The IT industry is a broad, sweeping term that covers many information technology oriented organizations. If you think about it, no organization (whether corporate or government or non-profit) can survive without IT.
Therefore, when we speak about the IT industry we include all organizations or departments within organizations which develop, maintain or operate the Information Technology systems.
Broadly, we can come up with the following segments for IT organizations. Many organizations will have a presence in multiple segments.
- Product Companies: These are companies that work on products meant to serve a specific use for a customer. There could be pure software product companies (e.g. Adobe Systems or Computer Associates) or hybrid product companies which have both software and hardware – often bundled together but sometimes sold independently too (e.g. Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc.). Also included in this classification are the hundreds of thousands of small start-up companies looking to make their idea the next big idea.
- Services Organizations: These organizations provide IT services to their customers. They are some which specialize in providing services only to the product companies whereas others provide a wide range of services ranging from network maintenance, business process outsourcing, system support, and bespoke application development.