Perhaps no innovation in history has changed the landscape of civilization and the human lifestyle as profoundly as information technology. The modern society, or, as we say today, the “users”, is horrified at the prospect of the disappearance of the Internet, the laptop and especially the smartphone.
For most people forgetting a cell phone at home is a worse embarrassment than forgetting to put on pants. Without a smartphone in their hand people in the modern world feel absolutely helpless and unsafe.
If in the middle of the 20th century the concept of mass consumption was proclaimed in society, then at the beginning of the 21st century the concept of high-tech information consumption should be declared. But how do information technologies contribute to the growth of society’s well-being and the improvement of people’s quality of life?
Three types of information technology
Historically, the development of digital technology is still in its infancy period. Therefore, even famous British scientists cannot vouch for the accuracy of the terminology. One popular classification identifies three main trends in digital technology:
- Subject-specific technology. Applied software solutions designed to perform highly specialized tasks in specific areas of activity. For example, software for solving the daily tasks of an accountant in an enterprise. Or applications for creating 3D models of building structures and constructions, used in the work of architects and designers.
- Supporting technology. This includes software that makes it easier to work on specific tasks in subject areas. For example, text and graphic editors, database applications, photo and image processing software.
- Functional digital technology. Today, this is the top of digital solutions. This includes so-called integrations that automate work processes in various areas of activity, primarily in manufacturing and business.
The average user most often uses supporting information technology at home, and the subject-specific information technology related to the sphere of business at the workplace. The term “supporting” indicates that these information technologies provide a person with the tools and means to solve various business tasks and problems in life and business.
For example, using text processors the user prints advertisements, makes shopping lists, and writes letters to relatives or organizations. At work an employee uses an accounting program to prepare financial reports.
Mobile applications installed on smartphones show the weather forecast for the upcoming week. Hundreds of apps allow you to learn various knowledge and obtain different skills you need for life and work. With apps installed on computers and mobile devices, people communicate, make appointments, close deals, and collaborate on projects.
How functional information technology is changing the labor market
The third type of digital information technology is the youngest one, but also the most promising, with high prospects. As it has long been discovered a number of work tasks can be automated.
Automation began to be introduced back in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but the advent of numerically controlled computers has brought this task to a qualitatively new level of evolution.
Unfortunately or fortunately, with the introduction of automated production systems, the jobs that were previously in-demand and high-paying are disappearing. People lose their jobs and have to arrange their lives in a new way. This is a lot of stress. But fortunately, computer automation tools are being introduced for the most part in industries characterized by difficult, unpleasant and dangerous conditions.