The term “technology” can mean many different things, depending on who you ask. Some people define technology as the application of new knowledge to improve upon an existing process or product. Others look at technology as the application of new technological know-how to achieve a previously difficult or complex task. Still others believe that technology is nothing more than a group of practices, tools, machines, and/or strategies utilized to advance productivity, enhance performance, create new technological objects or products, and/or to overcome perceived or anticipated obstacles to the accomplishment of goals.
Technology pertains to a wide variety of human activities and ideas. Some of the broad areas of technological change and practice include computer sciences, which encompass computer software, electronic and electrical engineering, information technology, and telecommunications. Technological systems are the objects, systems, and procedures utilized to deliver and obtain information and to facilitate communication. The practice of technology is a broad area that spans all of the various types of organizations that produce and utilize technology. These organizations include businesses, governments, the arts, technology-related organizations, and nonprofit organizations.
Technologists deal with the design, development, manufacture, sale, support, maintenance, and operation of technology systems. They are involved in research, development, testing, and evaluation of technology. Technologists are essential to overseeing and acting as the central point for technology decisions within a company. A technologist’s work may result in new technological items or processes, or it may contribute to the teaching, training, and licensing of technology. Furthermore, technologists are charged with contributing to economic growth by keeping the cost of the technology down so that cost-effective solutions are made available to society. Additionally, technologists are often directly involved in marketing and developing new technologies.
One of the primary roles of a technologist is to develop new knowledge. This knowledge is used to help produce new products and to enhance the performance of existing ones. Sometimes this process requires an outside source of input, such as another expert in a particular field. In other cases, the technologist will develop new ideas based on his or her background and field experience. As technology is constantly changing, many technologists are also changing actively to keep up with the pace of innovation.
The other primary role of technologists is to preserve, protect, and share the existing knowledge base of a given technology. Technologists must therefore be skilled in computer science, engineering, math, computer systems, logic, hardware, and communication. They must also have a good understanding of the business practices of both customers and suppliers.
With the widespread use of technology, nearly everyone today has some form of technological knowledge. Technologists can therefore contribute to the overall improvement of technology by ensuring that the information flow within the industry is maintained, by developing new products, and by improving the efficiency with which existing products are produced and marketed. In fact, many technologists work as consultants for other professionals in the industry so that they may continuously build on the knowledge of others in order to make improvements.