Information is one of life’s essential building blocks. Without information, the basic function of society would quickly disintegrate. Information can be organised, processed, aggregated and analysed effortlessly. When looking at information, it becomes evident that it is an essential part of our everyday lives. Without information, we could not survive.
The first step towards an informational equivalent of physical information systems is to capture, process and aggregate it into a usable form. Information, in a very broad sense, is structured, processed, organised data arranged for purposes of information. It gives context to previously processed data and allows quick decision making by those who need it. For instance, a single customer’s sale in a particular restaurant is physical information-it becomes information when that restaurant can identify the most popular or most least popular dish on the menu.
In a more encompassing sense, information technologies can also be thought of as the information management systems of the future. A computer systems development environment (CMS) is the foundation for the efficient management of information. The content of a web site can easily be translated into an informative article by a nontechnical person. That same web site will automatically appear in the search engine results pages of all the major search engines, bringing the appropriate information to the user’s attention. CMSs allow users of the information to manipulate the content, thus increasing user convenience. Content also becomes information, as it is stored in a database and indexing becomes less costly and more effective.
A browser can access meta-data and meta-tags that describe a web site and is the basis for content databases. Meta-data also identifies images and other media and, as computers are increasingly able to communicate with each other in networks, it is easy to imagine the scope of what information technology can do in terms of improved communication. In fact, it is widely believed that information systems are the driving force behind the emerging international standard for network connectivity known as GSM. An example of a GSM communication system is the CDMA or Code Division Multiple Access system that provides faster and better data transmission over greater distances than other systems.
The information technology development environment will continue to evolve based on how society perceives its needs. Traditional businesses have traditionally defined what information means. Social media has helped define how we interact with each other and has also helped create new forms of communication. Information technology is transforming the way people interact, allowing for easier sharing of information across borders and communities and blurring the lines of traditional business boundaries. The challenges we face in the next few years will be considerable, but a strong and adaptable IT culture can be a key to success.
A strong IT culture can take the challenges of an information system development environment and help companies stay ahead of the curve. The developers of tomorrow’s technology need to think about the different ways they want to communicate with each other. They need to consider how to use the tools and devices people already own to deliver the service or solution they need to their customers. They need to think about how to use the most up-to-date tools and platforms to deliver better customer service. And they need to be thinking about how to secure their data so it can always be used and shared without fear of it being compromised.