ICT (Information and Communication Technology) is a general term for information processing and communication technologies that use computers of various shapes, such as smartphones and smart speakers, as well as PCs.
A well-known word is “IT (Information and Information Technology)”, but ICT includes the element of communication in IT.
The actual meaning is almost the same, but ICT is more popular than IT internationally.
This time, we will introduce the basic knowledge of ICT, how to use it properly with IT, and examples of its use.
table of contents
- 1. What is ICT?
- 2. Differences from IT and proper use
- 3. Examples of ICT utilization
- 4. Government-promoted ICT
- 5. For a society that further utilizes networks with ICT and IoT
What is ICT?
ICT is an abbreviation for “Information and Communication Technology” and refers to communication that utilizes communication technology. It is a general term for industries and services that use communication technology such as the Internet, as well as information processing.
ICT has the word “Communication” in IT, emphasizing the importance of communication through communication rather than IT. We place importance on sharing information and knowledge using network communication, not just information processing. It is a concept unique to an environment where smartphones and IoT have become widespread, and various things can be connected to networks to easily transmit and share information.
Difference between IT and proper use
Until now, IT has been mainly used rather than ICT. So how do you use ICT and IT properly?
● What is IT?
IT means “Information Technology” and includes various things such as PC hardware and applications, OA equipment, communication technology such as the Internet, and infrastructure. It refers to “information technology” related to computers and data communications and has spread in Japan since the enactment of the Basic IT Law in 2000.
● How to use ICT and IT properly
ICT and IT have almost the same meaning, but they are used differently, and the point is what to prioritize. IT is a term that refers to computer-related technologies such as hardware, software, and infrastructure. On the other hand, ICT emphasizes the transmission of information and refers to the utilization method or methodology of technology in medical treatment and education.
Also, whether to use ICT or IT differs depending on the ministry. The Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry often deal with communication technology itself, so “IT” is used, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications often deals with the information and communication industry, so “ICT” is used.
● ICT is more established internationally
In 2000, the Government of Japan launched the “e-Japan” concept and enacted the “Basic Law for the Formation of an Advanced Information and Communication Network Society” (commonly known as the “IT Basic Law”). At that time, the term IT was used, but since the revision of the “e-Japan” concept to the “u-Japan” concept in 2004, the term ICT has been used.
The word ICT has become widespread internationally, and it is also called ICT, including the meaning of IT in Japan. Therefore, ICT is becoming widespread in Japan instead of IT.
Examples of ICT utilization
ICT is already being used in everyday life and is featured in news and commercials. Here, we will introduce examples of the use of ICT.
● It cannot be said that ICT is just the introduction of equipment.
It cannot be said that ICT has been realized simply by installing information terminals such as PCs and tablets and establishing a connection environment such as wireless LAN. It is important not only to introduce it but also to how to utilize information and technology.
● Examples of ICT utilization
Teaching materials such as PCs and tablets are used in educational settings. Not only do teachers operate PCs and tablets to make lessons more enjoyable and easy to understand, but IT technology is also used to manage student information. It is also possible to simplify the creation of materials used in class.
In the future, it is possible to interact with schools in remote areas and overseas via communication and to use the cloud to allow students who cannot come to school to study at home.
<Elderly person watching system>
The long-term care industry continues to face a serious labor shortage, and the increase in the number of elderly people living alone has become a major social problem. Therefore, by utilizing ICT, services that can check the situation of elderly people in remote locations via the Internet are becoming widespread. With IoT technology, sensors can be installed in rooms, water services, home appliances, etc. to inform relatives of the elderly’s safety in remote areas. The acquired information is shared among related parties such as home helpers, care managers, nurses, and doctors, and is useful for health management.
In the future, the number of elderly people who can master PCs and tablets will increase, so it is expected that the range of usage will expand, such as shopping support, application for administrative services, and remote health consultation systems.
ICT is becoming used in government agencies and public works projects as an alternative to IT. This is because ICT is more widespread than IT internationally, so it meets global standards in Japan as well. The name of the “IT Policy Charter” issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has been changed to “ICT Policy Charter” since 2004.
Governments and government agencies have also made various plans to utilize ICT in various fields such as public works and regional revitalization. Here, we would like to introduce the efforts of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
● IoT / data utilization
IoT is an abbreviation for “Internet of Things” and means “Internet of Things”. With the IoT, everything can be connected to the Internet, sending and receiving data to receive information, operating devices from remote locations, and receiving various services. Devices connected to the Internet are also called IoT.
For example, you can receive information from the Internet with a smartwatch even when you are outside, check the state of your child’s home or pet with IoT home appliances such as smart speakers, and operate home appliances.
By utilizing IoT, a huge amount of data (big data) from IoT will be collected on the Internet. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has introduced IoT in various fields, and its goal is to collect data under certain rules and utilize it as big data. We also aim to improve productivity in the office and convenience in home life and to develop innovative IoT devices and services that have never been seen before.
● Regional revitalization
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is promoting “Furusato Telework” as one of the means to realize “100 million active society” and “regional revitalization”. Telework is effective in enabling flexible working styles by working in places other than the office, especially in remote areas. It is also an effort to increase the population of rural areas by making it possible to work in rural areas other than urban areas by teleworking.
Utilizing ICT, we will be able to work in the same way as in urban areas, disseminate information unique to rural areas, and provide services such as medical care, long-term care, education, and child-rearing support that are not inferior to urban areas. It is expected to do.
● Cyber security
With ICT, various devices will always be connected to the Internet. Therefore, it is necessary to realize a safe and secure network environment. In particular, high security is required for Internet banking and remote work. Not only will it be important to strengthen the network to make the Internet easier to use, but it will also be important to protect sensitive information and prevent cyber attacks.
● Medical / health / long-term care
It is expected that ICT will be used to deal with the increase in social security costs due to the entry into a super-aging society and the labor shortage in nursing care and medical settings. We aim to realize a society where elderly people can live comfortably and healthily by streamlining operations through ICT, eliminating labor shortages, and improving medication safety.
● Education / Human Resources
Utilization of ICT is also required in educational settings. Utilizing the cloud, etc., the environment for ICT systems is being constructed so that education can be received in rural areas as well as in urban areas. Children who cannot come to school due to hospitalization or school refusal will be able to receive education at home.
● Disaster prevention (G space, L alert, Wi-Fi)
To protect the people from natural disasters such as earthquakes, it is also required to expand the spread of disaster information transmission means using L-alert (disaster information sharing system). By utilizing G spatial information (geodata information), detailed disaster prevention information can be transmitted pinpoint. We are also developing a free Wi-Fi environment in places where people gather, such as disaster prevention bases, making it easier for disaster victims to receive information and making it possible to quickly confirm their safety.
For a society that further utilizes networks with ICT and IoT
Even though the Internet has become widespread, many light users have only visited websites and used e-mail and message services.
However, as the use of ICT becomes more widespread, that situation is changing.
Not only will we receive information as before, but everyone will be able to disseminate information and actively utilize the Internet.
For that purpose, users are required to have some knowledge about ICT, the Internet, and security.
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