What ICT can provide

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Fast, repetitive processing

  •  ICT systems process data very quickly
  • Processor speed doubling every 18 months
  • Accurate detailed weather forecasts could not be produced without fast computer systems – they run simulation programs that manipulate data on many different weather factors. To be of any use a weather forecasting program has to run faster than real time.
  •  Possibility of hardware failure or software errors but are more accurate processing data than humans because they perform repetitive tasks without becoming bored or tired
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Vast storage capability

  • Variety of ways of storing data in an ICT system, all of which store large amounts of data in a very small space
  • Data can be stored in computers internal memory (RAM)
  • his data is lost when the computer is turned off
  • Data can be stored more permanently using backing storage media such as the hard disk, a CD-ROM disc or a memory stick
  • A film can easily be stored on one DVD-ROM disk
  • Companies can store detailed records of a wide range of activities relating to the business; this data can be processed to provide a considerable amount info useful in decision making
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Search and combine data

  • ICT systems can search through large volumes of data very quickly.
  • Files can be located based on the name of the file, the date of creation or [articular text stored within the file
  • Consider a computer system used by the police that stores details of the fingerprints of hundreds of people in digitally coded form. When a fingerprint is detected at the crime scene a search needs to be made to see if the print matches any that are held
  • Data from different sources can be combined to provide high-quality info in a variety of output formats
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Improved presentation of info

  • Storing data digitally allows data to be processed into info that cab be presented in a variety of ways
  • Info should be presented in a format that is appropriate for the intended audience
  • Using a desktop publishing or advanced word processing package it is possible to combine graphics and text to produce posters, news-sheets and fliers
  • Many presentations are prepared using software such as Microsoft PowerPoint – could include graphs, tables and text
  • Allows info to be displayed as a slide show using an LCD projector and a screen
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Improved accessibility to info and services

  •  ICT systems can link other ICT systems and other electronic devices almost anywhere in the world
  • This facility has increased the number of applications for which computer systems can be used
  • Wireless connections are becoming more commonly used
  • They are more flexible but can only be used over short distances and performance does not match hard-wired systems
  • Internet allows users to communicate with other users worldwide via email and to access and  transfer huge amounts of data
  • A holiday company can store details of all available holidays and bookings that have been made in a central computer system
  • This is available to travel agents who can link their computer system to the central data store – this enables a travel agent both to have access to up-to-date info on holiday availability and to make bookings immediately 
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Improved security

  • Electronic records are less likely to be lost or damaged that paper records
  • When data is stored on paper it is not usually feasible to maintain a backup copy
  • Paper copies are vulnerable to loss caused by fire, flood or other natural disasters
  • Electronic copies can be backed up with copies kept in another place so that if the original files re lost they can be restored from the backup copies.
  • If paper based data is to be shared, a document has to be physically distributed – the document could  be at risk of getting read by an unauthorised person
  • Data in ICT systems can be protected from unauthorised access through the use of user identification backed up with passwords
  • ICT systems can make it easier to prevent fraud when financial calculations are carried out
  • Checks can be built in to the software to ensure that the proper process is carried out
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