Information and communications technology (ICTs) is a useful term for broadly describing digital technology that allows for manipulating information and communicating with others (both other people and other technologies). It seems to have emerged in its current form in the context of greater proliferation of computer technology around the early 1980s.
ngram of ICTs
While there’s a bit of controversy over the usefulness of the term – and some regional differences (I sense greater affinity for ICTs in European circles than in North America) – the term ICTs is still largely used by academics in digital governance studies as a catch-all that has a sort-of “you know what I mean, right?” flavour to it.
A four minute excerpt of a longer address by the great Perri 6.
Most information management systems being sold to governments are designed for providing access to more information, faster. However, a good information management / decision-support system better allows you to intelligently reject information not useful for making decisions. I’d slightly nuance that a bit – the trick is to keep all the information, but allow the decision maker to focus on the crucial bit.
Later observation (December 10 2008): at a conference in Ottawa, I asked one of the chief hucksters for these “more and more” information systems firms whether he thought Web 2.0 was failing to help us “intelligently ignore unimportant information” (IIUI) – his response, not surprisingly was that it allowed us to do precisely that. I’m not saying that Web 2.0 tools cannot or do not help us in IIUI, I’m just puzzled over whether they do, and how.
The full audio is available at: The Digital State at the Leading Edge Conference February 22, 2007 (Ottawa)
See also: Amazon.ca: E-Governance : Styles of Political Judgment in the Information Age