and 25% are cost of new initiatives for technology development.
The average IT budget has the following breakdown:
- 31% personnel costs (internal)
- 29% software costs (external/purchasing category)
- 26% hardware costs (external/purchasing category)
- 14% costs of external service providers (external/services).
ICT Development Index
The WSIS Process and ICT development goals
On 21 December 2001, the United Nations General Assembly approved Resolution 56/183, endorsing the holding of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing today's information society. According to this resolution, the General Assembly related the Summit to the United Nations Millennium Declaration's goal of implementing ICT to achieve Millennium Development Goals. It also emphasized a multi-stakeholder approach to achieve these goals, using all stakeholders including civil society and the private sector, in addition to governments.
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- Cloud computing
- Cognitive infocommunications
- Digital divide
- Example of Information and communication technologies for education
- Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative
- Hospital information system
- ICT Development Index
- Information Age
- Information and communication technologies for development
- Information and communication technologies for environmental sustainability
- Market information systems
- Mobile Web
- Picture archiving and communication system
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