Every company, irrespective of its size, has to manage some kind of information. For example, companies need to store accounting entries, sales data, employee information, customers and suppliers' contacts, etc. How do these companies manage information? Some manage it manually while others use digital means like computers. The technology used to manage any kind of information is called Information Technology.
The phrase 'Information Technology' does not refer to one kind of software or package. It is a generic term used for all kinds of software and hardware technologies used in managing information digitally. The main objective of Information Technology is to provide the right information to the right person at the right time. Information Technology does not change due to economic conditions. It has become as much a part of organizational structure as the accounting, marketing, and sales departments.
To paraphrase a discussion heard outside a major company headquarters.,
"Business is going to be a war of information rather than of marketing tactics or sales plans. The one who manages information better will win."
There has been a huge debate in the computer field over the value of a college education verses specialized training. This debate is more prevalent in this field than most others because of the number of people who are self taught or have simply acquired extensive experience from job-related or personal duties. However, in our careers in the computer field, most of us are faced at one time or another with a decision. Do we further our education? And if so, what is the best way to do that? What's important is the fact that the computer industry is moving so fast that the technology changes totally every two or three years. Excellent people making incredible salaries find themselves having difficulty getting jobs because their skills are no longer needed ... or are so outdated that nobody does that anymore. So how does one keep up with the pace of IT related changes?