The impact of ICT on society

ICT has changed our lives greatly in recent years. We can communicate easily and shop online but we need to be aware of potential health risks with computers.
Technology can mean that certain roles in a company are no longer required. New jobs are created but it is uncertain whether ICT has created or reduced opportunities in the long term.
Advancements in technology have had a huge impact on the entertainment industry. The growing popularity of downloading and streaming content has affected the traditional supply chain, ie the process of getting a product made and into the hands of a consumer.
• Fewer raw materials are required as the demand for physical media is reduced.
• Factories that produced and packaged books, magazines, CDs and DVDs.
• Packaging companies see a drop in orders.
• Delivery companies have less to deliver.
• Warehouses aren’t as full as they once were and stock management is less of a concern.
• High-street stores struggle to compete with the prices and the convenience of shopping online.
All of the above leads to fewer employees and people lose their jobs. But new jobs that require different skills have taken their place, for example:
• developers and designers have to build the online store or website
• the server that the website runs on needs to be built and supplied
• the content needs adding to the server
• all of the information about a song, album or movie must be entered into the website’s database
• the server and website must be maintained
All of these jobs require an employee to have advanced IT skills. This is true of many jobs today in the Technology industry and many employees undergo extensive retraining to enable them to remain in work.

The environment
ICT can benefit the environment, for example it has given people the option to work from home, reducing the need to travel into work. However, it can have a negative impact. Disposing of old equipment is a particular problem. One of the answers is recycling and the law states that companies must recycle their old equipment.
It’s important to wipe any sensitive or personal information from a computer before disposing of it. There are companies that provide this service.

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