The Impact of Information Technology/ Information System on Digital Society
Information technology is the technology used to store, manipulate, distribute or create information. The type of information or data is not important to this definition. The technology is any mechanism capable of processing this data. Kathleen Guinee wrote, "By information technology, I mean the tools we use to perform calculations, to store and manipulate text, and to communicate. Some of these twentieth century tools include: the adding machine, slide rule, and calculator for performing calculations, the typewriter and word processor for processing text, and the telephone, radio, and television for communicating. Society can be defined as "a community, nation, or broad grouping of people having common traditions, institutions, and collective activities and interests. Therefore we shall use the common traditions, institutions and collective activities and interests as the basis for our examination of the impact information technology has had on society. We shall also integrate this examination with the impact of how information technology has changed the digital society. This integration will occur in two areas of the analysis of society, first the institutions and second the collective activities of the society. The influence of information technology on religious practices has mainly been to the effect of making information about them more accessible. The most relevant question though is whether the developments in information technologies have influenced the continuity of social attitudes, customs or institutions. The question of the effect on institutions will however be dealt with later in the report. Social attitudes have changed with the effect that citizens of a society now expect the various elements of that society to be better informed than previously. They also expect to be able to access more information about a specific product, service or organisation so that they can make informed decisions with regard to their interactions with that entity. The word institutions can incorporate a wide variety of organisations. For the purposes of this report the institutions we will examine will be Governments, Commercial businesses, News & Media organisations and Educational organisations.
Each of these could be further refined into more specific types of institution but for the purposes of the report these abstractions will be sufficient. The influence which information technology development has had on these areas will be mainly focused on how the technology has "improved" the processes by which the institution accomplishes its task or goal The "government" of a nation will be comprised of many varied institutions. However, the development in information technology has helped governments to improve their "service" to their citizens. Advances in Database technology for example have enabled the governments of various countries to collate and monitor statistical information that they can use to combat fraud, manage the economy in a more informed way. Information Technology has also had a major impact on the defence capabilities of governments. This covers both a government's capability to wage war and their intelligence gathering capability. Advance in weapons technology and weapons design has increased the effectiveness of various governments' armed forces. For example it would have been impossible to design aeroplanes such as the B2 Bomber if it were not for the advances made in information technology. The B2 bomber relies on a "continuous curvature" design to minimise radar signature. It would have been impossible to design or build this machine without the development of computer modelling techniques. Information Technology has also had a major impact on a government's intelligence agencies. Encryption of sensitive information has enabled governments to obtain added security. However attempting to decrypt information is also a major...
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