What Is the Difference Between IT and ICT?


Information Technology pertains to the hardware, software and user skills associated with a stand-alone computer or laptop, while Information Communications Technology relates to networked equipment (LAN/WAN) that allows for intra- and inter-network communication via email and the Internet. ICT can be viewed as an extension of IT.

In IT, hardware is the basic computer box and associated peripheral devices: scanners, printers, CD-ROM, DVD drive and so on. Software consists of the programs a user installs for personal use, such as the operating system (Windows/Linux/Mac OS), word processors, spreadsheets, databases, graphic design and photo manipulation. IT skills are those associated with the proper use of the operating system and other installed programs.

In ICT, hardware necessarily includes those devices, such as modems, routers and servers that makes communication possible within and between networks. The benefit of ICT over IT is that it improves task effectiveness by providing access to a broader range of software, which is usually held in centralized server locations. It also makes possible increased system-management efficiency.

The additional software encountered on networked systems includes communications packages such as Microsoft’s Outlook application; browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer; and web authoring tools such as Dreamweaver, Coldfusion and Flash.

Additional skills associated with ICT include web browsing, web design, and receiving and sending emails.