Information Technology Essay

Abstract

Information technology refers to the hardware and software that is used to store, retrieve and manipulate information.

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  IT trends refers to the effects and usage of information technology. A strategic IT trend would be for a company to make its website more engaging.  Such a trend involves a great deal of skill and resources, but it is indeed very beneficial for our society.

Information Technology

      In the broadest sense, information technology refers to both the hardware and software that are used to store, retrieve, and manipulate information. (www.mariosalexandrou.com/definition/information-technology.asp, retrieved 3/6/08) We see the operation of most companies is dependent on computers and / or computer systems.  Many companies have what we currently know as networks or servers, in which one computer is connected to the other one by some kind of link.

      This probably implies that we live in an era in which information technology is crucial.  Virtually no business could function without a computer nowadays, and it is almost imperative that one have Internet access.

  Very important pieces of information – including documents – are sent via e-mail.  Besides, a great deal of information can be gathered through the internet; some people have even ceased to read newspapers, as they can obtain all the news online.

     When we talk about IT trends, we rather focus on the effects and usage of information technology.  There are many IT trends, but in 2007 it was determined that thirty are the most important ones and they were broken in four categories: strategy, management, security risk, and technology.  (www.cioinsight.com/c/a/Special-Reports/The-30-Most-Important-IT-Trends-for-2007/ , retrieved 3/7/08)

       A strategic IT trend would be for a company to make its website more engaging.  The concept of this trend is not at all difficult to understand.  As we all know, websites currently exist for the purpose of promoting and selling products.  Just as a store needs to be attractive in order to bring more customers, it is necessary that a website be engaging in order for it to have more visitors.

      First and foremost, a website should be eye-catching.  An individual who visits a website that he or she finds attractive is likely to visit it again.  Given that there is no accounting for taste, it might be fair to say that one cannot expect every single person to find him or herself captivated by viewing a particular website.  Nevertheless, if the designer knows what most people like to see, chances are the website will be very attractive and many people will feel like visiting it again  As we know, presentation is vitally important when it comes to business.

      Another way of making a website attractive would be to sort the pages by the appropriate order.  Obviously, the “Home” page is always the first one, but which ones should follow it might be rather dependent on the product on sale.  Some companies use a page called “About Us” and it might certainly be very fruitful; it usually follows the “Home” page.  The “Order Form” and the “Contact Us” are usually at the end.

       When building a website, the designer needs to take into account that the visitor should get as much information of the product on sale as possible.  When visiting a store, there is always an assistant that can be consulted.  Given that a website is to provide a similar assistance, the customer should have telephone numbers to call, e-mail addresses and /or contact forms, and a chat-room.  Adding features, like links to online news reports and to other popular websites are also believed to be helpful.

      As a matter of fact, fifteen interactive tools were suggested in order to have a website visitor return: blogs, customers reviews, discussion boards, live chats, mashups, online communities, podcasts, polls, RSS feeds, social bookmarks, social networking, user generated content, video sharing, widgets, and wikis.

www.mastercard.com/us/business/en/smallbiz/articles/Technology/ul15_interactiveTechnology.html , retrieved 3/7/08, Master Card, Business Essentials Library/

      Interesting though it might sound, some theorists have debated the importance of an attractive website, as well as of the Internet altogether .  While it might be true that service is more important than the facility of obtaining products online, there is no reason to believe that an attractive website is not likely to increase a company’s business.  For instance, Bill Gates stated that the Web and the Internet were not all that important.  Obviously, what Bill Gates said came in for quite a lot of criticism. (www.health-infosys-dir.com/information_technology_trends.htm, retrieved 3/7/08).

      The truth is what one can obtain via the Internet has lived up all expectations and has amazed many people who once did not believe it would be the future.  While some companies only do business through the Internet, some other ones still keep a shop where it is still possible to go and buy products.  For some of those companies, the Internet is more a vehicle of promotion than a way of doing business.

      Ten problems might arise with a website: lack of focus on the user’s perspective,
flash only websites, generally long loading times, non standard layouts and bad linking system, poor use of colors, out of date web-pages…. (made once and then ignored forevermore), lack of traffic, compatibility, accessibility and who’s been looking at the site? (www.itwales.com/998660.htm, retrieved 3/23/08).  Learning the pitfalls one needs to avoid when building a website is likely to help in learning other domains related to business.  For instance, lack of focus on the user’s perspective teaches that when running a business, customer satisfaction should be the main goal.

      Unlike a store that is usually seen by people passing by, a website calls for promotion.  A website is usually promoted by key-words that people browsing the Internet use when they make a search or by having other popular websites advertising it.  Without promotion, which is an expense for the business, a website is not likely to be successful.

      Although many efforts have made to improve search engines, they have a tendency of being low tech.  For instance, when they read meta tags, some read only the first few hundred words of the text, and if the page starts with a big image, the search engine might just read it and ignore the real content which comes after many characters later.

(www.trans4mind.com/personal_development/HTMLGuide/SearchEngines.htm, retrieved 3/23/08)

           Like in most activities, legal issues are involved when a website is created.  The most typical ones are: copyright, domains, trademark, defamation, and linking and framing.  When in doubt about any of them, it is certainly advisable to consult a lawyer. (www.bitlaw.com/internet/webpage.html, retrieved 3/23/08)

      Like most pieces of writing, websites are usually copyrighted.  It is indeed believed that the Internet has been characterized as the largest threat to copyright since its inception.  (www.benedict.com/info/info.aspx, retrieved 3/23/08)

      When a website is copyrighted, the US Copyright Office registers it as a literary work, for which an application is to be completed, a fee is to be paid and a copy is to be sent.  I usually take quite a few months for the application to go through and it is then protected like any other book.  (www.copyright.gov/register/literary.html, retrieved 3/23/08)

      As we know, a website can be viewed from anywhere in the world and it is therefore believed to be part of what some sociologists have called globalization.  It is now possible to communicate with someone who lives in a very distant country, whereas it was very costly and difficult some forty years ago.  It is now much easier to buy foreign products that it was before.

     Goals that could be achieved when launching a website could be: far cheaper and much more flexible than print advertising, market expansion, diversify revenue streams, offer convenience, add value and satisfaction, standardize sales performance, improve credibility, promote your  brick  n  mortar  presence, growth opportunity, two-way communicative marketing, and cheap market research. (www.webworldindex.com/articles/12-Benefits-Of-Having-A-Website.html, retrieved 3/23/08)

      Building a more engaging website is very positive for our society.  The most important aim of technology is to expedite the process of whatever needs to be done, while sustaining the desired quality.  Availability of products for sale on line is a great convenience for people, especially when an engaging website makes its visit more pleasant.  Despite some few theories that state the opposite, companies should continue striving to enhance their websites so as to provide a more efficient and a more pleasant service to their customers.  This is likely to increase revenues, correspondingly boosting the economy of most of the countries worldwide, as an increase in sales is believed to be the prime factor of a powerful economy.

      What it is possible to see from the strategic IT trend of making a website more engaging could perhaps be seen in other IT trends:

• A paper written for an academic course that has a better language might increase its possibilities of obtaining better grades, while some problems, like lack of important details, might as well occur.

• A project proposal that has a better presentation might end up with better chances of being approved, although another one might be more meaningful and powerful.

• A project management plan for work, whose techniques were taken from a book is likely to draw its reader’s attention, but it could also get its writer accused of having focused on writing skills rather than what the original aim of the project.

• A presentation given at work or school, in which the one reading it is very expressive will probably draw its listener’s attention much more than one in which the reader is not so expressive.  Meanwhile, someone might realize that the actual contents are not so meaningful and valuable.

References

Benedict.com (2008). Website Copyright. Retrieved 13 April 2008 from

www.benedict.com/info/info.aspx.

Bitlaw.com (2008). Website Legal Issues, Bitlaw. Retrieved 13 April 2008 from

www.bitlaw.com/internet/webpage.html

CIO Insight.com (2007). The 30 Most Important IT Trends for 2007 Retrieved 13 April

2008 from www.cioinsight.com/c/a/Special-Reports/The-30-Most-Important-IT-Trends-for-2007/

Copyright.gov (2008). Literary Works, US Copyright Office. Retrieved 13 April 2008 from

www.copyright.gov/register/literary.html.

Itwales.com (2008). Ask the webmaster…10 common problems with websites, i.t.wales.

Retrieved 13 April 2008 from www.itwales.com/998660.htm

Mariosalexandrou.com (2008). Definition of Information Technology, Web Strategies and

Project Manager. Retrieved 13 April 2008 from

www.mariosalexandrou.com/definition/information-technology.asp

Master Card.com (2008). Business Essentials Library. Retrieved 13 April 2008 from

www.mastercard.com/us/business/en/smallbiz/articles/Technology/ul15_interactiveTechnology.html.

Rapoza, Jim (2008). Online Consultant Software. Retrieved 13 April 2008 from

www.health-infosys-dir.com/information_technology_trends.htm.

Trans4mind.com (2008). Search Engine Problems, Ken Ward’s HTML Tutorial. Retrieved 13

April 2008 from www.trans4mind.com/personal_development/HTMLGuide/SearchEngines.htm.

Webworldindex.com (2008). 12 Benefits of Having a Website, Web World. Retrieved 13 April

2008 from www.webworldindex.com/articles/12-Benefits-Of-Having-A-Website.html.

Appendix

Portfolio Paper Cover Sheet

Portfolio Paper Title: Information Technology

Table of Contents

Portfolio Essay. 1

References. 2

Appendix 1: Competency Matrix. 3

Exhibit 1: Pages of a Web site you developed. 4

Exhibit 2: Relational databases that you built. 5

Exhibit 3: A project management plan for work. 6

Exhibit 4: A network diagram you constructed for your network. 7

Portfolio Essay

The four exhibits prove that their has been some valuable work for this paper and the content has been proven for correct display and sound knowledge for the subject. The exhibits prove to be a backup for the long text above and the point is in making the right amount of illustration for the paper.

References

Rational rose.
HTML

Appendix 1: Competency Matrix
Domain/Sub domain
Competency
Explanation

Leadership and Professionalism
Software

It is genuinely present at all levels.
Networks

It is not seen at all.
IT Management

It is seen to a medium extent.
Project Management

The project management skills are depicted for managing the resources.
Security

Security of the software is involved to some extent.
Databases

The involvements of database concepts are quite likely seen.

Upper Division Collegiate Level Reasoning
Software

The involvement is quite distinct to the level of interfacing required for getting the job done.
Networks

It is not involved in any way.
IT Management

The management of the resources would be eased out in the process.
Project Management

Utilization of resources is quite high.
Security

The security is quite high for getting it done.
Databases

Discussed in quite medium trail.

Problem Solving
Software

Taken up adequately.
Networks

Involvement is low.
IT Management

Medium in form.
Project Management

It represents quite high degree of management skills with techniques to resolve issues.
Security

No security issues are related.
Databases

It is involved to a large extent.

Language and Communication
Software

Medium in form.
Networks

Low in form.
IT Management

Required to a great extent.
Project Management

Required to a great extent.
Security

Not required at all.
Databases

To a medium scale.

Quantitative Literacy
Software

To a medium scale.
Networks

Not required at all.
IT Management

To a medium scale.
Project Management

Required to a great extent.
Security

Not required at all.
Databases

Required to a great extent.

Exhibit 1: Pages of a Web site you developed
Pages of a web site developed by me is as follows:

Figure 1: Homepage

Exhibit 2: Relational databases that you built

The following Use Case diagram shows the various actors and use cases of the particular system:

Figure 2: Use Case Diagram

Exhibit 3: A project management plan for work

The following is the Gantt chart for the project management of the system.

Figure 3: Various Tasks

Figure 4: Gantt chart

Exhibit 4: A network diagram you constructed for your network

Figure 5: Network Design

 

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