Term definitions are the foundations of a standard. It is important that definitions are crafted carefully.
The abbreviation ICT is commonly used, but what does it stand for? Depending where you look the abbreviation terms are:
- Information and Communication Technology
- Information and Communications Technology
- Information and Communications Technologies
The problem here is the plural of ICT. It is ICTs for the first two terms and ICT for the last term. Incidentally, ICT is an abbreviation and not an acronym. Acronyms are formed from the first letters of each word so IACT would be the acronym.
What about the definition of the term? The output of one SDO group was:
ICT (Information and Communication Technology):Technologies and equipment that handle (e.g., access, create, collect, store, transmit, receive, disseminate) information and communication.
The first critique of this definition is to question what equipment is doing there. Equipment may use ICT but it isn't ICT. Equipment is an object not a technology so it has to go.
ICT (Information and Communication Technology):Technologies that handle (e.g., access, create, collect, store, transmit, receive, disseminate) information and communication.
Anything in parenthesis is for extra information and not core to the definition. The appropriate place for the parenthetical information is as a note to the definition. Implementing this gives:
ICT (Information and Communication Technology):Technologies that handle information and communication.
NOTE: Actions are, but limited to, access, create, collect, store, transmit, receive and disseminate
The resultant definition is a rearrangement of the term words - a big no no for sensible definitions - it is recursion. My favourite term and definition illustrating this is:
Having found the proposed definition is wanting, let’s see what other offerings there are. The ISO/IEC offers:
information and communications technologies (ICT):group of applications using information and communications (telecommunications) technologies
This is another example of recursion.
The ITU offers:
Abbreviation : ICT
Term : ICT
Definition : Information and Communication Technologies
From the previous discussion what should be listed is
Abbreviation : ICT
Term : Information and Communication Technologies
The search for a definition of ICT continues……