What is an ICT system?

Various uses for ICT systems in different working sectors such as aircrafts, factories and ships
An ICT system is a set-up consisting of hardware, software, data and the people who use them. It commonly includes communications technology, such as the internet.

ICT and computers are not the same thing.

Computers are the hardware that is often part of an ICT system.

This is why it's important not just to learn about computers but about how, why and when people use them. It is the power of computers and communications that has allowed ICT systems to become so important. Like any piece of equipment, the important thing about it is what it lets us do.

ICT systems are used in a number of environments, such as:

  • offices
  • shops
  • factories
  • aircraft
  • ships

They're also used in fields such as:

  • communications
  • medicine
  • farming

ICT systems are everyday and ordinary, yet extraordinary in how they can add extra power to what we do and want to do.

The importance of ICT systems

By using ICT systems we are:

  • more productive - we can complete a greater number of tasks in the same time at reduced cost by using computers than we could prior to their invention
  • able to deal with vast amounts of information and process it quickly
  • able to transmit and receive information rapidly
Glossary
  1. analogue Continuous data which can have a range of values.
  2. broadband A high-speed internet connection.
  3. cable A data communications technology that provides broadband internet speeds over the cable television infrastructure.
  4. data Values, typically letters or numbers.
  5. digital Information stored as discrete values usually represented as numbers. This contrasts with analogue data which is represented by continuous data, usually in waves.
  6. digital broadcasting Broadcasting using digital data. A greater number of channels can be offered as well as interactive services, eg the red button.
  7. DVD A plastic, circular disc used to store up to 8.5 GB of music, video or data. DVDs are optical storage media, similar to CDs and Blu-ray discs.
  8. hardware The physical parts of a computer system, eg a graphics card, hard disk drive, CD drive etc.
  9. information Data that has meaning, not just a number or a letter.
  10. input Data which is inserted into a system for processing and/or storage.
  11. internet A global network connecting millions of computers.
  12. internet connection A connection to the internet by a computer or another internet-enabled device.
  13. media A collective name for images, video and audio.
  14. output Data which is sent out of a system.
  15. sensor A device that measures a physical quantity and converts it into a signal to be read and interpreted.
  16. web browser An application that displays web pages.