In the field of information technology (IT), the use of computers to produce, process, store, retrieve, and share all types of electronic data and information is defined. In contrast to personal or leisure technologies, information technology is usually employed in the context of corporate activities. Integration technology is considered to be a subset of information and communications technology (ICT). It is generally agreed that an information technology system (IT system) is a communications system, but it is more specifically agreed upon that it is a computer system – consisting of all hardware, software and peripheral equipment – that is operated by a small group of information technology users.
The Sumerians in Mesopotamia created writing about 3000 BC, and since then, humans have been storing and retrieving knowledge, altering it, and transmitting it to others. Information technology, in its modern sense, was first used in a 1958 article published in the Harvard Business Review, in which authors Harold J. Leavitt and Thomas L. Whisler commented that the term "information technology" had "been around for a long time." "The new technology does not yet have a single well-known name associated with it. It will be referred to as information technology (IT)." It is divided into three categories: processing methods, the use of statistical and mathematical approaches to decision-making, and the modelling of higher-order thinking through computer programmes.
Despite the fact that the word is frequently used as a synonym for computers and computer networks, it also refers to other information dissemination technologies such as television and telephones. There are many goods or services connected with information technology that are available in an economy, including computer hardware, software, electronics, semiconductors, the internet, telecommunications equipment, and e-commerce.
It is possible to distinguish four distinct phases of information technology development based on the storage and processing technologies that were used: pre-mechanical (3000 BC – 1450 AD), mechanical (1450–1840), electromechanical (1840–1940), and electronic (1940–present). Pre-mechanical information technology development can be divided into three categories: pre-mechanical information technology development, mechanical information technology development, and electromechanical information technology development.