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Communications Technology (ICT)
Information and Communications Technology (ICT), is the combination of computing, telecom, and governance policies that determine how information should be accessed and secured. It also includes how it should be transmitted, stored, processed, and transmitted.
ICT can be used as a synonym in some areas of the world for information technology (IT). However, the meanings of these terms can vary depending on the context. In the United States, the term IT is used to describe technology related to business operations. The label ICT is more commonly used in the contexts of education and government.
As digital communication links replace analog ones, ICT has become a common term. This is driving the need for professionals with the skills and knowledge to manage this convergence.
ICT workers can expect to be in positions that focus on improving digital literacy, and data literacy, and using emerging technologies for optimizing legacy communication channels. This includes researching the impact of emerging technologies like augmented (AR), virtual reality (VR), and other communication theories on traditional technologies.
These components are part of ICT:
Hardware components that enable information to be created, transferred, stored, and managed.
Software as a Service (SaaS), and local client apps that support the digital design and personal productivity.
Electronic components that enable the exchange of digital information.
Services to support IT asset management, data management, data lifecycle management customer experience management digital employee experience management, and data literacy.
Exclusions from ICT typically include office supplies like printer toner, as well as personal computing devices such as earbuds and game consoles.
IT vs. ICT
The term “information technology” (IT) is more commonly used in the United States for business operations. However, ICT is more frequently used in government and education.
As telephone networks merge with computer network systems, and communication technologies have become increasingly digital, it is unlikely that the need to distinguish between line-item budget entries to IT and components of communication technologies will disappear. Experts in the U.S. disagree on whether education and government will adopt IT.
ICT is the preferred term in many other countries because it encompasses what is probably the most important function of technology, which is improving how people and machines exchange information
ICT literacy is also known as data literacy. It focuses on two things: helping people transform data into meaningful information, and communicating that information to others.
ICT literacy is a key skill in education and human resources management. It can be used by students and employees in STEM and non-STEM areas. Five levels of competency are included in the maturity model of ICT literacy by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Importance ICT policies
ICT policies are the processes and frameworks required to evaluate and benchmark an organization’s ICT maturity levels. They also include compliance with laws, regulations, and contracts.
The following steps are typically used to create a policy for ICT compliance management:
Identify the applicable laws and regulations.
To oversee ICT compliance management, a steering committee should be appointed.
To enforce policies, create internal controls
To measure compliance and privacy, develop benchmarks and key performance indicators (KPIs).
Identify and prioritize ITC skills that are not required to comply.
Make training materials to increase data literacy and compliance.
Accessibility to ICT
Accessibility to ICT services and products should be open and inclusive so that everyone can use it to communicate information. Failure to make ICT products and services easily accessible could expose organizations to reputational and financial risks. Many countries have established standards and guidelines that ensure accessibility in the evaluation and procurement of hardware, software, and support services. Section 508 and Section 255 are the U.S. ICT accessibility guidelines. As digital communication links replace analog ones, ICT has become a common term. This is driving the need for professionals with the skills and knowledge to manage this convergence. Failure to make ICT products and services easily accessible could expose organizations to reputational and financial risks. Many countries have established standards and guidelines that ensure accessibility in the evaluation and procurement of hardware, software, and support services.
ICT items can be classified as either COTS, MOTS/GOTS or SOTS in procurement and purchasing. Potential ICT purchases should be evaluated in all procurement models for operational and reputational risk. ICT encompasses both traditional components of data center infrastructure as well as increasing numbers of content, software, and hardware delivered via the internet. This includes studying how emerging technologies like augmented ( AR) or virtual reality ( VR_) can support traditional technologies as well as communication theories. It is charged with developing strategies to improve ICT supply chain security. CISA’s National Risk Management Center is sponsoring SCRM.
ICT Supply Chain Risk
A threat to the ICT supply chains can be declared a national emergency in many countries if it poses unacceptable security risks for the country, its citizens or the nation’s critical infrastructure.
Critical infrastructure is becoming more dependent on information and communication technologies. Disruptions in the ICT supply chains can have ripple effects. The consequences of an incident in the supply chain may extend the incident’s reach beyond its initial target.
The ICT Supply Chain Risk Management Task Force (SCRM Task Force) is a joint public-private partnership in the United States. It is charged with developing strategies to improve ICT supply chain security. CISA’s National Risk Management Center is sponsoring SCRM.
As the skills needed to manage technology and telecom merge, ICT has become more widely recognized in the U.S.
These are some of the most popular ICT careers:
Cloud Service Integration
Web Design and Development
Big Data Analytics
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
Technology and Support for Websites
IT Project Management
Procurement and IT Product Administration
e-Marketing includes Content Marketing and Social Media Management
You don’t always have to be a graduate of a university in order to get a job as an ICT professional. Candidates can get the same career advantages in many industries by getting certifications in at minimum one of the following four pathways: information support, services, networking, software and systems development, games and simulations; and software and systems engineering.