ICT transformation over the past 10 years in Papua New Guinea and its Impact on my work and life
ICT – Information and communication technology (ICT) is another/extensional term for information technology (IT) that stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of telecommunications (telephone lines and wireless signals), computers as well as necessary enterprise software, middleware, storage, and audio-visual systems, which enable users to access, store, transmit, and manipulate information (Wikipedia, 2018).
This paper discusses the changes in ICT observed over a 10 year period from 2007 to 2017 and their significant impacts on my work and life in Papua New Guinea. Specific emphasis is on technologies such as manufacturing machineries, mails and messaging, music and videos, banking, phones (telephones and mobile phones), computers, cameras (photo capturing), games, media, internet and online platforms, internet commerce and internet learning. It analyses the challenges and opportunities ICT has brought on Papua New Guinea and its significance to the growth and development of this young developing nation.
Growing up in Papua New Guinea (PNG), a small developing country in the South Pacific region with a population of about 8 million people, I have observed first hand, the significant transformation in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) over the years as a result of globalization and advancement in technology and how this has contributed towards the development of the country and its impact on my work and life. The ever increasing business competition enabled by globalization of markets has put pressure on business entities and government organizations to spend extensively on research and development in the field of ICT, resulting in progressive and continuous changes in ICT in recent years.
Papua New Guinea is a free market economy openly transacting through imports and export with other countries of the world. PNG mainly exports raw materials and imports finished products from other trading partner countries of the world. PNG has imported and used a lot of ICT products since independence. ICT is important and is a significant player in the growth of the country.
During the 10 year period from 2007 to 2017, there has been a significant transformation in the area of ICT. Many changes have made communication and work easy in so many ways, saving time, yet making people becoming lazier. ICT and technology has made dramatic changes in taking pictures (photos), massaging, phones, cars, manufacturing, banking, computers, internet, online communication platforms, and online businesses, online sharing of information and research and online learning.
Figure 1.1 – A map showing Papua New Guinea, located in the Pacific region just on the northern tip of Australia (Source: Google image).
I have observed the ICT transformation and its contribution to the development of the nation, how it enables businesses to be more successful and importantly, how technology has make communication easier, quicker and faster yet cost effective like never before. Businesses that adapt and quickly change copping with the technological change have survived the test of times while those that could not change tend to go out the race.
This paper discusses the changes in ICT that I have personally observed from a 10 year period from 2007 to 2017. It elaborates on the changes in ICT mainly in manufacturing, mails and messaging, music and videos, banking, phones (telephones and mobile phones), computers, cameras (photo capturing), games, media, internet and online platforms, internet commerce and internet learning and their impacts on my work and like in Papua New Guinea.
Change of machineries that use computer chips and mother boards to improve production efficiency and effectiveness. Order processing, stock reports and replacement, progress tracking, project management and budgets for manufacturing can be easily processed, recorded and stored on computers.
Computer aided manufacturing (CAM) is an application technology that uses computer software and machinery to facilitate and automate manufacturing processes (Techopedia, 2018). Computer aided Manufacturing uses sensors and microprocessor on machines enabling the machines performance to improve thus increasing efficiency and productivity. Manufacturing of Cars brought about by ICT have seen manual gear cars changed to automatic gear cars. However, there is a disadvantage of automatic gear cars as when their break fails it would be impossible to stop the car using gear. However, it’s possible with manual gear cars as when the break fails, the driver can use gear shifting to stop or slow the car.
Figure 2 – an image of a computer aided manufacturing machine (source: Google image, 2018)
Messaging (Electronic Mails and SMS)
It the past, to communicate with families and friend, a person will have to write a letter and post it via a post office box. This traditional way of communicating is very time consuming and immediate feedback is not possible. After posting a letter, the sender will have to wait for weeks and months before a reply is received. Sometimes no reply is received as the letter might get lost on the way and may not reach the receiver.
However, this has greater changed. With the advancement in ICT, messages more than ever before can be sent by a sender to a receiver instantly and the receiver may respond or provide feedback instantly. Facebook messenger, Electronic mail, phone SMS (short message services) enables messages to send quickly and feedback received on a timely manner.
Figure 3 – A graph showing the most popular global mobile messenger apps as of July 2018, based on number of monthly active users (in millions). Source: statista.com, 2018
Music and Videos
4018915512445000Music in the past is stored or record on to a cassette and played on a radio cassette player. The same is for movies. Movies are stored or recorded on cassettes or films and are played on a cassette player connected to a screen. This has now changed as result of the transformation in ICT. Music are now stored or recorded on to CD’s and played on CD players. Movies are stored on DVD’s and played on a DVD player connected to a screen.
However, recently, flash drives and memory cards have made storage of music and movies much convenient. With greater storage capacity, hundreds and thousands of music and video files can be stored on one flash drive or memory cards.
However, despite many advantages brought by ICT in regards to music and videos, ICT has disadvantaged the artists who created the music and videos. Flash Drives and memory cards has made piracy convenient, causing a lot of artist to loss income through the sales of their cassettes, CD’s and DVD’s.
Back in the days, bank account holders uses passbook. A passbook is a small book containing customer transaction records. Every time the account holder wants to withdraw or deposit money in to their bank account, they bank tellers would update the records on the passbook and put a bank stamp. Back then, all transaction will have to be done manually at a bank branch. I would follow my Dad to the bank at times and stand on the long queues with the passbook on hand waiting to be served.
This has dramatically changed as a result of ICT which brought about the internet. The passbook has now been replaced with debit and credit cards. Now we have ATM’s (Automatic Telling Machines) and eftpost machines coupled with the introduction of debit and credit cards has made withdrawal and purchasing of products convenient. Bank account holders can easily withdraw cash from an ATM and use to purchase goods and services. Account holders can also purchase directly from shops using their electronic bank cards on an eftpost machine.
Account holders can purchase goods and services online using their bank cards and that is made possible through internet and the advancement in ICT. With the internet, bank account holders can use internet banking to transfer funds from their account to another account and also from their bank to another bank or from one country to another country.
Figure 2 – A diagram show online banking (adapted from Prof. Sun lectures on ICT, PNG Unitech, 2018)
righttop0Phones (Telephones and Mobile phones)
Cordless and portable telephones are now replacing the traditional cable phones in some organizations. Cordless phones are convenient allowing the user the freedom of movement to move around in the office while talking on the phone and do some other task as the same time. These cordless phones also has screens which the users can easily find the phone numbers thus the users do not have to spend time punching the numbers but rather dial instantly from the phone screen.
Telephone banking is also made easier through ICT. Bank account holders can pay their bills and transfer money from their bank account to another account using the telephone.
Mobile phones have also transformed overtime making it convenient for people to make and receive calls in any location. Mobile phones were introduced in Papua New Guinea in the early 2000 but was expensive thus treated as a luxurious product only affordable by rich people. Mobile phones were a luxurious product until 2017 when Digicel, a communications company, entered the Papua New Guinea mobile phone market and change the trend. The rest is history. Currently nearly every citizen owns a mobile phone.
Smart phones have made it possible for mobile internet where users can access internet via their mobile devices. Online shopping, e-learning and mobile banking can be easily conducted using a smart phone.
Computers have transform over time. Desk top with big fat screens was popular in the early years. Eventually, ICT advancement leads to flat screens and lap tops. The development of computers from desk tops to lap tops has made mobility easier. Storage capacity (Hard Drives) of computers both desk tops and lap tops increases from 80 gigabytes to 500 gigabytes, 1 terabytes to 2 terabytes, enabling the users to store as many information, music, videos, photos and other documents as much as possible. Desk tops keyboards and mouse changes from cords to wireless and flash drives or storages devices capacity increases from megabytes to gigabytes and now terabytes enabling people to store and save important documents safely away for easy access in the future.
rightbottom00Computers have made typing much easier. In the past, most people use type writer to do there typing. Typing using Microsoft office word is convenient as mistakes or errors can be easily edited instead of retyping everything as in with a type writer. Computer has not only improved typing, but also communication of information was made easier. The connection of computers, known as the internet, has made communication instant, and encourages online socializing at a greater scale like never before. The internet has made communication and sharing of information incredibly quickly and easier.
Cameras (Photos or picture capturing)
4592320177419000Photo capturing technology has also changed a lot over the years. Previous people would use a film camera to capture pictures and then develop the picture from a film shop. The digital camera has made the film camera to be history. With the digital camera, users can take as many pictures as they want and delete whatever they don’t like later. Photos from a digital camera can be easily downloaded on to a computer stored, shared with friends on webpages like Facebook or printed out from a printer connected to the computer. And now with smart phones dual camera and salfystick, capturing of photos has been made very convenient.
Games (From game Boards to consoles and computers to mobile phones)
Prior to the development of ICT and computer games, the popular thing for leisure time is the board games. People and kids will play the board games indoor or outdoor with their friends keeping them healthy from the exercise the get from playing the game. Sometime the kids get bored as there is not much variety of board games to play during their leisure time.
ICT transformation has brought game consoles. Computerized games where kids would spend their leisure time to play on screen. The games can be played by one or more players and comes with variety. Such games has kept kids indoors and preventing them from socializing with other kids outdoors. Computerization as enabled a variety of games to be stored on computers and laptops. Mobile smart phones has a lot of different games that keep people busy and preventing them from socializing with others. The availability of internet has and its easy access through wireless connections via computers and mobile phones has even made downloading of variety computer games more convenient.
Media and ICT
ICT has had a great impact on Media over the years in Papua New Guinea. Media is an important aspect of the global society. It keeps Papua New Guineans abreast with what is happening in other parts of the world. Traditional media includes radio, television and newspapers. Generally, media is an extremely important aspect in all our lives, but without ICT, media will not have the global impact it has currently.
In the past prior to the introduction of the printer, newspapers and book were all handwritten with very little if not no copies kept after it was distributed. ICT and the internet has made is possible for media to have a greater reach and impact in dissemination and sharing of information. Now, media information can be easily printed and distributed, thanks to ICT. Written reports published on newspapers, radios and televisions are now published online making it possible to be seen by many people as much as possible.
Internet and Online platforms
3596005157543500Online platforms which was brought about by ICT through internet, has made socializing with other people more convenient through social networks such as Facebook and twitter, webcams, instant messenger and e-mail. People can do video chats to host meetings, which is cost and time effective. Conference members can be in different country but can communicate online using Skype or internet conferencing.
Furthermore, people can easily access information via internet search engines like Google and yahoo for research purposes via online libraries rather than going to a physical library. Information can be sent very fast and people can be able to stay in their homes and shop or study online instead of going out of their homes. Despite these being convenient, there is possibility that people will become lazy and school ages children might waste time on online social networks thus not doing well on the school work. People might not actually go out to socialize with friends but rather hide in the comfort of their homes and socialize with online friends via Facebook, twitter, and other online social platforms.
The connection of computers around the world or internet has enabled businesses and consumers to buy and sell products (goods and services) online. This is known as internet commerce, e-business or e-commerce. E-Commerce (EC) is the process of buying, selling, transferring, serving, or exchanging products, services, or information via computer networks including internet (Prof Sun, 2018).
42551355213985There are many online buying and selling businesses and the top three in the world are Amazon, eBay and ALibaba. Literally any product can be sold online. Once a buyer makes a purchase, the seller arranges the product to be delivered to the buyers’ doorstep.
39573206847205Internet Learning or e-learning refers to learning taking place online or over the internet. E-learning is convenient and cost effective.
A good example of e-learning is the Google classroom. This platform allows the instructor or facilitator to easily communicate with students. Assessment tasks can be disseminated through the platform and completed assessments can be submitted easily through the platform.
The transformation of ICT has change the way things are done in Papua New Guinea in many ways. ICT has had many good and bad impacts on my work and life over the years. Telephone communication has shifted to Smart phones, Manual cars has shifted to automatic cars. Shopping on a physical shop can now be easily done online over the internet, messages can be sent instantly, conferences can be conducted online via video conferencing platforms and social interaction and communication has been made very easy through social websites like Facebook and twitter. The world is now becoming a small village as a result of information and communication technology.
ICT is still evolving and developing thus there is possibility that ICT will still change my approach to work and life in the future. Research and Development in ICT in most private and public organizations has become important and its continuation is likely to uncover further improvement and advancement in ICT in the coming years which might bring with it both advantages as well disadvantages. My work and like in the future will definitely be shape by ICT.
One of the current topics in ICT that is being researched at the moment is Big Data Analysis. Research and findings in the field of Big Bata Analysis is likely to make analyzing of large sums of data being analyzed instantly by a click of a computer mouse in the future. This will save analysts a lot of time and will make people becoming lazier than before.
Retrieved on the 12th of August 2018 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information and communications technologyRetrieved on the 13th of August 2018 from https://www.techopedia.com/definition/4698/computer aided manufacturing cam
Retrieved on the 13th of August 2018 from https://www.statista.com/statistics/258749/most-popular-global-mobile-messenger-apps
Retrieved on the 13th of August 2018 from https://www.googleimage.com
Prof. Dr. Zhaohao Sun, (2018) The Papua New Guinea University of Technology, Managing ICT-Enable Technology, Lecture Notes
Microsoft® Encarta® 2007, © 1993-2006 Microsoft Corporation, All rights reserved
The Oxford Advance Learner’s Dictionary, (2004) Oxford University Press, New York
The Oxford Business English Dictionary for Learners of English, (2008) Oxford University Press, New York
M. Lutfar Rahman et all, (2016) Computer fundamentals and ICT, Daffodil International University Press, Dhaka.
Kenneth Laudon and Jane Laudon. (2016). Management Information Systems- Managing Digital Firm (14th ). Pearson