Advances in Information Technology
Advances in Information Technology

The IT revolution drives the extraordinarily rapid decline in the cost and rapid increase in the processing power of digital technologies. The digital device whose technological advance has perhaps been most crucial to the IT revolution is the microprocessor, the collections of millions of tiny circuits that serve as the “brains” of personal computers and that are embedded in an ever-expanding number of products, from video games, to cars, to refrigerators. Using a concept known as Moore’s law the amount of power in a processor doubles approximately every two years. In 2013 the use of nanowires in microprocessors has allowed this trend to continue (Peckham, 2013).

Rapid advancements in fiber optic technologies have also been critical to the IT revolution. Fiber optics technology enables data, including voices captured in digital form, to be converted into tiny pulses of light and then transmitted at high speeds through glass fibers wrapped into large capacity telecommunication cables. Hundreds of thousands of miles of these cables were installed over the past ten years, boosting the speed and capacity of telecommunications networks. A contributing factor to the growing technology sector is human capital.. The majority of tech firms worldwide have leveled the baseline production of new technology to the point where they seek new areas of improvement for their products.

Human capital, the workforce, drives these advancements and often the reason why one company succeeds, while others do not. Tech firms seek skilled workers with knowledge of technology and problem solving skills, which gives them an edge over the competition. Technology companies in the U.S. are pushing for better immigration policies so they can hire the best and the brightest from around the world.

The transformation of the technology sector in the U.S. market resulted in need for software developers, computer and information systems managers, and computer systems analysts . New jobs such as these are commodities in the globalized world of technology, especially for companies recruiting individuals from technologically advanced countries. The growing market for tech jobs will continue to increase as technologies become even further integrated into society.. More and more jobs will become available to individuals that obtained degrees in technology orientated fields. According to Catherine Mann (2003) “Frequently cited projections indicate that millions of jobs will be lost to offshore workers. What these projections ignore is that the globalization of software and IT services, in conjunction with diffusion of IT to new sectors and businesses will yield even stronger job demand in the United States for IT-proficient workers.”

Driving Down the Cost of Information Transactions

A key reason why these advances in IT have spread so quickly is that they have progressively reduced the unit cost of computing power or the transmission of a message. For less than $30, Americans without any advanced technical training can purchase and use a desktop computer whose data processing power far exceeds the room-sized computers that powered the spacecraft that carried astronauts to the moon and back in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The smallest of which, recently popularized Raspberry Pi, allows amateurs to experiment and run their own programs on a processor. Companies such as Microsoft have even sold $100 computers to consumers in emerging countries as a way of helping developing countries use more advanced technological resources.


(Shah, 2013)

While throughout 2013 the use of traditional PCs are expected continue to decline as smaller devices such as tablets and phones become more advanced, vendors are expected to ship 315 million units in the year (Gartner, 2013). The decline in sales is contrary to the rise in the amount of Internet users. In 2013, 77 percent of the developed world was connected to the Internet, while 31 percent in the developing world was connected to it (ITU, 2013) However, as global PC sales in the developed world continue to fall, it is expected that those in the developing world will decline as well.

The last two years have seen a decline in the amount of PC shipments both in the developed and the developing world. In 2012 there was a -1.4 percent growth in PC sales and in 2013 this only improved to 0.6 percent. However, it is expected in 2017 that there will be a 4.3 percent growth in PC shipment sales. The reasons for this are a weak global economy, and a preference among consumers for higher mobility devices such as phones or tablets. The growth in this market is expected to be modest as the technology of mobile devices improves and allows them to compete with traditional computers (IDC, 2013).

The spread of digital technologies has also been spurred by several unique attributes of information, which serves as the principal input and product of many IT industries. In contrast to more tangible products, like consumer goods, one person’s “consumption” of a piece of information does not necessarily reduce or eliminate the possibility that another person might benefit from the same piece of information.

Furthermore, networks built upon the exchange of information, like the Internet, tend to become more valuable to existing participants as new participants link up with them. Finally, the cost of using digital technologies, such as Internet service providers, decreases as the number of users increases. All of these factors have worked together to promote rapid growth in the demand for, and supply of, IT products and services.

During the second half of the 1990s, as more people bought computers and went online, the average cost of the equipment and services necessary to access the Internet declined. Today, individuals go beyond the conventional desktop computer to stay connected: Wi-Fi networks, laptops, smartphones, tablet PCs, and even phones utilize Wi-Fi networks to make the Internet an integral—and necessary—part of everyday life.


* Picture Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sydneya/130164091/

 

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