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An explanation of ICT

In this video, TechTarget editor Natasha Carter talks about ICT.

If it's digital, it's part of ICT.

ICT, short for information and communications technology, is a huge umbrella term.

Because the tech and even ideas related to ICT evolve fast and frequently, there's no universal definition of ICT. But it generally refers to all devices, networking components, applications and systems that facilitate interaction with the digital world.

So, you have ICT to thank for being able to watch this video, email your boss or text your friends. Here, we'll get into the basics of ICT and what it envelopes. But it's important to understand that ICT doesn't have the same impact globally -- take for instance, countries or individuals that don't have internet access, or the means to purchase ICT-enabled devices.

Read more about the digital divide at the link above or in the description below. And remember to subscribe for more videos on all things business tech.

Sometimes, ICT is used interchangeably with IT -- or information technology. However, IT is more about managing technologies. ICT is more comprehensive, including all components related to computers and digital technologies -- so IT is more like a subset of ICT.

The components included in ICT's purview include devices, data, hardware, software, internet access, the cloud, wired and wireless networks, information security, transactions and communications technology. But more importantly, ICT encompasses combinations and applications of those components.

ICT has drastically changed how people work, communicate, learn and live. And, ICT contributes greatly to economic development -- some have labeled it the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The advancement of ICT capabilities has made developing and delivering technologies cheaper for vendors and their customers, while also providing new market opportunities.

Advances within ICT have brought a slew of business benefits, like:

  • Highly automated, cost-cutting business processes.
  • The big data revolution that leads to new insights, products and services.
  • And ICT-driven transactions like online shopping, telemedicine and social media.

However, ICT is not without its downsides. For instance:

  • The digitization of data has led to new levels of crime.
  • Automation tools and robots can displace workers.
  • And many believe ICT has stifled human interaction, moving once face-to-face interactions to the digital space.

And, as previously mentioned, ICT capabilities aren't evenly distributed; richer countries and individuals have better access to ICT tech and opportunities.

What do you think? Has ICT deepened the digital divide? Has it caused us to be less human? Share your thoughts in the comments, and remember to like and subscribe, too.

Sabrina Polin is a managing editor of video content for the Learning Content team. She plans and develops video content for TechTarget's editorial YouTube channel, Eye on Tech. Previously, Sabrina was a reporter for the Products Content team.

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