7.1 Information Communications and Technology, ICT
The LFHE define Information Communications and Technology, ICT, as 'the term now widely used to cover all the computing and telecommunications in an institution, whether used for research, teaching and learning or administration'. It embraces all the technology and applications together with information, processes and people used to communicate, and to create, disseminate, store, and manage information.
Some examples of ICT solutions include email systems, networks, learning environments and student administration systems.
The definitions within the field of ICT have changed over time as the scope of computing and technology has broadened through the integration of other technologies and the recognised importance of areas such as communications. Within our research we found institutions use a variety of terms including IT, IS and for the purposes of this toolkit we refer to these as ICT but seek to provide further definition by our illustration below.
The opportunities and impact that ICT has to support institutional strategy can be illustrated by defining its major constituent parts as:
- The technical infrastructure and applications that are installed and configured to deliver an institution's ICT requirements. Examples include email systems, virtual learning environments and student administration systems.
- The data that is captured, secured, used, communicated and managed as defined by the institution's specific requirements to meet their needs.
- The underlying processes that are followed within the institution and which support and form part of the institution's ICT solution to a defined requirement.
- The people (students, staff and partners) together with their knowledge and skills that are involved in the application & use of ICT.
In the context of HE, 'Information Systems' and 'ICT 'are both used to define the scope of information technology requirements across research, teaching and learning and professional services administration.