Evolution of information Technology Profession
Evolutionof information Technology Profession
Informationtechnology refers to the use of computers to store, retrieve, andmanipulate data to yield outputs which can be useful in decisionmaking. Traditionally, information technology as a profession wasmost common in business enterprises. However, since the cold warperiod, through civil rights era, to the modern period ofglobalization, there has been a significant expansion of state-fundedinformation technology research. Consequently, information technologyhas gradually been accepted as a mainstream profession in government.The following discussion explores the evolution of informationtechnology profession and the influence of different historicalperiods on the appreciation of IT as a profession, particularly ingovernment.
Governmentand military patronage significantly shaped the informationtechnology practices in the Cold War period. During this time, ITprofessionals in the government adopted methods which were projectoriented, geared towards enhancing teamwork and collaboration betweendifferent security organs and were subject to restrictions onnational security (Rogerson, & Milton, 2013). It, therefore,follows that the profession was a reserve of individuals who werealready acquainted with the dynamics of government operations. In theUnited States, information technology professionals were mainly inthe military with emphasis on weapons research.
Duringthe civil rights period, information technology specialists workingwithin the government were tasked with the primary responsibility ofspying against civil rights unions’ leaders (Rogerson, &Milton, 2013). Similar to the Cold War period, IT professionals wereworked in the security organs of the government. Besides, developingIT systems to intercept communication between union leaders, theywere also expected to generate security codes which would be used topass information from one security organ to another (Rogerson, &Milton, 2013).
Inthe modern era of globalization, information technology specialistswithin the government face enormous challenges. Unlike in the pastwhen the focus was primarily in enhancing military capacity, themodern IT specialist has task developing IT systems that can providea link between different departments of the government such asrevenue collection, trade regulations, immigration, andcounter-terrorism (Welch, & Feeney, 2014). The connection betweenthese units presents a unique challenge to the IT professionals.Besides, there is the need to scale the standards of the informationtechnology systems to mitigate the risks of cyber crime. In regardsto trade regulations, the principles of globalization require thatgovernments eliminate the barriers to trade. To this end, the ITprofessionals have to develop systems that will promote globalbusiness and ensure that there are no loopholes for counterfeit goodsor tax evasion (Welch, & Feeney, 2014).
Tosum up, it is evident that IT profession in the government hasevolved over time. Each historical period has presented significantchallenges. In the Cold War and Civil War periods, the primary focuswas enhancing military capacity regarding communication and weaponry.In the modern environment of globalization, the focus has shifted toincorporate the changes in technology and the dynamics ofglobalization.
Rogerson,K., & Milton, D. (2013). A Policymaking Process “Tug-of-War”:National Information Security Policies in Comparative Perspective.JournalOf Information Technology & Politics,10(4),462-476. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19331681.2013.843989
Welch,E., & Feeney, M. (2014). Technology in government: Howorganizational culture mediates information and communicationtechnology outcomes. GovernmentInformation Quarterly,31(4),506-512. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.giq.2014.07.006
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