Even for people who have an understanding of the space, drawing a line between the two can be confusing. They’re even lumped together in common statistics. For example, according to CompTIA, there are more than 525,000 software and IT services companies in the United States alone.
However, understanding the functions of these companies is critical. Each serves a different purpose to help organizations operate with more efficiency.
Not sure how to tell the difference yourself? In this post, we’ll break down the differences between IT and software. Let’s get started by figuring out what’s at the core of this confusion.
The difference between IT companies and software companies
The fact is, IT is a broad term. It covers the use of technology, computers, and software to achieve operational efficiency. IT companies, in turn, address all these things but software companies only address one component (you guessed it - software).
Often, the confusion starts here because these types of companies are in the same industry. However, while these companies are part of the same sector, IT companies and software companies have different roles. Still, even once we tackle that concept, it can be a challenge to pinpoint their specialties. To combat this, let’s take a quick look at how to define each company type.
What is an IT company?
An IT (information technology) company oversees the use of devices storing, retrieving, and sending information.
What is a software company?
A software company creates products that take the form of various types of software. They work on technology, distribution, and product development.
Still looking for more clarity? We’ve got you covered. In the following sections, we’ll get into more detail about what IT companies do and what software companies do.
What does an IT company do?
An IT company has several different responsibilities that are the key to success in business. They do a lot of work behind the scenes, aside from making sure that your computers are working. IT companies make it possible for people to leverage systems and devices to keep things running smoothly in their organizations. Every day, they help teams use to access information, communicate and automate tasks through technology. Most of these tasks fall into one of three categories:
Now, let’s take a closer look at what an IT company does on a day to day basis.
This is what comes to mind for most when thinking about what IT companies do. IT companies are responsible for making sure that operations are running the way they should. They ensure that devices are working properly and that data is secure. IT is also responsible for installing new software, hardware and providing technical support. As a whole, IT assists with device, software and data management across the entire organization that they’re working with.
The IT department also has to make sure that all systems are in place based on the needs of the company that they’re working for. This means that all IT manages hardware, networks, and other functions in accordance with what the organization requires to run smoothly.
The IT department also has the task of overseeing the use of systems and networks. The create parameters for how teams inside companies use technology and what it’s used for. They also create policies that determine what information is accessible and what users have permission to access it.
While IT and software companies do share some of the same responsibilities as IT companies, there are clear differences between the two. Next, let’s dig into what software companies do.
What does a software company do?
Like IT companies, software companies also play a role in helping teams communicate and collaborate. However, their primary function is creating programs that make this possible. Software companies build the useful programs that consumers and companies use every day. They do this by focusing on a few key areas:
Development is at the core of what software companies do. It’s the first step in creating the products that are useful for consumers and organizations. One of the most popular development models in modern software stems from agile methodology. This encourages teams to focus on continuous integration, collaboration and testing to create the best possible products.
The design element is key to ensuring that the software is functional for users. Software companies take the project requirements into consideration and turn that into a product that the end-user can navigate. This often requires a deep understanding of who will be using the software, and rounds of testing to get it right.
Design and programming work together. However, programming is the actual nuts and bolts of the software itself. Programmers work to code software and ensure that software products serve their intended purpose. Software companies, and specifically their programmers are also involved with maintaining or making changes to existing software.
Bringing it all together: software and IT
Simply put, the core difference between software and IT companies is that software companies create, change or maintain useful products. IT companies ensure that all systems, devices and software work together to help people get things done.
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