What Is The Full Form Of ICT? (Expansion And Components)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 1 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

ICT is a digital technology that individuals, businesses and large organisations use to store and retrieve information and to communicate with each other. It helps in improving the efficiency and operations of a business. Understanding how ICT impacts a business can help you choose the right technology to work with. In this article, we examine the full form of ICT, its components and tools and how it relates to a business.

What is the full form of ICT?

The answer to the question, "What is the full form of ICT?" is Information Communication Technology is a term that refers to different digital communication technologies. It combines various concepts, methods, tools and their applications. It is a constantly evolving technology that facilitates efficient use and transmission of information. ICT is an umbrella term that includes every communication gadget or technology that can store, retrieve, manipulate and receive information digitally.

What are the characteristics of an ICT system?

ICT allows acquisition, storage, manipulation, management and transmission of data and information. It gives real-time access for users to access information they may require. It allows quick, efficient exchange of the latest and updated information. It allows individuals and groups to communicate, respond and interact with each other. It can connect professionals in physical locations that are far away from each other. ICT can adapt to new systems and technologies with ease.

Related: How The Communication Process Works (Example Included)

What are the components of an ICT system?

An ICT system is a unified setup of electronic systems that facilitates communication between two individuals or groups who are at different places. It combines hardware, software, data and people. It integrates each of these components to transform data into usable, accessible information. The individual components of ICT work together to input, process, output, give feedback and control the dissemination of data. The five major components of ICT are:

Hardware

Hardware denotes the physical and tangible elements of an electronic system. These include input and output devices, processing units, storage devices, operating systems and output and media devices. A few examples of hardware include:

  • smartphones

  • telecommunication devices and networks

  • laptops

  • supercomputers

  • home appliances

  • cameras

  • monitors

  • printers

  • projection systems

  • portable digital devices

Software

Software includes computer programmes and applications necessary for the hardware to function. There are two major types of software - application software and system software. Application software helps users perform a specific task like browsing, shopping or listening to music. System software includes operating systems that help the hardware function. It also includes programmes that support an application software. Examples of software include:

  • operating systems

  • search engines

  • game engines

  • firmware

  • word processing applications

  • spreadsheets

  • graphics controllers

  • accounting software

  • computer-aided design software

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software

  • antivirus software

  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software

  • payroll management software

Communication technology

Communication technology refers to the tools that send, receive and process information. As technology advances, faster communication technologies become available to every market and industry. Some examples of communication technologies are:

  • digital television

  • digital radio

  • internet

  • broadband

  • wired and wireless networks

  • e-mail

  • mobile phones

  • Global Positioning Systems (GPS)

  • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

  • video conferencing platforms

  • instant messaging applications

Data

Data refers to a raw set of facts and statistics a business collects as part of its internal and external operations. While the raw data may not be useful, it becomes usable information when the business presents it in an organised manner. Information can have a meaning, context, purpose and relevance for the business. Management can make short-term and long-term decisions for the benefit of a business using this information. Examples of business data are:

  • number of customer enquiries

  • number of customer complaints

  • value of daily sales

  • leads generated

  • number of sales calls made to leads

  • total expenditure

  • total revenue

  • number of new hires

  • number of employees who leave an organisation

  • daily inventory

  • website traffic

  • social media interactions

Related: 18 Big Data Examples (Common Uses In Different Industries)

People

People are the professional and qualified personnel who involve in designing, maintaining and operating an ICT system. Their duties include inputting and storing data, troubleshooting, training employees for using ICT systems, creating backups of valuable business information and updating licences. This also includes professionals like system, database and network administrators who monitor and maintain an ICT system. System analysts, programmers and Chief Information Officers are other important contributors to an ICT system.

How does ICT add value to a business?

A business can derive significant value and benefits by integrating ICT systems into its operations. Automation, the internet of things, artificial intelligence and machine learning have the potential to affect the daily lives of individuals and businesses. The domains of education, retail, transportation, finance, insurance, manufacturing and infrastructure use ICT extensively. Technology is vital for effective communication between individuals, departments, clients and stakeholders.

New technology and widespread internet availability can facilitate quick and instant communication between businesses, employees and customers. ICT helps businesses become more efficient, responsive and dynamic. It allows improved relations between management and employees, and between a business and its clients. Activities and processes like money transfers, recruitment and business negotiations happen faster with updated ICT. Some real-time benefits of integrating ICT with business and industry operations include:

Helps management in taking crucial decisions

ICT systems allow a business to store and sort large volumes of data. This enables managers to make informed decisions. It helps them resolve crises or conflicts better as they have access to necessary information and people throughout the process. A well-set up communications network helps in coordinating and implementing decisions across multiple locations and branches of a company.

Creates new avenues for buying and selling

One of the biggest benefits of ICT is that it allows customers to buy and sell products from the comfort of their homes using smartphones and the internet. Technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence help buyers and sellers interact in real time and make instant decisions about products and pricing. Retail and customer-facing businesses use ICT to increase their customer base and market share. A business can optimise its sales by combining real-time communication, data analytics, artificial intelligence and customer behaviour tracking to influence purchase decisions.

Improves productivity

ICT allows a business to automate many repetitive and time-consuming processes. It can also aid in improving the accuracy and precision of outcomes, removing the necessity of revisions. The manufacturing industry uses ICT extensively through computer-aided design, precision engineering, computer simulation and robotics. Programmers and developers create tools, techniques and software that can perform dangerous tasks without the need for human involvement. This reduces the risk of errors and also helps in guaranteeing employee safety. By eliminating redundant and repetitive work, ICT allows employees to work on more crucial issues at their workplace.

Provides better customer service

ICT solutions allow companies to respond to client issues quickly and effectively. Customers can record their grievances through email, phone or automated chat-boxes without having to wait for a physical interaction. Clients can now access relevant customer information, verify their purchase history and allot a service technician almost instantaneously to address an issue. A service technician connected to ICT gadgets can reach the customer and attend to the problem faster. Effective use of ICT systems builds customer satisfaction and helps generate new business.

Related: What Is Customer Service? Definition And Career Advice

Facilitates greater collaboration within a business

When employees work in teams, there is a risk of miscommunication that may lead to project delays or impact overall output quality. ICT systems allow every team member to communicate individually and as a group. It helps in better communication flow within the team. Teams that work from different locations can use ICT tools, like video conferencing platforms, without affecting their quality of work. Managers can now supervise the progress of a distant project frequently through email and calls without having to visit the project site or the team.

Reduces operational cost

ICT creates paperless work environments to store information digitally. Companies can reduce printing to a large extent, and subsequently, the need for physical storage space. ICT helps businesses reduce operational costs, as managers can perform supervisory work online. It allows employees to work from home, reducing the need for large office spaces. Companies can plan hands-on training modules on online platforms instead of sending employees to attend expensive third-party training programmes.

How can ICT systems improve business communication?

Every industry, big or small, can benefit from using ICT systems. Businesses use technology to communicate with customers through chat bots and free calling platforms. Businesses can also create their own communication systems to help employees interact more efficiently with each other. It can help in team building and facilitate better coordination. Managers can talk to employees who work remotely and make them a part of team meetings and activities.

ICT makes it easier for businesses to reach out to each other for partnerships, collaborations, negotiations and follow-up routines. Every industry can benefit from properly implementing the right ICT systems. New tools and tougher security protocols have made emails and chats safer, allowing businesses to use ICT for confidential negotiations.

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