Generally speaking, Information Communications Technology(ICT) includes any electronic device that can transmit, receive, or store digital information. In the past, this group was somewhat limited to only include telephones and then, computers. It now includes a variety of devices, some of which are extremely common such as smartphones, tablets, and televisions.
The widening scope of ICT does not stop with these devices either. The Internet of Things(IoT) is having a large impact on this field of information technology. So much so that it is actually transforming how ICT is perceived, categorized and used to benefit the world. First, what exactly is the IoT and how does it relate to information technology?
The IoT: A Global Movement
The Internet of Things is more than just a hobbyist’s dream of connecting toasters to the internet. It is a global movement that aims to connect nearly any device possible to the internet so that information can be shared. This may seem trivial at first glance, but it is having a lasting impact on global communications, on developing economies, and in the medical field.
It is estimated that in 2016 there will be at least 6.4 billion devices connected to this Internet of Things. (http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3165317). That’s a 22 percent increase from 2015. Those same estimates predict more than 20 billion connected devices by 2020.
Sure, there may be quite a few toasters, washing machines, and refrigerators in those numbers, but what about the larger picture? That huge number of connected devices is becoming a driving force in global ICT. It allows copious amounts of information to be gathered from different sources or devices and shared instantly with many of the other 20 billion connected devices around the globe.
Accessible To Struggling Countries
More than 95 % of the globe now enjoys basic 2G mobile-cellular connectivity, which means important data can be gathered or shared just about anywhere in the world. (http://www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/press_releases/2015/57.aspx#.Vx_QUWPdi00) However, many third-world countries might struggle to afford personal computers, expensive medical equipment, or to even hire a full staff of medical professionals: That’s where the diversity of the IoT comes into play.
Being connected to the IoT no longer requires a general purpose computer, tablet, or smartphone. Likewise, diagnosing certain medical problems no longer requires a face-to-face consultation.
Niche devices designed specifically for gather certain types of data or for transmitting certain types of data are constantly being developed. As our programs designed to offer professional assistance from experts who might not reside in the local area.
A new development in the field is seen almost every day. This is extremely beneficial for those countries where funds are limited. The fact that many of them are designed to transmit data using only a basic 2G mobile-cellular network removes the need for Wi-Fi, which isn’t yet available everywhere.
Many IoT devices are being designed with a struggling economy in mind. They are built to be affordable and replaceable. Similarly, they are often designed with ruggedness as a key quality. This allows them to operate outside in harsh climates and in environments that wouldn’t be too friendly to some forms of technology.
Delivering Information Needed For Growth
The utilization of specially designed IoT devices allows for the instant delivery of important information where it is needed most. The possibilities are seemingly endless. They are already having a noticeable impact in the fields of education and technology. Communities that may not have the best access to traditional sources of education or medical knowledge are now up to speed with the rest of the world.
At the same time, these devices can also gather important data, such as climate or environmental data, from these same regions and instantly deliver it to organizations that can make good use of it. The IoT is no doubt having a positive impact on Information Communications Technology by making this gathering and sharing of data possible in areas of the world that have been cut off from the global network for too long.