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.
London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom. It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the head of a 50-mile (80 km) estuary down to the North Sea, and has been a major settlement for two millennia. The City of London, its ancient core and financial centre, was founded by the Romans as Londinium and retains boundaries close to its medieval ones.[note 1] Since the 19th century, "London" has also referred to the metropolis around this core, historically split between the counties of Middlesex, Essex, Surrey, Kent, and Hertfordshire, which largely comprises Greater London, governed by the Greater London Authority.[note 2] The City of Westminster, to the west of the City of London, has for centuries held the national government and parliament.
London, as one of the world's global cities, exerts strong influence on its arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, health care, media, tourism, and communications, and therefore has sometimes been called the capital of the world. Its GDP (€801.66 billion in 2017) makes it the biggest urban economy in Europe, and it is one of the major financial centres in the world. In 2019 it had the second-highest number of ultra high-net-worth individuals in Europe after Paris and the second-highest number of billionaires of any city in Europe after Moscow. With Europe's largest concentration of higher education institutions, it includes Imperial College London in natural and applied sciences, the London School of Economics in social sciences, and the comprehensive University College London. The city is home to the most 5-star hotels of any city in the world. In 2012, London became the first city to host three Summer Olympic Games.
London's diverse cultures mean over 300 languages are spoken. The mid-2018 population of Greater London of about 9 million made it Europe's third-most populous city. It accounts for 13.4 per cent of the UK population. Greater London Built-up Area is the fourth-most populous in Europe, after Istanbul, Moscow and Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census. The London metropolitan area is the third-most populous in Europe after Istanbul's and Moscow's, with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016.[note 3]
London has four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London; Kew Gardens; the combined Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, and St Margaret's Church; and also the historic settlement in Greenwich, where the Royal Observatory, Greenwich defines the Prime Meridian (0° longitude) and Greenwich Mean Time. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge and Trafalgar Square. It has numerous museums, galleries, libraries and sporting venues, including the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest rapid transit system in the world.