The generation of accurate/useful information and its proper and real-time dissemination have always been of great importance to humans from time immemorial. Thus, man have continuously devised means of satisfying this need.
So, Information and Communication Technology has been employed by man for a long time in solving of his information needs.
Information and Communication Technology is the cybernetic generation and transmission of information through the use of man-made gadgets.
Put differently, Information and Communication Technology is the use technological tools in the collection, arrangement, and dissemination of information. As well as the re-arrangement, management, manipulation, and transfer of such information. All this ensures the ease of access to information, quicker dissemination of information, and even the manipulation of such information to suit different needs.
However, modern gadgets have made this process of generation and transmission of information a lesser problem for man. Through the use of technology tools. Like computer, mobile phones, internet and so many others. Here, we are talking about all the hardware and software tools and programmes employed in the collection, storing, retrieving, manipulation, sending and receiving of information in real-time.
The most important of these tools are:
• Computer: This is an electronic device used in the collection of data, processing of data into information and the dissemination of such information. It remains one of the most useful device ever made by man. Virtually every aspect of human endeavor is dependent on the computer or computer supported devices for the simplification of their jobs, efficiency, and Improved output. It is used in typing, recording, printing, learning, sending and receiving messages (both audio and video) and so on. In fact, the application of the computer in solving human problems is endless.
• Telephone/Mobile Phone: These are portable gadgets that makes sending and receiving of information (audio and video) easy. In fact, in our world of today, phones are becoming peoples’ best companion. They are like minicomputers since they perform almost all the functions of a computer. And the ease of carrying them around, especially mobile phones makes them more dependable than personal computers.
• Internet: This is the global interconnection of computers. This makes the retrieval of information easier and faster. Through access to websites, blogs and so on. As well as facilitate the sending and receiving of such information irrespective of the distance between the sender and the receiver. Through different channels such as email, instant message, social media and so on.
Other Information and Communication Technology tools include but not limited to fax machines, typewriters, scanning machines, etc. However, the advent of more sophisticated and reliable tools, has led to the abandonment of some of these older tools.
Information and Communication Technology has become part of our everyday life. From the phone we use to the security gadgets used by banks and security agencies. Even the food we eat and water we drink in most cases passes through one ICT process or the other. Either in the production process or in the distribution process.
In fact, Information and Communication Technology is so important that if not for this gadget on my desk, I wouldn’t have been able to pass this information across. And if not for that gadget on your hand or desk, you would probably not be reading this all important post.
Information and Communication Technology has changed everything about human existence. From the way we think to the way we work, learn, socialize and play.
Thus, the role of Information and Communication Technology in the society can be narrowed to its importance in the key segments in any society as summarized below:
THE ROLES OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY
1. EDUCATION: The learning process has never been this easy. All thanks to advancement in Information and Communication Technology. Today, unlike yesteryears, you can stay in Nigeria and be offered admission to study in reputable institution abroad. Not just that. You may also embark on online study and be certified in due time. This has not only reduced cost of education, but has also broken boundaries and decreased dependence on classroom learning.
2. BUSINESS AND INDUSTRIES: Improvement in Information and Communication Technology has also simplified the processes involved in business transaction. For instance, you don’t need to go to UK to buy UK made products at a cheaper price. You can do this transaction at the comfort of your home, over a cup of coffee. And have it shipped down to your country through various online channels. Such as shop to my door.
You may also decide to buy goods available in Nigerian markets without going to the market. All you need do is make an order through any of the popular online stores like Jumia, Konga, Jiji, Dealdey, etc. And pay on delivery.
See also: Popular online stores in Nigeria.
Still on the roles of Information and Communication Technology in business and industries, different industries employ specialized Information and Communication Technology based hardwares and softwares such robotics, programs, software packages, etc. To design, monitor, test, and control projects and products.
Firms also use ICT tools such radio, television, internet, etc to advertise their products.
• FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS: Banks and other financial institutions also rely on Information and Communication Technology to store and maintain customers record, prepare financial statements and reports. As well as guarantee safety of financial transactions of their customers.
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: The influence of Information and Communication Technology on governance and the political process has increased tremendously over the past 2 decades. Especially, in Nigeria. ICT has remained the shortest route through which the government pass information across to the masses.
It is also the channel through which the governors and the governed exchange ideas concerning the state of things in the country. And intending changes. Like seeking public opinion on bills.
FAMILY AND RELATIONSHIP: Information and Communication Technology has also improved family ties and friendship. Today, people communicate with their families and loved ones effectively irrespective of the distance between them. Online communities and social sites have also served well as an avenue of exchanging ideas with friends. As well as meeting new ones. Some of which sometimes become important individuals in our lives.
Information and communication are indispensable ingredients in human lives. And the importance of Information and Communication Technology in making these ingredients available to us in real time cannot be overemphasized. As Information and Communication Technology is widely applied in solving the information needs of man.
In fact, there is no area of human endeavor that is not dependent on Information and Communication Technology for existence and survival.
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