ICT SPECIALIST EMEA
Over the years I have delved into web design, sports communication and public relations, business management, project management, photography and design.
Geek and web surfer, I space between web marketing and communications as well as visual strategies on major social platforms and use my knowledge of color theory to create new digitizations.
In my spare time I sleep, basically never.
Hobbies, too many.
remember to fill in everything
What is information technology?
Information technology (IT) is the use of computers, storage systems, networks and other physical devices, infrastructure and processes to create, process, store, protect and exchange all forms of electronic data. Generally, IT is used in the context of business operations, as opposed to technology used for personal or entertainment purposes. Commercial use of information technology includes both computer technology and telecommunications.
What does information technology encompass?
The IT department ensures that the organization's systems, networks, data, and applications are connected and functioning properly. The IT team deals with three main areas:
- implements and maintains the organization's applications, services and infrastructure (servers, networks, storage);
- monitors, optimizes, and troubleshoots the performance of applications, services, and infrastructure; and oversees the security and governance of applications, services, and infrastructure.
Most IT staff have different responsibilities within the team that fall into several key areas, including:
1. Administration. Administrators are responsible for the day-to-day implementation, operation, and monitoring of an IT environment, including systems, networks, and applications. Administrators often perform a variety of other tasks, such as software updates, user training, software license management, purchasing, security, data management, and adherence to business processes and compliance requirements.
2. Support. Help desk personnel specialize in answering questions, gathering information, and directing hardware and software troubleshooting activities. IT support often includes managing IT resources and changes, assisting administrators with purchases, managing backup and recovery of data and applications, monitoring and analyzing logs and other performance monitoring tools, and adhering to established workflows and support processes.
3. Applications. Companies rely on software to do their work. Some applications are purchased and distributed by third parties, such as e-mail server applications. But many organizations have a staff of skilled developers who create the applications and interfaces, such as APIs, needed to provide critical business functionality and services. Applications can be coded in a wide range of popular languages and integrated with other applications to create smooth, seamless interactions between different applications. Developers could also be tasked with creating interactive business websites and building mobile applications. The trend toward agile or continuous development paradigms requires developers to be increasingly involved in IT operations, such as application deployment and monitoring.
4. Compliance. Companies are required to comply with various regulatory requirements, both government and industry. IT personnel play an important role in protecting and monitoring access to corporate data and applications to ensure that these resources are used according to established corporate governance policies and comply with regulatory requirements. These personnel are deeply involved in security activities and routinely interact with legal and business teams to prevent, detect, investigate, and report breaches.
IT encompasses many different technologies, capabilities, and functions.
Why is IT important?
It has been said that data is what powers industries around the world. Perhaps it is hyperbole, but few companies, large or small, can remain competitive without the ability to collect data and turn it into useful information. IT provides the means to develop, process, analyze, exchange, store and protect information.
Data processing plays a significant role in these core business practices, including:
- product development and design
- marketing and market research
- sales and billing
- customer development and retention
- accounting and taxes
- human resources and payroll; and
- regulatory compliance.
Information technology has penetrated virtually every area of business and much of our personal lives. The ubiquity of computing, also referred to as pervasive computing, is another reason why IT is critical. Computing devices have evolved far beyond personal computers and servers. Today all businesses and most individuals own and use multiple computing devices, including phones, tablets, laptops, game consoles, and even doorbells, thermostats, vacuum cleaners, and many kitchen appliances.
Virtually all of these devices, many of which are part of the IoT, connect to the Internet, which interconnects billions of devices around the world. This is a complex and potentially dangerous environment that requires IT expertise for management, security, maintenance, and reliability.
How is IT actually involved in day-to-day operations? Consider five common examples of IT and teams at work:
1. Server upgrade. One or more data center servers are nearing the end of their operational and maintenance life cycle. IT staff select and purchase replacement servers, configure and deploy the new servers, back up applications and data on the existing servers, transfer data and applications to the new servers, validate that the new servers are working properly, and finally reuse or decommission and dispose of the old servers.
2. Security monitoring. Businesses routinely use tools to monitor and log activity in applications, networks, and systems IT personnel receive alerts of potential threats or noncompliant behavior, such as a user's attempt to access a confidential file; they monitor logs and other reporting tools to investigate and determine the root cause of the alert and take timely action to address and correct the threat, often prompting changes and improvements to the security posture that can prevent similar events in the future.
3. New software. The company determines the need for a new mobile application that allows customers to access account information or perform other transactions from smartphones and tablets. Developers work to create and refine an appropriate application according to a planned roadmap. Operations staff publish each iteration of the new mobile application for download and deploy the back-end components of the application into the organization's infrastructure.
4. Business improvement. A business requires increased availability of a critical application to contribute to profit or business continuation strategies. IT staff may be called upon to design a high-availability cluster to provide increased performance and resiliency to the application to ensure that the application can continue to function in the event of single outages. This can be coupled with improvements in data storage protection and recovery.
5. User support. Developers are making a major upgrade to a vital business application. Developers and administrators will collaborate to create new documentation for the upgrade. IT staff could deploy the update for limited beta testing, allowing a select group of users to try the new version, while at the same time developing and providing comprehensive training to prepare all users for the eventual release of the new version.
Software and hardware
IT includes several layers of physical equipment (hardware), virtualization, management systems, automation tools, operating systems, other system software, and applications used to perform essential functions. User devices, peripherals, and software may be included in the IT domain. IT may also refer to the architectures, methodologies, and regulations governing the use and storage of data.
There are two categories of software: system software and applications. System software includes the computer programs that manage basic computer functions. They include the following programs:
- Operating systems;
- boot programs;
- device drivers.
Enterprise applications include:
- databases, such as SQL Server;
- transactional systems, such as real-time order entry;
- e-mail servers, such as Microsoft Exchange
Web servers, such as Apache and Microsoft's Internet Information Services (IIS);
- customer relationship management, such as Oracle NetSuite and HubSpot; and
enterprise resource planning systems, such as SAP S/4HANA.
These applications use programmed instructions to manipulate, consolidate, disperse and otherwise work with data for a business purpose.
Mobile applications running on smartphones, tablets and other handheld devices typically connect with cloud or data center applications via the Internet. These applications have expanded the reach of computing and created a new category of software and telecommunications that require specific skills to maintain them.
There are different types of computer hardware. Server computers run business applications. Servers interact with client devices in the client-server model. They also communicate with other servers through computer networks, which usually connect to the Internet.
Storage is another type of hardware. It is a technology that holds information in the form of data. Storage can be local on a specific server or shared among multiple servers, and it can be installed onsite or accessed through a cloud service. The stored information can take many forms, including files, multimedia content, telephony, web data, and sensors. Storage hardware includes volatile random access memories (RAM), nonvolatile tapes, hard disks, and solid-state drives.
Telecommunications equipment, which includes network interface cards (NICs), cabling, wireless communications, and switching devices, connects hardware elements to each other and to external networks.
Abstraction of hardware and software
IT architectures have evolved to include virtualization and cloud computing, where physical resources are abstracted and grouped into different configurations to meet application requirements. Clouds may be deployed in different locations and shared with other IT users, or they may be contained within an enterprise data center, or a combination of both deployments.
Volatility is a characteristic of virtualized resources, allowing them to expand and contract as needed. Subscription-based resources in the cloud or locally installed, such as storage or composable architectures, can activate resources, such as servers, operating systems, and application software, as needed and release them when processing is complete.
Information technology vs. computer science
When researching IT careers, one is likely to come across the term information technology. Although there is overlap between computer science and information technology, they are two distinct disciplines with different courses of study to prepare for careers in both fields.
Information technology is generally associated with the application of technology to address business problems. As such, the information technology workforce is oriented toward technologies developed as hardware systems, operating systems, and application software. IT skills are needed to identify hardware and software components to be used to improve a specific business process. IT professionals work with a variety of technologies, such as server operating systems, communication devices and software, and applications.
Preparation for an IT career requires basic courses on hardware and software systems. IT degree programs may include subjects such as.
- business analysis
- project management
- network administration
- database design
- database management
The branding system provides a visual and conceptual map for your organization's brand. It provides a clear path to communicate a consistent narrative of who you are and tells a powerful story.
Branding plays a critical role in how organizations communicate with their audiences. Through images and language, a branding system is the physical manifestation of an organization's brand promise. It communicates the organization's mission and values and helps audiences understand why you are important to them.
A branding system is a collection of elements that form a cohesive and meaningful unit. Often a branding system consists of multiple visual and verbal expressions of a brand promise.
Although a branding system consists of many elements, it can also start with just a few elements and expand over time. Some organizations need a secure and stable long-term branding system, while others need something bolder and more impactful to establish themselves with an already saturated audience. The size and scope of the organization are critical to the development of the branding system.
Given the many moving parts in today's media landscape, the conceptual duration of an organization's branding should not exceed 5 years. Although gone are the days of not changing the brand for 20 years, the branding system serves as a guide for developing and expanding the brand over time.
In the short term, the branding system serves to present your best collective self (we know this is a life lesson!). With the right language, colors, and symbolism, you show your audience that your organization's brand is accessible, engaging, and modern, and that it is truly in their best interest to engage with it.
Name - should be geared toward expressing the identity, positioning and characteristics of the brand/product in focus.
Logo - how and where to use the different variations of the brand name
Colors - primary and secondary color palettes and levels of use
Slogan/Tone of voice and vocabulary - includes mission, vision and tone
Typography - organized font hierarchies
Images (photography and illustration) - consistent styles of graphics
Iconography - sets of symbols that help identify parts of the brand
Graphic treatments - guidelines for combining all of the above elements (e.g., for printing collateral)
Data visualization - examples of elementary and complex data visualization
Interactive elements - options for use in digital experiences
Video and motion - use the styles in the Images category for any moving image
Positioning - is a complex and varied mix composed of your brand reputation, the perceived value of your customers, and the effects of your communication actions on them.
Packaging - making yourself recognizable allows you to stand out in a sea of competition. For this to be possible, customized packaging can really make a difference.
Intelligent automations - techniques and means by which human activity can be replaced by automated systems to carry out a given process.