Free IT Courses - Upskilling for the New Work Environment Information technology, or IT as its commonly referred to, is defined as the ‘development, installation and implementation of computer systems and applications’. However, in a business sense, this could be further expanded to include the streamlining of business operations, reduction of operating costs and improving bottom line profits through the meaningful application of these technologies. As technology develops at exponential rates, the rate of advancements, along with the amount of technology in the marketplace, will continue to increase rapidly. One of the first adopters of these technologies is business ... and this is not just large corporations. Nearly every small to medium business now has access to advanced computer systems and software at affordable prices that were not to be seen a decade ago. With the popularity of the home and business computer, advanced software applications that increase workplace productivity and operational efficiency, along with the popularity of websites, databases and online marketing techniques to attract and capture potential customers, the reliance businesses place on technology is unprecedented. Through the use of the available technology, businesses have been able to reach new markets and apply new services to current and potential clients. However, as systems and software become increasingly complicated, organisations require specialist IT staff to implement and manage such applications effectively. The greatest software in the world will simply be unproductive if not installed and maintained correctly. In response, the demand for qualified and experienced IT staff is booming. This was highlighted by a report released in November 2010 by a leading recruitment agency, illustrating that demand for IT professionals, especially within the retail sector, has increased nearly 50% over the past six months. In the analysis of the data in respect to the business environment and trends in technology, the increase had been correlated with a demand and willingness of businesses and retailers to invest in new or updated computer hardware and software applications. Business owners held a strong belief that the implementation of the latest information technology would give them a competitive edge in the marketplace and better satisfy their customers. With technology creating massive changes in the workforce, in respect to roles, functions and capabilities, those who have previously relied on IT specialists require a basic understanding of the systems and how they be applied in the workplace. Specialist educational providers, who have recognised the need for this have developed free IT courses for upskilling those who require more confidence in utilising these applications. Furthermore, with the increasing use of IT within the business environment comes with it an increased demand for experienced and qualified IT staff to manage the technology. Whether you are considering your career options or are feeling like a change, a free IT course is a great way to obtain the skills you need to make this transition.