This Information Technology Training Guide explains the basic concepts of information technology – its background, structure, standards, and definitions – and their effect on business process management. The need to review these concepts is greater now than it ever was and it will continue to be, as information technology solutions have become more robust, more specialized, and more varied with time. The rapid pace of technology change continues, in spite of predictions over a decade ago that “Moore’s Law” had run its course.
This section provides an Information Technology Introduction to the basic concepts of Information Technology (IT) – its structure, standards, security requirements, definitions, and more:
WHO NEEDS IT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES?
- The Recent Past
- The Present
- The Future
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND BUSINESS MANAGEMENT
- Technological Advancements
- Information Interactions
- Information Usage
- IT as a Strategic Differentiator
BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT
- Process Flow and IT
- Information Maps
- Business Process Management Software (BPMS)
- For more information on BPM
ACCELERATING RETURNS AND PARADIGM SHIFTS
- Moore’s Law
- Paradigm Shifts
- Accelerating Returns
- Future Business Processes
INFORMATION SECURITY AND IT STANDARDS
- Information Security
- IT Governance
- IT Standards
- Benefits of IT Standards
- Data To Information
- Information To Knowledge
- Knowledge To Wisdom
- IT Policies and Procedures
Computer and IT Terms
Information Technology is a technical field. A number of terms are used throughout the Computer and IT Policies and Procedures Manual. Those IT terms commonly used within an IT department are defined in this Information Technology Training Guide.
CIO – Chief Information Officer
IT – Information Technology (IT)
IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
PDF – Portable Document Format
RAM – Random Access Memory
SaaS – Software as a Service
TCP/IP – Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol
URL – Uniform Resource Locator (i.e. website address)
VPN – Virtual Private Network
www – World Wide Web
Currently in use; used in the conduct of current business. Active records are often referred to as “production” records.
Offline storage of records (onto backup tapes, floppy disks, optical disks, etc.); files containing data that are no longer in current use but are kept in long-term storage for possible future needs (to fulfill legal requirements, for instance).
CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER (CIO)
The senior manager of the IT Department that reports to the Company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Any document for which distribution and status are to be kept current by the issuer, to ensure that authorized holders or users have the most up-to-date version available.
Information and its supporting medium (paper, magnetic, electronic, optical, photograph, or sample). A document is an object commonly found in office systems (a spreadsheet, word processing document, database, etc.), whereas a record is a document that provides evidence of a particular business activity. Documents are frequently changed, updated and revised.
E-MAIL POLICY COMMITTEE
A group comprised of Top Management, the IT Security Manager, and IT Management and led by IT Management. The purpose of the E-mail Policy Committee is to develop, revise (as needed), and approve the Company’s e-mail policy.
A document of external origin that provides information or direction for performing work. Examples of external documents are customer drawings, industry and governing body standards, vendor-supplied user manuals, and equipment manuals.
An employee or contractor using Company IT assets in the course of performing a job (task) for the Company. In the context of this document, “user” is synonymous with “internal user”.
The international computer network of networks that connect government, academic and business institutions; the Internet (capitalized) refers specifically to the DARPA Internet and the TCP/IP protocols it uses.
A private network contained within an enterprise; a network within one organization, using Web technologies to share information internally.
Any computer hardware, software, IT-based Company information, related documentation, contracts or other agreements, reference or other supporting material (in printed or other form), including rights and licenses, that is owned or controlled by the Company. Within the scope of this manual, “asset”, “IT asset”, “resource”, and “IT resource” are synonymous.
The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is an international standard for describing the best practices for IT Service Management.
IT policy is a guiding principle used to set direction in the IT Department. It should be used as a guide to IT decision making within the framework of IT objectives, goals and IT management philosophies as determined by top management or the CIO.
An outsourcing vendor; a business entity providing necessary services to the Company, allowing the Company to lower operating costs and gain flexibility while gaining special expertise on an as-needed basis.
Seeking IT services (resources) outside the Company, typically to reduce costs, gain flexibility, and benefit from an outsourcer’s expertise with respect to a given function or process.
Technique whereby a group of subjects (a sample) is selected for study from a larger group (a population) entirely by chance. Each member of the population has a known, but possibly non-equal, chance of being included in the sample. By using random sampling, the likelihood of sampling bias is reduced.
Generally, a record is data or information of any kind and in any form, created or received and accumulated by an organization in the course of conducting business and subsequently kept as “evidence of activity” through incorporation into a recordkeeping system. Records are not supposed to change, although they may be revised with appropriate annotation.
In IT, a record is a data structure aggregating several items of possibly different types. The items being aggregated are called fields and are usually identified or indexed by field labels. Generally, a record is data or information of any kind and in any form, created or received and accumulated by an organization in the course of conducting business and subsequently kept as “evidence of activity” through incorporation into a recordkeeping system.
Possibility of loss or injury to the Company.
Return On Investment (ROI), calculated by dividing the expected results of committed resources by the resources committed to achieve the results. (ROI = Results / Resources.)
SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT (SLA)
A binding contract, formally specifying or quantifying a customer’s expectations with regard to solutions and tolerances; a collection of service level requirements, negotiated and mutually agreed upon by the service provider and the consumer. In IT this takes the form of turn around time, response time, or downtime measures.
A finding (the observed difference between the means of two random samples, for example) is described as statistically significant when it can be demonstrated that the probability of obtaining such a difference by chance only is relatively low.
A senior group of management comprised of the Company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), at a minimum. Within IT there may also be a Chief Information Officer (CIO).