This article gives a brief introduction of Information Technology, since we will be discusing the Information Technology (IT) industry in Africa on NetworkAfrica

Information Technology (IT) is a business sector dealing with computing and includes software, hardware, telecommunications and everything relating to transmission of information. It includes the management of data in various forms such as voice, text, image, audio among other forms. Since information technology is involved in the transmission of data, the internet becomes one of its key components. The main areas of information technology include;
IT In Africa

Data Storage
Early electronic computers such as colossus used punched tapes were essentially long strips of paper on which data was represented by a series of holes. The Williams tube was the first random access digital storage device. It was based on a cathode ray tube but the information stored on it needed to be refreshed often and would be lost when power was disconnected. The first hard disk drive was introduced by IBM in 1956. Today, most data is stored digitally on hard disks, digital magnetic tapes, and optical devices.
Database management systems gained significance in the 1960s as an alternative storage for large amounts of data. Their advantage is that they allow quick and accurate retrieval of the data. The first database was the IBM’s information management system which is still widely used today. In 1980, Oracle created the first commercially available relational database management system. Database management systems allow many users to access data simultaneously without compromising its integrity.
Data transmission
Data transmission involves three concepts: transmission, reception, and propagation. There are two broad categories. There is broadcasting which involves the unidirectional downstream transmission of data and telecommunications which involving bidirectional downstream and upstream channels. Beginning early 2000s, extensible markup language (XML) has been increasingly used as a means of data interchange. This is particularly so for machine oriented interactions like the ones involved in web oriented protocols like SOAP. One of the challenges in data transmission is in the conversion of data in relational databases into XML document oriented model structures.
Data manipulation
Massive amounts of data are generated and stored across the world every day. However, unless this data can be manipulated to give useful insights to people in different sectors who need it, it will remain useless and lying in “data tombs.” To deal with this problem, data mining technology which involves the process of interesting trends and patterns in large amounts of data has emerged since the 1980s.
Data retrieval
Structured query language (SQL) is programming language independent and based on relational algebra. It was introduced by relational database model. It should be noted that the terms data and information, though commonly used interchangeably are different. While data is in storage form, it becomes information when organized and presented meaningfully. Today, most data is unstructured and stored in different physical formats even within the same organization. In the 1980s, data warehouses started being developed to integrate the existing disparate stores.
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