ICT systems and their usage

The GCSE ICT course is all about ICT systems. You need to know the general structure of information systems, and how they work; the role of input, output, processing and feedback; and the integration of ICT devices and ICT information systems.

What is an ICT System?

An ICT system is a set-up consisting of hardware, software, data and the people who use them. It commonly includes communications technology, such as the Internet.

ICT and computers are not the same thing.

Computers are the hardware that is often part of an ICT system.

This is why your GCSE is not just about computers but about how, why and when people use them. It is the power of computers and communications that has allowed ICT systems to become so important. Like any piece of equipment, the important thing about it is what it lets us do.

ICT Systems are used in a number of environments, such as:

  • offices
  • shops
  • factories
  • aircraft
  • ships

They're also used in fields such as:

  • communications
  • medicine
  • farming

ICT Systems are everyday and ordinary, yet extraordinary in how they can add extra power to what we do and want to do.

The importance of ICT systems

By using ICT systems we are:

  • more productive - we can complete a greater number of tasks in the same time at reduced cost by using computers than we could prior to their invention
  • able to deal with vast amounts ofinformationand process it quickly
  • able to transmit and receive information rapidly

Types of ICT system

The three main types of ICT system to be considered for GCSE are:

Information systems

This type of ICT system is focused on managing data and information. Examples of these are a sports club membership system or a supermarket stock system.

Control systems

These ICT systems mainly control machines. They use input, process and output, but the output may be moving a robot arm to weld a car chassis rather than information.

Communications systems

The output of these ICT systems is the successful transport of data from one place to another.

Input, output and system diagrams

What comes out of an ICT system is largely dependant on what you put into the system to begin with.

ICT systems work by taking inputs (instructions and data), processing them and producing outputs that are stored or communicated in some way. The higher the quality and better thought-out the inputs, the more useful the outputs.

Garbage In, Garbage Out (GIGO)

ICT systems cannot function properly if the inputs are inaccurate or faulty; they will either not be able to process the data at all, or…




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