What is IT? – A comprehensive and structured definition

Posted on July 21, 2010


Author:  Sanjay Goel, http://in.linkedin.com/in/sgoel


A.   ACM-IEEE joint report (2005): Computing means any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computers. It includes: designing and building hardware and software systems for any of a wide range of purposes, processing, structuring and managing various kinds of information, doing scientific studies using computers,  making computer systems behave intelligently, creating and using communications and entertainment media, finding and gathering information relevant to any particular purpose, etc.

B.  Computing Sciences Accreditation Board: Computer science is a discipline that involves the understanding and design of computers and computational processes. In its most general form it is concerned with the understanding of information transfer and transformation. Particular interest is placed on making processes efficient and endowing them with some form of intelligence.

C.  ACM (Denning, et al., 1988): Computer Science is the systematic study of algorithmic processes that describe and transform information: their theory, analysis, design, efficiency, implementation, and application.

D.  E. W. Dijkstra: Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.

E.   New  definition:

Information Technology offers the possibility

E1. to serve the human needs at all levels of the following human needs as per following models:

E1.a. Maslow’s model : physiological, safety, belonging, esteem, cognition, aesthetic, self actualization, and also transcendence.


E1.b. Aristotle’s 12 end motives: confidence, pleasure, saving, magnificence, honour, ambition, patience, sincerity, conversation, social contact, modesty.


E1.c. Reiss’ 16 Basic desires:  eating, physical exercise, romance, family, saving, acceptance, social contact, independence, curiosity, order, power, status, vengeance, honour, idealism, tranquillity.


E1.d. Deci and Ryan’s 3 Intrinsic needs: Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness

E2. through

E2.1a. Creation

Acquisition (sense/measure  – qualitative/quantitaive; issues: accuracy, precision, range, and approximation)


Generation (Simulation)

E2.2 Operation, Maintenance, or Application

E2.2.a.  Storage

E2.2.b.   Access,

E2.2.c.  Search,

E2.2.d.  Filter

E2.2.e.  Transfer

E2.2.f.  Transformation

E2.2.f.a. Content: Add (insert)/Delete/Change (edit)

E2.2.f.b.  Form: Rearrange, Render,

E2.2.f.c.  Composition,

E2.2.f.d.  Decomposition

E3. Destruction or Sanitization 

of Information by

designing, inventing, building, evaluating, maintaining, testing, and improving

computer-aided  information systems, processes, and components

E4.  under the Constraints and/or Success Criteria relating to

economics, elegance, schedule, social and cultural acceptability, regulations, permits, communication, safety, health, privacy, environment, technology, functionality, brand, jobs, tasks, tools, performance, usability,  etc.

E5.  And also

Carefully managing the associated complexities, uncertainties, complications, and risks


Also check http://in.linkedin.com/in/sgoel


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