With the transition towards a more digitalized society, information technology has evolved in the United States. Information technology is the division of engineering associated with the use of computers and telecommunications to create, receive, transmit, and store information; in essence, it is the use of networks and computers. Over time, information technology has permeated into all sectors of modern day society.
The majority of Americans now has access to computers and the Internet and with such availability, are able to retrieve mass amounts of information. On the one hand, this increased obtainability has allowed for a more literate society, one in which individuals are provided constant means to a variety of information ranging from current events to language software to scholarly essays. It has also established new avenues of efficiency in regards to businesses and the economy, helping to transform the way our nation interprets and responds to the world (Koomey 2012).
However, with the endless possibilities that information technology generates, it also illuminates the issue of ethics associated with information retrieval. “” (Joan 2010). It generally pertains to matters concerning information ownership, access, and how the two correlate in terms of maintaining a civil moral code. Issues such as copyright infringement, protection, and intellectual freedom are commonly discussed when researching information technology's affect on information ethics as information technology has opened the gateway for information accessibility in a way no other form of information has previously.
With such attainable forms of information now in existence, whether it be through the Internet or illegal downloading, etc., one now has to instate their own personal set of moral principles and hold themselves accountable to those standards. For instance, it has become far too easy for people to illegally download music, so much so that many individuals might not even consider this act as unethical. This is due to the somewhat recent shift in what society views as morally corrupt, a transition that information technology has instigated. Moreover, the Internet has produced a simple and effective way to gain all types of informational resources, developing a path for people to easily encroach on another's creation.
I must admit that I struggle with maintaining an ethical code in regards to the information stipulated by information technology. Although I do not intentionally attempt to infringe upon people's ideas or steal one's intellectual property, the Internet has made doing so rather informal. People casually download music on a regular basis without realizing that that too is someone's property. It almost seems that our generation considers the theft of unfeasible objects as not in fact theft at all. It rarely occurs to us that by stating a previously read claim as our own or downloading music, movies, TV shows, etc., we are extracting from another person's creation, and in turn, stealing. Whether people deliberately seek to take another's intellectual property or not, information technology has simultaneously opened doors for our nation economically while providing means to information that are difficult to regulate in terms of their ethicality, and also almost impossible to protect.
The Effect of Information, Information Technologies, and Information Systems on Cultures and Societies
Information and its development over time have had an undoubted effect on cultures and societies around the world. Without access to information, societies around the world would have little knowledge as to the way different cultures existed and thrived, a concept almost incomprehensible to younger generations. Information technology has allowed the availability of information to drastically increase through avenues such as the Internet, this helping to educate individuals in mass. With information technology benefiting the average citizen, it along with information systems have proven an effective way for businesses to establish efficiency by generating, organizing, retrieving and distributing data in various forms. Similarly, the accessibility of such information has further assisted educational institutions in their teaching processes as well as their means of communication with students. Such advancements have transformed cultures, paving the way for a more information-based society and more prosperous economies.
The advances in information technology have greatly influenced businesses in a variety of ways. As society transitions into a more technological age, many companies have begun utilizing multiple forms of information technology to provide them with a profitable advantage. The information systems associated with information technology have allowed for an increase in productivity and innovation within businesses. With the incorporation of more advanced computer software, and even basic software such as word processing or spreadsheets, businesses are able to generate ideas at a faster pace and have utilized other technologies to establish better means of communication (Koomey 2012). Businesses are also able to receive, store and filter information with newer technologies, this permitting them to employ the knowledge gained through such software at a quicker rate and thus more competently.
Moreover, information technology and information systems have also influenced educational institutions in our society. The methods in which schools distribute information has significantly changed over recent years, this primarily due to the diverse forms of technology available to communicate with students. Several universities now contact their students by means of email, text message, and even telephone calls, as opposed to the somewhat obsolete alternative of snail mail. In congruence with the developing technological era, colleges also offer online courses, in which an entire class is completed via the Internet and systems established by that given school. Information systems, such as virtually online libraries, have also allotted students and faculty a broader range of access to information, making research far less tedious. With the progression of technology in regards to information and the variety of information systems at hand, educational establishments have found ways to incorporate such advances in a way that best assists their students.
I have first hand witnessed the way that information systems and technologies have influenced both the professional and educational sectors of our society. The office that I work at has recently switched from maintaining a list of contacts in writing to establishing spreadsheets with clients' names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. This change has allowed for multiple employees to view the inventory of clients simultaneously from their computers, as opposed to seeking out the book that contains the information they need when drafting a letter. Furthermore, the University of Oklahoma has set up systems such as d2l, ozone, and other online resources that allow students to access their courses on one website, and to communicate via email with instructors or peers. These utilizations of information technology and information systems are examples of how such developments are benefiting business and universities alike, working to help our society excel.
Information and Our Economy
Information technology can be defined as 'the application of computers and telecommunications equipment to store, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data, often in the context of a business or other enterprise' (Daintith 2009). With information technology constantly evolving, our nation has begun to adapt, using it to produce substantial commercial benefit. Large corporations are now able to establish better lines of communication as well as utilize information pertaining to the success of their business more proficiently. The possibilities presented with such technology have enabled us to grow increasingly efficient in a business sense and have thus had a positive effect on our economy.
The corporate advantage in information technology is found in the computerization of business processes, such as design, the filtering of data received, and the distribution of information to customers. Companies are now able to use information technology to retrieve information regarding consumer demands, providing them a lead on other companies in their field who may not have the ability to access such information. Furthermore, information systems have been created to help businesses acclimate to the needs of their company. For example, marketing agencies are able to design entire campaigns digitally, while several businesses in the financial field have developed ways to conduct their business almost entirely electronically, whether it be in regards to mathematics, trading, probability prediction, etc. As information technology progresses, businesses will continue to reap the benefits of the level of efficiency it provides.
Additionally, fields associated information and its technological advances have formed entirely new professions, providing our economy with employment opportunities. It is expected that by 2020 the employment growth associated with information technology, such as computer system designs and other related services, will increase approximately 40%; this in contrast to the roughly 10-20% increase that is expected in other industries (Csorny 2013). With rates as high as those stated above, our economy is undoubtedly profiting from the information-based age.
With all of the knowledge I have acquired on the matter of information and its effect on our economy, I have found myself considering a career path in field related to it. Although I’m not positive as to what aspect of information technology that I would be interested in, I think that the facts regarding employment are incentive to look into it further. With my generation being so adept to information technology as we have matured in a time where it is highly prevalent in society, an occupation in information technology might be more attainable than I would think. Overall, the economic benefits associated with information technology are overwhelming, as our nation has continued to find ways to use these advancements to our advantage.
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