IS vs. IT: What are the differences?

  • Information Systems (IS) refers to the frameworks and structures that organisations use to collect, process, store, and distribute data, while IT focuses on optimising technology to achieve business goals effectively.
  • They are different in scope and focus, roles and responsibilities, integration and collaboration as well as operation and maintenance.

This article will introduce the definition and the difference between information systems and information technology.

What are information systems and information technology?

Information systems (IS) refer to the frameworks and structures that organisations use to collect, process, store, and distribute data. These systems include technology and personnel managing and utilising information within the organisation. IS focuses on optimising technology to achieve business goals effectively. In contrast, information technology (IT) deals with hardware, software, networks, and infrastructure used for creating, processing, storing, securing, and exchanging electronic data. IT professionals design, implement, and maintain these technologies to meet organisational needs.

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Differences between information systems and information technology

1. Scope and focus

Information systems: IS takes a comprehensive approach, covering technical aspects alongside processes, people, and organisational structures in information management. It explores technology’s integration into business operations to enhance efficiency, decision-making, and overall effectiveness.

Information technology: In contrast, IT concentrates narrowly on technical facets like hardware and software development, network administration, cybersecurity, and technical support. Although vital within IS, IT primarily addresses technical rather than managerial or organisational aspects.

2. Roles and responsibilities

Information Systems: Professionals in IS often assume strategic and managerial roles within organisations. They analyse business processes, identify opportunities for technological enhancements, and implement systems aligned with organisational objectives. IS experts may also provide training and support to end-users to ensure optimal technology utilisation.

Information Technology: IT professionals primarily manage the daily operation and upkeep of technology infrastructure. Responsibilities include resolving technical problems, updating software, overseeing servers and networks, and implementing data security measures. IT roles encompass a broad spectrum, from technical support specialists to network engineers and software developers.

3. Integration and collaboration

Information Systems: IS focuses on integrating technology with business processes and organisational goals. This involves collaboration between IT professionals, business leaders, and stakeholders to align technology initiatives with strategic objectives. IS professionals often bridge the gap between technical and non-technical teams by translating business needs into technical solutions.

Information Technology: While IT professionals collaborate across departments, their main emphasis remains on the technical aspects of technology. They ensure smooth system operations, data security, and that technology infrastructure meets organisational needs. Collaborating with IS professionals ensures technical solutions align with business objectives and requirements.

4. Operation and maintenance

Information systems: Is encompass the impact of people and processes on organisational performance, overseeing computer networks and applications in contemporary business settings.

Information technology: IT involves tasks such as deploying software updates, resolving user technology issues, and upgrading obsolete hardware to fulfil operational needs.


Audrey Huang

Audrey Huang is an intern news reporter at Blue Tech Wave. She is interested in AI and startup stories. Send tips to

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