What does the computer term "IT" stand for?


Quick Answer

"IT" stands for information technology. IT is typically understood as training and specialization in meeting the computer needs of businesses, organizations and municipalities.

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What does the computer term "IT" stand for?

Full Answer

The term first came into use in 1958 in an article written by Harold J. Leavitt and Thomas L. Whisler in the Harvard Business Review. The definition articulated in their piece included three categories, techniques for processing, the application of statistical and mathematical methods to decision making and the simulation of higher-order thinking through computer programs. The colloquially understood definition of information technology is based on Leavitt and Whisler's fourth phase of IT development, electronic. The electronic phase began in 1940 and has continued to the present. The other phases of IT development are pre-mechanical, from 3000 B.C. to 1450 A.D., mechanical, from 1450 to 1840 and electromechanical, from 1840 to 1940.

Today, IT is understood both in the sense of an administrative department and academic discipline. IT employees practice the theory of Leavitt and Whisler's definition in the workplace. IT employees provide services including computer systems management, information curation for computer programs and managing productivity tools for an office or organization. IT facilitates the upgrade of computer systems as old hardware and software becomes outdated. Because computers and programs cannot function without an input from a human, IT staff often provide that crucial input.

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