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Information Technology vs. Communication Technology: What’s the Difference?

Information Technology vs. Communication Technology: What's the Difference?

This is about information technology vs. communication technology.

You’ll learn:

  • What information technology is
  • What communication technology is
  • What the difference between is between information technology and communication technology

Let’s get right into it!


What’s the Difference Between Information Technology and Communication Technology? 

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In the debate of information technology vs. communication technology, it’s easy to get confused.

Why can’t we just give all forms of computer science the same name and call it a day? 

The two mean the same thing, and while information technology is a cog in the overall communication technology process, there are some differences that we’ll discuss in the following article. 

What’s Information Technology?

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We’ve all heard of “IT.”

Whether you work in an office or own a business, IT people are those little guys who come around when something goes wrong with your computer.

But what is information technology as a whole? 

Let’s look at the two words.

You’ve got information and technology.

So, IT’s role is to apply technology to the storage, application, and usage of information.

It has three primary functions in all businesses and organizations: 


When an organization utilizes information technology, it needs to align with the companies needs and goals.

There needs to be a system in place to determine how information is stored, transported, and destroyed. 


Information technology also involves the troubleshooting and maintenance of devices, networks, and security. 


This function includes all hardware like servers, routers, phones, and computers that are kept underneath the blanket organization. 

The overall goal of information technology is to create processes and systems that keep everything running smoothly while maintaining a correct security and organization level. 

Why Do We Need Information Technology?

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In our society, no business or organization could function without IT.

All businesses use computers and computer systems to convey their message to someone or something.

All throughout the process, they’re using information technology to complete daily tasks. 

Here are some of the things done in everyday business that requires information technology: 

Use of Data

Anytime you acquire or send data via email, text, or instant message, data is stored and managed by a team of IT professionals.

They might not have access to the data itself, but the organization needs a way to store communications, and that’s where IT comes in. 

Management of Remote Teams

As more and more people work from home, IT is responsible for keeping remote systems up and running.

Think of it like a giant spider web, and information is running from string to string firing on all cylinders. 

If one of those pieces of web breaks, it can throw off the entire web, causing a variety of issues.

That’s how information technology operates. It keeps us connected, so there are no bottlenecks. 

Cloud Storage

Years ago, a huge part of IT was maintaining servers that store tremendous amounts of data and require extensive air conditioning systems to keep them from overheating.

Today, most data is stored on the cloud, but businesses need a process to determine how they’ll do that. 

IT is responsible for developing a safe and secure data storage policy.

What’s Communication Technology?

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As we did with IT, let’s break the two words down to understand them better.

We have communication and technology.

When you put them together, you have the technology of communication, which means a lot of things in today’s world. 

Many moons ago, communication was limited to verbal communication using a telephone or written using a letter.

Today, almost everyone uses technology to communicate, and that’s the idea of what we’re talking about here. 

Communication technology is an essential component of IT because it refers to the process of accessing the internet and using it to communicate, network, and develop relationships with people on the web. 

Every day we go to work and send emails and instant messages to colleagues, clients, and vendors.

When we do that, we’re utilizing communication technology to accomplish something.

What we don’t see is what happens behind the scenes. 

With that email, is a set of servers and verification processes.

So, when you hit send your email client takes that correspondence and sends it to a server.

The server will review it, determine if everything is okay, and then attempt to connect to the destination server. 

Then the email must pass through a second server for the recipient.

If everything checks out the second time, then the receiver will find the email in their inbox, and you’ll move on to the next task. 

Why Do We Need Communication Technology?

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Both IT and CT are so frequently intermingled that it’s a challenge to see the difference but look at it this way.

Many people in IT build and design systems for communication technology professionals to operate. 

This is not true 100% of the time, but communication technology often focuses more on technology’s operational standpoint.

So, what would happen if we didn’t have communication technology?

Well, we wouldn’t have communication.

Without networks, servers, databases, etc., we wouldn’t have a means of communicating with each other, which again – creates a bottleneck in the system. 

Privacy and Security

Keep in mind that we’re not talking about text messages with your girlfriend about what pizza place you’re going to tonight.

We’re speaking on internal communications of classified business information. 

When one business communicates internally, all of that correspondence is usually encrypted (or at least it should be).

This process ensures that personal information such as credit card numbers, sensitive client information, and business processes don’t fall into the wrong hands.

Effective Communication

Again, we want to stress the fact that we’re not referring to the time you sat down with Human Resources to talk about your feelings – effective communication means always having a way of getting your message out.

In every business, someone is responsible for maintaining phone systems, and most of them run on the same network as the computers.

In some cases, they’re hooked via a ground line, and in that case, it’s the responsibility of the local utility company to maintain it.

Either way, we’re still dealing with a web of communication from department to department, floor to floor.

Information Technology vs. Communication Technology

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If you read the previous sections, by this point you should see that there isn’t too much different about information technology and communication technology. 

In many cases, these two jobs have the same function, and one department is responsible for maintaining everything we’ve discussed thus far. 

Both of these functions are the actionable daily side of computer science.

Engineers are responsible for developing the technology and infrastructure on the back end, but they need someone to manage and maintain it on the front end. 

At this point is where IT and ICT come in.

Whether it’s in the government, business, or corporation, you need technology professionals who can diagnose problems, troubleshoot them, and fix them to keep everything running smoothly. 

So, what’s the difference then? 

The difference may come in the job title alone. 

Information Technology

For example, if you work in IT, you might work as a support specialist.

Your job is broad and covers the gamut of everything to do with the computers in the business or organization.

These people have limited knowledge, but they focus on the hardware and software itself on the computer system. 

Another example of IT could be a developer who builds programs and software for the business to use.

For an engineering company, they might hire a developer to help optimize the process of designing prints for the manufacturing of products. 

Lastly, IT professionals may work in a customer service department, answering questions and troubleshooting problems for people remotely. You’ve likely encountered a person like this before. 

When you’re having a problem with your computer, you call the “tech support,” and you get on the phone with someone who always asks if you tried “shutting it off and turning it back on,” that’s another form of IT. 

Communication Technology

In ICT (Information Communication Technology), remember we’re focusing on the communication aspect of technology.

A job here could be a network architect who is responsible for building and designing communication networks within an organization. 

Have you ever wondered how you have an extension on your phone that dials right to your office?

The phone company didn’t do that for you; it was a communication tech specialist who designed the giant web of contact points.

Another great example of the difference between information technology and communication technology are cybersecurity professionals.

Their job is to keep your information safe and secure. This job is incredibly popular in industries where information security is important. 

For example, health insurance companies need to make sure that hackers never access their private servers because they store thousands of potentially harmful customer information.

They might employ a full-time cybersecurity team just to protect that sensitive data. 

As we mentioned, all of these tasks and organizational functions are performed by both IT and ICT professionals.

Most of the time, the two blend together in a job format, but the differences between information technology and communication technology are apparent in their application. 

Vs. Tech List: More IT Differences

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Do you know what the difference is between a webpage and a website, or a functional, technical and techno functional consultant?

You’ll learn essential differences in tech.

Let’s get started with this list of more intriguing IT differences and their explanations.

Now It’s Your Turn

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Hopefully, you found this article about “Information Technology vs. Communication Technology: What’s the Difference?” helpful.

And now it’s your turn:

  • Did this article answer your questions?
  • Do you have anything that’s missing?
  • Is there anything you need to know that wasn’t covered here?
  • Maybe you have questions about something in the article?
  • Or you just want to share your thoughts.

Either way, go ahead and leave a comment below right now.


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