Information technology (IT) is the use of computers to create, process, store, retrieve, and exchange all kinds of data and information. IT forms part of information and communications technology (ICT). An information technology system (IT system) is generally an information system, a communications system, or, more specifically speaking, a computer system — including all hardware, software, and peripheral equipment — operated by a limited group of IT users. Although humans have been storing, retrieving, manipulating, and communicating information since the earliest writing systems were developed, the term information technology in its modern sense first appeared in a 1958 article published in the Harvard Business Review; authors Harold J. Leavitt and Thomas L. Whisler commented that "the new technology does not yet have a single established name. We shall call it information technology (IT)." Their definition consists of three categories: techniques for processing, the application of statistical and mathematical methods to decision-making, and the simulation of higher-order thinking through computer programs. The term is commonly used as a synonym for computers and computer networks, but it also encompasses other information distribution technologies such as television and telephones. Several products or services within an economy are associated with information technology, including computer hardware, software, electronics, semiconductors, internet, telecom equipment, and e-commerce.[a] Based on the storage and processing technologies employed, it is possible to distinguish four distinct phases of IT development: pre-mechanical (3000 BC — 1450 AD), mechanical (1450—1840), electromechanical (1840—1940), and electronic (1940 to present). Information technology is also a branch of computer science, which can be defined as the overall study of procedure, structure, and the processing of various types of data. As this field continues to evolve across the world, the overall priority and importance has also grown, which is where we begin to see the introduction of computer science-related courses in K-12 education.Business partnering is the development of successful, long term, strategic relationships between customers and suppliers, based on achieving best practice and sustainable competitive advantage. In the business partner model, HR professionals work closely with business leaders and line managers to achieve shared organisational objectives. In practice, the business partner model can be broadened to include members of any business function, for example, Finance, IT, HR, Legal, External Relations, who act as a connector, linking their function with business units to ensure that the technical, or functional, expertise they have to offer is placed within the real and current concerns of the business to create value.
Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county and combined authority area in North West England, with a population of 2.8 million; comprising ten metropolitan boroughs: Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and the cities of Manchester and Salford. Greater Manchester was created on 1 April 1974, as a result of the Local Government Act 1972, and designated a functional city region on 1 April 2011. Greater Manchester is formed of parts of the historic counties of Lancashire, Cheshire and the West Riding of Yorkshire.
Greater Manchester spans 493 square miles (1,277 km2), which roughly covers the territory of the Greater Manchester Built-up Area, the second most populous urban area in the UK. Though geographically landlocked, it is connected to the sea by the Manchester Ship Canal which is still open to shipping in Salford and Trafford. Greater Manchester borders the ceremonial counties of Cheshire (to the south-west and south), Derbyshire (to the south-east), West Yorkshire (to the north-east), Lancashire (to the north) and Merseyside (to the west). There is a mix of high-density urban areas, suburbs, semi-rural and rural locations in Greater Manchester, but land use is mostly urban—the product of concentric urbanisation and industrialisation which occurred mostly during the 19th century when the region flourished as the global centre of the cotton industry. It has a focused central business district, formed by Manchester city centre and the adjoining parts of Salford and Trafford, but Greater Manchester is also a polycentric county with ten metropolitan districts, each of which has at least one major town centre and outlying suburbs.
Greater Manchester is governed by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), which consists of political leaders from each of the ten metropolitan borough councils, plus a directly elected mayor, with responsibility for economic development, regeneration and transport. Andy Burnham is the inaugural Mayor of Greater Manchester, elected in 2017. For the 12 years following 1974, the county had a two-tier system of local government; district councils shared power with the Greater Manchester County Council. The county council was abolished in 1986 and so its districts (the metropolitan boroughs) effectively became unitary authority areas. However, the metropolitan county continued to exist in law and as a geographic frame of reference, and as a ceremonial county, with a Lord Lieutenant and a High Sheriff. Several county-wide services were co-ordinated through the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities between 1985 and 2011.
Before the creation of the metropolitan county, the name SELNEC was used for the area, from the initials of "South East Lancashire North East Cheshire". Greater Manchester is an amalgamation of 70 former local government districts from the former administrative counties of Lancashire, Cheshire, the West Riding of Yorkshire and eight independent county boroughs. Since deindustrialisation in the mid-20th century, Greater Manchester has emerged as a major centre for services, media and digital industries, and is renowned for guitar and dance music and its association football teams.