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Information and Communication Technologies

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Information and Communication Technologies

Information and communications technology (I.C.T.) is often used as an extended synonym for information technology (IT), but is a more specific term that stresses the role of unified communications[1] 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.[2]

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,[3] and the term ICT became popular after it was used in a report to the UK government by Dennis Stevenson in 1997[4] 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",[5] and with effect from 2014 the National Curriculum was changed to use the word computing reflecting the addition of computer programming to the curriculum.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9]

The average IT budget has the following breakdown:[9]

  • 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 ICT Development Index compares the level of ICT use and access across the world.[10]

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.[11] 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.

See also


  1. ^ Murray, James (2011-12-18). "Cloud network architecture and ICT - Modern Network Architecture". ITKnowledgeExchange. TechTarget. Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  2. ^ "Information and Communication Technology from". FOLDOC. 2008-09-19. 
  3. ^ William Melody et al., Information and Communication Technology: Social Sciences Research and Training: A Report by the ESRC Programme on Information and Communication Technologies, ISBN 0-86226-179-1, 1986. Roger Silverstone et al., "Listening to a long conversation: an ethnographic approach to the study of information and communication technologies in the home", Cultural Studies, 5(2), pages 204-227, 1991.
  4. ^ The Independent ICT in Schools Commission, Information and Communications Technology in UK Schools: An Independent Inquiry, 1997. Impact noted in Jim Kelly, What the Web is Doing for Schools, Financial Times, 2000.
  5. ^ Royal Society, Shut down or restart? The way forward for computing in UK schools, 2012, page 18.
  6. ^ "National curriculum in England: computing programmes of study". 
  7. ^ 
  8. ^ http://www.whitehouse.govs/default/files/omb/assets/egov_docs/2014_budget_priorities_20130410.pdf
  9. ^ a b "IT Costs – The Costs, Growth And Financial Risk Of Software Assets". OMT-CO Operations Management Technology Consulting GmbH. Retrieved 26 June 2011. 
  10. ^ "Measuring the Information Society". International Telecommunication Union. 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "Basic information : about wsis". International Telecommunication Union. 17 January 2006. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 

Further reading

  • Caperna A., Integrating ICT into Sustainable Local Policies. ISBN 9781615209293
  • Carnoy, Martin. "ICT in Education: Possibilities and Challenges." Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, 2005.
  • "Good Practice in Information and Communication Technology for Education." Asian Development Bank, 2009.
  • Grossman, G. and E. Helpman (2005), "Outsourcing in a global economy", Review of Economic Studies 72: 135-159.
  • Mete Feridun and Stelios Karagiannis (2009) Growth Effects of Information and Communication Technologies: Empirical Evidence from the Enlarged EU, Transformations in Business and Economics, 8(2), 86-99.
  • Oliver, Ron. "The Role of ICT in Higher Education for the 21st Century: ICT as a Change Agent for Education." University, Perth, Western Australia, 2002.
  • Walter Ong, Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word (London, UK: Routledge, 1988), in particular Chapter 4
  • Measuring the Information Society: The ICT Development Index. International Telecommunication Union. 2013. p. 254. 
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