77 Types of Information Technology
John Spacey, updated on
Information technology is a large industry that includes thousands of well known software packages and services. The following are major categories or types of information technology. The list is general enough to include most software and may be used as a quick reference to understand technology products and architectures.
Accounting PackagesAccounting functionality such as accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger and bookkeeping. May also include tools for billing, purchase orders and inventory.
AlgorithmsAn algorithm is a procedure for solving a problem or making a decision. The term implies a sophistication of design that was historically used to describe well accepted solutions to problems in computer science. In recent years, the term is occasionally used as a buzzword with little concrete meaning. In other words, it is possible to refer to practically any code as an algorithm.
AnalyticsAnalytics is the discovery of meaningful information in data. It is common for analytics software to be focused on a particular type of data such as web analytics. It is also common for general purpose analytics tools to be offered as a part of business software packages.
Architecture SoftwareArchitecture software can refer to computer aided design software and other tools for building architects. It can also refer to modeling and design tools for information technology architects such as enterprise architects.
Artificial IntelligenceIntelligent software that learns.
Asset Management SoftwareTools that track assets such as software or equipment. May include support for procurement, maintenance, license management, compliance, asset disposal and financial management of assets.
Big DataData storage, processing and analysis techniques designed for cloud infrastructure. Removes traditional storage and processing limitations. Big data generally has no limitations on processing power or the size of data collections beyond cost considerations.
Business Relationship ManagementBusiness relationship management is a term that's used for a several types of software that have little in common. It is occasionally for customer relationship management software that goes beyond customer relationships to handle employee, partner or government facing processes. Alternatively, the term is also used for tools that manage an IT departments relationship with internal and external clients.
Business Rule ManagementSoftware that manages the definition, deployment, execution and monitoring of business rules.
Capacity ManagementTools for managing the capacity of business or technology services. Typically offered as part of a service management platform.
Communication ToolsAny software that is used for communication including conferencing, messaging, mobile communication and communication infrastructure.
Compliance SoftwareA wide category of tools such as corporate governance, finance & accounting, banking, human resources and environmental compliance. In many cases, software is designed for compliance to a specific law or set of regulations.
Computational MathematicsThe practice of modeling and solving mathematical problems with computers. Common applications include science, financial algorithms, cryptography and statistical analysis for business areas such as management accounting.
Configuration ManagementSoftware for managing complex changes to services . A component of service management.
Content AuthoringContent authoring includes blogging platforms and other simplified content creation services. It also includes full featured professional software such as web design tools.
Content ManagementA category of software that ranges from simple blogging platforms to full featured enterprise systems with search, workflow, collaboration, digital asset management, media management and knowledge management features.
Cost Control SoftwareSoftware products that offer either project or operational cost management functions. Often specialized for a particular industry such as construction projects or hotel operations.
Customer Relationship ManagementAmongst the most widely deployed of all types of software. Customer relationship management are platforms that center on core sales processes. They may also include support for any customer facing processes such as marketing and customer service.
Data Analysis ToolsA category of tools that typically use statistical analysis techniques to model and visualize data to support decision making, research and problem solving.
Data IntegrationTools that combine data from different sources in real time or on a batch processing basis.
Data MiningSoftware for data analysis using large repositories of historical data such as a data warehouse.
Decision AlgorithmsAlgorithms that automate non-technical decisions such as the decision to execute a financial transaction.
Decision Support SystemAny system that supports either planning or operational decisions often by providing contextual data or visualizations.
Design ToolsA broad category of specialized tools that support the design of visual, informational or physical works such as software for producing interior design specifications, book layouts or architectural blueprints.
EcommerceServices and platforms that support business that is transacted electronically.
Engineering SoftwareSpecialized software for fields such as civil, electrical and mechanical engineering.
Enterprise Resource PlanningLarge business platforms that include support for a wide range of processes and activities. Typically provides a unified process framework, data model and toolset that supports information flow between processes. Seen as a solution to the common business problem of having a large number of disparate systems and processes that are difficult to integrate.
Event ProcessingTechnologies that process streams of data to identify actionable events. When an event is detected a process is invoked or a notification sent.
ExchangesServices that provide a market for goods, assets or securities.
Facility Management SoftwareTools for managing facilities such as data centers, office buildings and schools. May include workflows for common processes, maintenance management and capacity utilization functionality.
Factory AutomationSystems that orchestrate production lines and control machines to automate or semi-automate production.
Financial Management SoftwareSoftware for managing assets, investments, accounting or taxes.
Gamification TechniquesThe application of game design techniques to non-game software. Games are generally regarded as highly engaging. Gamification is an attempt to reproduce similar levels of engagement for business functions such as marketing and employee productivity.
GeospatialGeospatial is the use of information about 3d space and geography for applications such as navigation systems, mobile devices, business software, engineering and scientific research.
Governance SoftwareSoftware related to corporate governance such as risk management, compliance, auditing, security and knowledge management platforms.
Health SoftwareHealth software is an industry onto itself that includes business platforms customized for healthcare providers, patient record systems and technologies used directly in treatment and prevention.
Incident Management SoftwareTools that track and prioritize incidents such as network outages. Advanced technologies in the space offer automated root cause analysis that can point to a cause when many incidents occur simultaneously.
Information SecuritySoftware that is used to prevent, detect or manage security incidents. Includes fountational technologies such as cryptographic packages that are embedded into a wide range of software.
Information VisualizationInformation visualization is a category of tools that are often similar to analytics but with particular strengths at creating views of data that stimulate human cognition.
Infrastructure Asset ManagementPlatforms for managing public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, canals, railways and electricity grids. Implements processes for managing the lifecycle of such assets including deployment, maintenance, utilization and replacement.
Infrastructure ManagementTools to manage devices such as network equipment and computers from a centralized interface. For example, a software fix for a security vulnerability might be applied to thousands of machines simultaneously.
Inventory Management SoftwareImplements processes such as asset tracking, order management and inventory optimization. A core component of both supply chain management and accounting functions.
Knowledge ManagementTechnologies that facilitate the development and effective use of organizational knowledge. This includes general tools such as office productivity, content management and document management.
Legacy SystemsA term for any technology that has aged to the point that it represents an operational risk to a business. There are several reasons that old technology represents a risk including difficulty in finding resources for maintenance and support.
Management Accounting SoftwareSoftware that is used to model operational decisions such as production or inventory levels for managers. Management accounting is quite different from financial accounting and can be described as financial modeling of decisions that only considers factors that a particular manager can control.
Marketing AutomationMarketing automation includes software for core marketing processes and digital marketing such as tools to integrate with ad technology and social media platforms.
Mass CustomizationMass customization is a manufacturing process that benefits from economies of scale that allows each individual unit of production to be customized. Software in the space includes design tools for customers and advanced production automation tools such as robotic control systems.
Media ProductionTools for producing video, music and other digital media.
Office ProductivityGeneral purpose office tools for document creation, communications and content management.
Operations Management SoftwareAny software that's used to automate or manage a company's core business processes.
PaymentsServices that facilitate payments between parties such as transfers, direct withdrawal, cryptocurrencies, credit cards, prepaid cards, cheques and cash transactions.
Performance Management SoftwareA tool for managing goal setting and performance reviews. Typically provides an audit trail for compliance and liability purposes.
Point Of Sale SystemsTechnology for the cashier and customer service functions of retail locations including product scanners, payment systems and loyalty card services. In many cases, modern point of sales systems are integrated with ecommerce functions. For example, if you can't find your size at a shoe store the clerk may offer to place an order for you using an ecommerce channel.
Problem ManagementComponents that support managing and fixing the root cause of incidents often as part of a service management or knowledge management platform.
Process AutomationGeneral tools for orchestrating or choreographing processes such as workflow engines. In many cases, processes are semi-automated and include human tasks such as approvals, decisions and customer relationship functions.
Process IntegrationIntegration engines such as an enterprise service bus that provide a publish/subscribe model for events and data. This allows processes to publish events to one platform and any processes that subscribe to the event will be notified.
Process OrchestrationA central controller that implements processes by invoking sub-processes, routines and notifications at the right time with the right data.
Procurement SoftwareProcurement processes require a good deal of oversight to prevent fraud and other failures that can potentially be expensive and have compliance implications. As such, it is common for organizations to adopt procurement software that implements rigorous processes, reporting and audit trail functions.
Project Management ToolsProject management functionality such as estimation, planning, scheduling, resource allocation, cost control, budget management and project reporting.
Reporting ToolsAny technology that's used to create reports including data extraction, transformation, analysis and visualization tools.
Reputation SystemsAlgorithms or customer feedback mechanisms that rate and rank the reputations of businesses or other entities.
Risk Management SoftwareSoftware that implements risk governance, control or analysis processes. Often specific to a particular industry or type of risk.
RoboticsRobots are a class of automated machines that have advanced features such as sensory perception or artificial intelligence.
Safety ManagementSafety related functions such as processes to prevent accidents and compliance reporting.
Sales Force AutomationSupport for processes such as prospecting, opportunity management, order management, call management, account management, territory management, forecasting and sales reporting.
Scientific ComputingThe collection and management of scientific data. Also includes analysis, modeling, simulation and computational support applications for scientific research.
Search ApplicationsSearch provides a query interface to large repositories of information such as the internet. Search services may provide advanced interfaces including the ability to understand the semantic meaning of a question phrased in natural language.
Self ServiceInterfaces that allow a customer to order and manage products and services directly, often replacing traditional customer service functions.
Service AutomationThe automation of service management functions such as service design, service delivery and service operation.
Service DeliveryAutomation and semi-automation of the day-to-day operation of a service including service level management, capacity management and availability management.
Service DeskHelp desk software provides the functions, information and processes required to provide customer service. This may include services for internal clients. In many cases, service desk tools are highly integrated and provide a single view of functions such as service management, customer relationship management and billing.
SimulatorsSimulation of real world or theoretical situations, environments and phenomena for applications including training, testing and research.
Statistical AnalysisThe application of statistics to collections of data.
Supplier Management SoftwareSoftware to manage supplier relationships and related operational, financial, legal, compliance and risk management processes.
Supply Chain Management SoftwareSoftware that manages the flow of goods and services from point of origin to end customers. In many industries, supply chain operations is a focus of optimization and improvement efforts. As a result, supply chain management software is often highly integrated and is sometimes viewed as the backbone of an organization's technology platform.
Transaction ProcessingServices that execute transactions. Transactions are a fundamental type of business exchange that are defined as a series of operations that succeed or fail together. This is critical to commerce as it's often unacceptable for financial exchanges and other business operations to partially succeed. Transaction processing guarantees either success or failure with nothing inbetween.
Virtual RealitySimulation focused on human perception that often extends beyond real world environments into the imagination for applications such as entertainment and games.
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