Information technology, or IT, as it’s more commonly known, sounds technical, difficult, and evolving. But actually, it’s just systems for storing and retrieving information. Of course there is a technical aspect to it all which includes all the nuts and bolts of computer science along with design, development, installation, and of course, implementation of such systems, but as an end user, all we need to know is where and how to obtain that data.
I once heard a lecture from a very wise old academic, and he said that being smart is not about knowing it all. Being smart is about knowing where to get the information you require, and at that time this was restricted to reference books, filing systems, and other people who knew what you wanted to know. But nowadays, with the explosion of home computers, computer software, and of course, the internet, there is practically no information that cannot be acquired quickly and efficiently from our very own finger tips.
The entire field of information technology is vast beyond belief and it has created 1000’s of jobs where jobs never used to exist. Many would argue that because of it, we have seen more losses in employment than gains, but I think that with any major changes to the employment structure, there will always 2 steps back in order to take one step forward until the transition is complete. With the implementation of IT in the workplace, we now see many more people sitting at desks with computers and keyboards than we do say folks out in the open air swinging pickaxes.
Despite all the benefits of information technology, it does have it’s drawbacks in that it is constantly evolving. Ok, so nothing stands still forever, but this technological era we’re living in is changing so fast that if you stay away from it for a few months, you could find yourself in a steep learning curve just to catch up where you left off a short time ago. Think about it for a second. I went on a 3 week holiday last year and when I returned to work, they had replaced the computers, the network, and all the software that I’d become so familiar with. Being on holiday, meant I missed the training sessions and had to scratch around reading emails, manuals and pestering work colleges just so I could get back up to speed.
Those ladies taking time out for maternity leave often have the hardest jobs adapting to information technology in the workplace. Not only have the systems and software likely to have changed or updated during their absence, but the reeducation is all the more harder as their minds are quite often thinking about their young ones back home without them for the first time since their birth. Even what used to be classified as ‘unskilled’ labor now finds the workers handling computers and peripherals to assist in their work. Another problem is for part time workers, as they have the hardest time of all keeping up with the latest developments.
But like it or loath it, information technology is here to stay, and no matter who you are or what you do, there will be times when you need to be in the know. IT seems to be touching every part of our lives in the modern age. From shopping, to banking, job applications, to written communication. It’s fast, it’s convenient, it’s scary, and yes, it does have some flaws, but with continued innovation, development and implementation, it will settle down and it will no longer be a topic for discussion but a way of life.