Information technology (IT) is the use of computers and telecommunications equipment to store, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data.
Humans have been storing, retrieving, manipulating and communicating information since the Sumerians in Mesopotamia developed cuneiform|writing in about 3000 BC, but the term Information Technology in its modern sense first appeared in a 1958 article published in the Harvard Business Review; authors Leavitt and Whisler commented that the new technology does not yet have a single established name. We shall call it information technology (IT). Based on the storage and processing technology 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. This article focuses on the latter of those periods, which began in about 1940.