Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) affect our lives and businesses in a complex manner. Their impact is so great that their pervasiveness is now used as a wellness determining metric and there is now a correlation between ICT penetration and social development.

ICT is so dynamic and predictions about  future trends range from the obvious to the absurd. We boldly declare that the future is definitely Green ICT (GI) and ICT Security (IS) (or simply Secure Green ICT (SGI)). These two mega trends will define the success or failure of individuals, organisations and nations. You will agree with me that we all love to live in a secure and clean environment.

Human pursuits are known to be driven by a multiplicity of desires. In this column we will outline the reasons why IS and GI are megatrends for the future. But, first we need to give simple working definitions for Information Technology (IT), Communication Technology (CT), ICT, GI and IS. For the purpose of this work we will limit ourselves to the simplified (historical) working definitions presented below.

Information Technology

IT refers to the use of computer systems and related devices to accurately capture, store, process, access, display and manage information content for the benefit of society.

Communication Technology

We consider CT to involve the use of telephones and allied equipment as well as a media channel (telecommunications) to convey messages in a correct, efficient and cost effective way.

Information Communication Technology

ICT refers to the application of Information Technology and Communication Technology to meet the needs of human kind. It represents the convergence of IT and CT. As people demanded remote access to their information, telecommunications were employing to reach out. The need for complex communication led to CT systems employing storage and processing techniques initial applied to IT, in the end the boundary between these two technologies blurred. We will continue to see further blurring of other boundaries as ICT takes centre stage and permeates all areas of human influence.

Green ICT

This is an environmentally friendly and sustainable way of developing, deploying, applying and disposing of information and communication technology. It can be  viewed as a smart way of working with and within ICT.

ICT Security

ICT Security defines all means applied to safeguard/protect information and communication technology systems and their content for the betterment of the human race. It is aimed at ensuring, confidentiality, integrity and availability.

The Future

The future of ICT is Secure Green ICT. It presents numerous opportunities and investing in this domain makes economic, social and environmental sense. In our next instalments we will outline why we all need embrace the two components of SGI, namely Green ICT and ICT Security. These two trends seem disparate but are actually related and influence each other in a big way. They both have a bearing on our future even though we also have the power to influence their direction. The continued introduction of ICT into new areas ushers in new green potentials and challenges as well as demand for security.

" ... imagine yourself relaxing in the back seat of your cruising gicar, that is, a Green ICT manned car, watching your favourite sport being streamed live on the ivision, a new FD (full dimension) video delivery system, whilst you are actively interacting with your friends in one immersed environment ..., suddenly a rogue cyber terrorist hijacks your car and commandeers it off route... "

Article By: Givemore Dube


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