IT or information technology refers to the development, maintenance, and use of computer software, systems, and networks. It includes their use for the processing and distribution of data. Data means information, facts, statistics, etc., gathered together for reference, storage, or analysis.
The word technology on its own refers to the application of scientific knowhow for practical purposes.
According to Information Technology Trends in 2019:
“Information technology refers to anything related to computing technology. The Internet, for example, comes under the umbrella term IT. So does computer hardware, software, and networking.”
Software includes all the computer programs – codes and instructions – within a computer. Computers do not work without software. Hardware, in this context, refers to the physical components of a computer system. The screen (monitor), mouse, and motherboard, for example, are hardware items.
Nature.com has the following definition of the term:
“Information technology is the design and implementation of computer networks for data processing and communication.”
“This includes designing the hardware for processing information and connecting separate components, and developing software that can efficiently and faultlessly analyze and distribute this data.”
Information technology vs. computer science
The terms information technology and computer science cover similar areas. Although their meanings overlap a lot, their focus is different.
We can say computer science or CS. CS focuses entirely on efficiently programming computers. Computer scientists use mathematical algorithms. They study theoretical algorithms and the practical problems that exist in implementing them through computer software and hardware.