ICT, or information and communication technology, makes many common tasks simple and facilitates communications from virtually any geographic area. It requires the installation of complex systems that require trained personnel and all working parts in order to operate efficiently.
ICT encompasses telephone, wireless and computer technology, which are industries which have changed the way the world operates. Among its advantages:
- Utility - communications can take place instantaneously, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year across the globe. Messages can be sent to one or multiple recipients.
- Shared resources - groups of users can access the same programs, applications and even hardware such as printers and faxes using networking and wireless technology.
- Education - used in schools, ICT has motivated students as well as facilitating completion of work and the communications between teachers and students. It is an equalizing agent in that all students can have access to it and work together.
- Control - network set-up can control access to specific information and processes. It is also easy to monitor work as well as communications.
The disadvantages stem largely from the architectures of ICT, which are complex and therefore contain some inherent disadvantages.
- User competence - as systems become more and more complex, users require more and more specialized training.
- Vulnerability - networks are open to abuse in the form of hacking. Viruses spread on a network and it is open to things like email spams and phishing.
- Complexity - if one part of the system breaks down it can affect many others. If the server of a network is down, for example, no one can work.