There are five important features or characteristics of information technology today that act as drivers toward the expansion and further development of technology. These include:

Moore’s Law and Microprocessing Power

Moore‘s Law states that microprocessing power doubles in every two years. Variations of this law assert that

  • Microprocessing power doubles in every 18 months
  • Computer power doubles in every 18 months
  • The price of computing falls by half in every 18


Perhaps no other law holds as much weight in the evolution of computers as Moore‘s Law. Microprocessor chips using transistors have helped increase computing power exponentially. At the same time packing more transistors into less space has driven down transistor cost dramatically as well as the cost of the products in which they are used. An Intel® processors today can contain as


many as 1 billion transistors, run at 3.2 GHz and higher, deliver over 10,000 MIPS, and can be manufactured in high volumes with transistors that cost less than 1/10,000th of a cent.


Nanotechnology uses individual atoms and molecules to create computer chips thousands of times smaller than current technologies permit. Nanotubes have potential uses as minuscule wires or in ultrasmall electronic devices. Other technologies promise to further miniaturize transistors and improve chip technology.


The Law of Mass Digital Storage

The Law of Mass Digital Storage states that while the amount of digital information produced worldwide doubles every year, the cost of storing digital information is falling at an exponential rate. In the early evolution of computing, storage needs were based on written text. Now we need the extra storage for photos, music, and video. From 1980 to 1990, hard disk drive capacities for PCs grew at the rate of 25 percent annual compound growth, but after 1990, growth accelerated to more than 65 percent each year.


Metcalfe’s Law and Network Economics

Metcalfe's Law described the value of a network grows exponentially with each increase in membership to the network. Demand for information technology has been driven by the social and business value of digital networks, which rapidly multiply the number of actual and potential links among network members. If you build a network for ten users, you‘ll spend the necessary money for the basic equipment. If you already have the equipment in place, you can add one more user at nominal costs. However, the additional user will bring value to the network far beyond what it costs to add him/her.



Declining Communications Costs and the Internet

One of the biggest drivers in the exploding use of computers is directly attributable to the Internet. It‘s getting cheaper every day to connect to the Internet because of declining communication costs. As more and more users connect to the Internet, businesses must find ways to meet the expectations and demands of users, especially in the area of mobile computing devices.


The rapid decline of communication costs and the exponential growth in size of



Standards and Network Effects

Technology Standards and specifications establish the compatibility of products and the ability to communicate in a network, unleash powerful economies of scale and result in price declines as manufacturers focus on products built to a certain standard. Some of the important standards that have shaped IT infrastructure include ASCII, UNIX, TCP/IP, Ethernet, the IBM/Microsoft/Intel Personal Computer, and the World Wide Web.


ASCII stands for American standard code for information interchange and made it possible to exchange data among computers developed by different manufacturers. UNIX is an open source multitasking operating system that is used by variety by computers developed by different manufacturers. TCP/IP stands for transmission control protocol/internet protocol and is a suit of communication protocols that defines common language for establishing communication between different computers attached in a network. Ethernet enables desktop computers to local area networks. IBM/Microsoft/Intel Personal Computer is the standard Wintel design for personal computers based on Intel processors and other devices and Microsoft Windows operating systems.