We're constantly bombarded with facts and figures these days. Most of these data, in the raw form, is of no use to us. We maybe interested only in some amount of this data for our work. Filtering of the raw data is imperative to weed out the irrelevant aspect, and provide us with only those data that are useful. This useful data, extracted from raw data, is known as Information.
IT stands for Information technology i.e. the technology that enables us to access information at the fastest possible speed. Even till a few years back, the most important media of information collection/distribution was newspapers, radio and the post and telegraph system. Conveying of information via phone was limited to the elite class as exorbitant cost was the prohibitive factor. Only in the last decade, with the dawn of emails and the Internet, IT has undergone revolutionary changes. It is now possible to access almost all information across the globe at the click of a button sitting at your workplace or in your house almost instantaneously.
The usefulness of IT in modern times cannot be underestimated. It pervades all strata of society. Commerce over the Internet is a reality nowadays with the fruition of e-commerce. For the academic community, there's easy accessibility to recent developments in his/her field as most journals and research papers are available on the Internet, and can be easily downloaded, well sometimes at a small price.
E-mail or electronic mail is the most important feature on the Internet. Through this service you can exchange messages with your near and dear ones as well as with people around the world. It's fast, easy, inexpensive and saves paper. Internet is very much like a library holding information on any subject imaginable. And it saves you the time of going to a library to obtain some particular information. In fact staying at home with an Internet connection gives you the opportunity to go through newspapers, magazines, academic papers, government document, television show transcripts, famous speeches, job listings and much more.
Development of IT has opened newer horizons for the professionals. One can interact with a renowned Professor from a prestigious University in some foreign country sitting at a remote place and hence be able to do useful work. Businessmen can do transactions with a global customer base. Doctors can consult with their counterparts scattered across the world, and be able to deliver better diagnosis to ailments of afflicted people.
I feel treatment of diseases in the future will become cheaper due to IT, and this will greatly alleviate the sufferings of the common people who go without treatment as they can't afford the costs of treating the diseases which has attacked them. As computers and machines reduce in prices owing to development of better hardware technology, the medical equipments too will witness a decline in costs and this might take the pinch off a patient when he goes to a physician.
Information technology, especially the usage of Radio and Television has been effective as tools for early disaster warning system. Farmers can know about the weather conditions and especially fishermen knows when they should venture out into the sea. IT has brought down the level of exploitation of farmers. Our Indian farmers can now know about the prevailing price fixed by the Govt. for various commodities and thus receive due price for their produce. The exploitation of farmers by middlemen will be reduced considerably.
IT has introduced the concept of paperless offices. With less usage of papers, it implies reduced felling of trees for making newsprint. Thus IT will help lessen destruction to forests, and thus protect our environment.
IT has opened up the job-market. Skilled professionals from Third World countries are increasingly being absorbed by good companies in developed nations. Even unskilled labor from these backward countries are able to find gainful employment in emerging areas like Medical transcriptions, which doesn't require skills of a very high order.
IT development has opened up new avenues for budding and established writers, painters, filmmakers, and other creative artistes. There's a plethora of web-sites which encourages the promotion of such craftsmen by popularizing or selling their works, thus providing a fillip to them.
Thus, it's apparent that IT and more specifically the development of computers have brought about a change in our lives in a manner hitherto undreamt of. Since the benefits of this technology will be reaped by all including the common man, IT is certainly going to be a major contributing force which can ameliorate the lives of the hoi polloi.