ICT can give an user a range of benefits thatwould not exist without ICT•Fast, repetitive processing – computer systems are gettingfaster and they don’t mind running 24/7/365.•Vast storage capacity – storage available to a typical user isimmense. A typical home PC will store 1Tb or more; USB sticksare usually 8Gb and upwards, DVD technology will store over9Gb per disc. A business can easily have 10’s or 100’s of Tb ofstorage.•Ability to search for and combine data – it is much easier tofind contrasting sources of information and then combine theresults.
•Improved presentation – use of s/w, new technology, LEDprojectors etc.•Improved accessibility to data/information – get what youwant, where you want and when you want.•Improved security of data/information – backup technology,encryption, steganography etc.
•But you must be aware of when not to use ICT technology.Don’t use ICT for the sake of using it.•Know the limitations of the technology or the system thatis being, or about to be used. If it isn’t appropriate don’tuse it.
Data ProcessingThe main reason we use ICT systems is to process data insome way. Remember that data is collected, it is processedto give it a meaning and is then output as information to ahuman or to another IST system.This processing takes place in 4 ways:•Transaction•Interactive•Batch•Real time
Transaction processingTransaction processing is where one event follows after another. A transactionis an event that creates data such as a sale of a product, the booking of a seaton a plane or buying a ticket for a concert.As the number of products available, the seats on a particular flight or thenumber of concert tickets is finite they are sold on a first come, first servedbasis.Transaction processing deals with each request as it comes in, in order. A newtransaction cannot start until the previous one has completed. Transactions areprocessed one at a time until the products, seats or tickets run out. This stopsover booking.
Interactive processingInteractive processing requires a two way dialogue between theuser and the system. The user may be responding to a menu, toprompts or to activity within a game. The interaction must bevery rapid as the system or the user should not be kept waiting.Examples•Using an ATM to withdraw cash or pay a bill.•Navigating a start-up menu in a game•Responding to a voice activated telephone system
Batch processingBatch processing is used where lots of similar transactionsare processed all at one. They are grouped into a batchhence the name.Batch is used when the data is not time critical and there isa lot of (similar) data to be processed. The best examplesare running the monthly payroll to pay staff, calculatingutility bills or calculating monthly credit card statements.
Real-time processingReal-time processing is used where data must be processedimmediately with absolutely no delay.Data is received, processed and the output or system responsegiven which then affects future input.Examples•Fly by wire systems – the computer flies the plane not you•Engine management systems•Anti-lock braking systems•Process control in a chemical works or nuclear power station•Computer games – not the setup by menu but the in game action