Information technology (IT), as defined by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), is “the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware.” IT deals with the use of electronic computers and computer software to convert, store, protect, process, transmit, and securely retrieve information.
Today, the term information technology has ballooned to encompass many aspects of computing and technology, and the term has become very recognizable. IT professionals perform a variety of duties that range from installing applications to designing complex computer networks and information databases. A few of the duties that IT professionals perform may include data management, networking, engineering computer hardware, database and software design, as well as the management and administration of entire systems.
When computer and communications technologies are combined, the result is information technology, or “infotech”. Information technology is a general term that describes any technology that helps to produce, manipulate, store, communicate, and/or disseminate information. Presumably, when speaking of Information Technology (IT) as a whole, it is noted that the use of computers and information are associated.
In recent years ABET and the ACM have collaborated to form accreditation and curriculum standards for degrees in Information Technology as a distinct field of study separate from both Computer Science and Information Systems. SIGITE is the ACM working group for defining these standards.
The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) is a leading industry trade group for information technology companies. It was formerly known as the Association of Data Processing Service Organizations (ADAPSO). The Association’s membership contains most all of the world’s major ICT firms and accounts for over 90% of ICT goods and services sold in North America.
Former Under Secretary of Commerce Phil Bond became the association’s President in August 2006. He replaced Harris Miller who resigned as President in January 2006 in order to run for the U.S. Senate in Virginia. Miller was defeated by James Webb in the June Democratic primary. Harris Miller was named CEO/President of the Career College Association in February 2007. 
In March 2007 ITAA President Phil Bond expressed his desire in merging ITAA with another high tech trade association.  On January 17, 2008, ITAA announced that it had agreed to so-called “merger of equals” with the Government Electronics and Information Technology Association (GEIA), and that the combined association would retain the ITAA name. Until earlier in the year GEIA had been an affiliate of EIA (a trade association formerly known as the Electronic Industry Alliance) EIA has been very financially successful, unlike ITAA. GEIA is slated to share in the distribution over $50 million in assets resulting in the break up of EIA . After the merger, the combined membership will grow back to 400.
With affiliates in 40 states through CRITA and its role as Secretariat of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) (Web site), a global network of 67 countries’ IT associations, ITAA offers members access and influence across America and around the world.
On a policy front, the Association plays a leading role in issues of IT industry concern including information security, globalization, workforce, immigration, taxes and finance policy, digital intellectual property protection, telecommunications competition, workforce and education, immigration, online privacy and consumer protection, government IT procurement, human resources and e-commerce policy.
ITAA membership is open to any company with operations situated in the U.S. and offering IT products and services. Companies eligible for full IT membership include firms with headquarters, division offices, or branch offices located in the U.S. as well as foreign firms with subsidiary operations in the U.S. In addition, ITAA offers affiliate membership to firms that sell business products and services to IT companies.
In a broad sense, the term Information Systems (IS) refers to the interaction between people, processes, and technology. This interaction can occur within or across organizational boundaries. An information system is not only the technology an organization uses, but also the way in which the organization’s people interact with the technology and the way in which the technology works with the organization’s business processes. Information systems are distinct from information technology in that an information system has an information technology component that interacts with the people and processes components.
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