Every field has unique jargon and terminology, and the tech industry is the prime example that features acronyms, initialisms, hardware terms, and software references. An understanding of tech terms explains your business’s tech tools, expands your knowledge base, and helps you ask the right questions when considering new tech products or services. Besides, every entrepreneur should know these technology terms as it will help them understand the evolving tech sector and its role in their business.
Here are a few tech terms entrepreneurs and small business owners should know and understand.
Website Hosting and Management
The following terms apply to website hosting and management, which many business owners deal with daily.
- Data Center: A data centre is a facility that accommodates computer and data-storage systems, including servers. Data centres are protected with military-grade security and are usually not advertised externally to prevent cybercriminals from targeting them in a data breach.
- Server Hosting: Servers are devices that support a company’s computer and internet networks and host all associated data, including email account data and website content. Businesses without in-house technical support are usually required to maintain a server. They can typically rent space on a remote server or use a managed hosting service. These services provide businesses with servers while conducting full-time technical support.
- Sandboxing: Sandboxing means hermetically sealing a program or application away from anything else. The program or app has everything it needs to operate within the sandbox and does not need to draw on external resources.
- Back end: The back end is everything behind the scenes, including the servers, databases or applications that make the page work. While developing the website, these back-end elements affect what search engines see.
- HTML5: HTML5 is the default programming language used worldwide for websites, video content, graphics and web applications. It is the fifth generation of the HyperText Markup Language, distributed using the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) across the World Wide Web (WWW).
Network and Data
The following terms relate to the networks your company uses to transfer and interact with data.
- Virtual Private Network: A VPN allows users to connect to a private network from anywhere for added security.
- Application Programming Interface (API): An API helps different software components work together so that they seem to operate as a single piece of software. Such interfaces are very common, helping to coordinate many elements to make a program easy to use.
- Machine Learning: Machine learning (ML) is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that allows software applications to become more accurate at predicting outcomes without being explicitly programmed to do so. Machine learning algorithms use historical data as input to predict new output values.
- Open Source: Open-source code is available publicly for anyone to use. People can take open-source code and transform it for their purposes.
- Domain Name System (DNS): Every domain name is interpreted into numbers as an IP address when users enter it into an address bar of the browser. The DNS is a directory of those numbers.
The following terms relate to cloud technologies, which is rapidly becoming part of everyday business life.
- Cloud Computing: Cloud computing is a digital service that lets users access programs, data, documents and other information stored on remote servers through an internet connection. Cloud computing is a supporting term for different cloud services.
- Cloud Backup: With a cloud backup, or online backup, a business sends its data to the provider’s servers over the internet. These services are affordable because the business doesn’t require to purchase additional hardware.
- Cloud Hosting: Companies that don’t lease servers might pay to store data on virtual servers, a practice known as cloud hosting. Businesses typically access cloud-hosted servers through software interfaces specific to their cloud-hosting service providers.
- Software as a Service (SaaS): SaaS is a way of delivering business software through the internet, so a company doesn’t have to buy licenses and install software on specific devices.
- Blockchain: Blockchain is a system of recording information in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system. A blockchain is essentially a digital ledger of transactions that is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems on the blockchain.
- Cryptocurrency: A cryptocurrency is an encrypted data string that denotes a unit of currency. It is monitored and organized by a peer-to-peer network called a blockchain, which also serves as a secure ledger of transactions, such as buying, selling, and transferring.
- Metaverse: Metaverse is an increasingly popular term for the digital worlds of social media, gaming and virtual communication. It allows people to interact and socialize in a computer-generated environment.
- Augmented Reality (AR): AR is an improved version of the real physical world that is achieved through the use of digital visual elements, sound, or other sensory stimuli delivered through technology. It is a rising trend among companies involved in mobile computing and business applications.
- Mixed Reality: Building on AR principles, mixed reality allows real and digital objects to interact. Precisely, it encompasses everything from hand tracking to spatial mapping.
Systems and Operations
The following terms relate to the systems and services businesses use to operate efficiently.
- Learning Management Systems: Businesses use learning management systems to provide training to employees. These systems help human resources departments plan, implement, and assess the training process. A learning management system’s software generally includes video conferencing, discussion forums, and other interactive features.
- Document Management: Document management denotes creating, sharing, organizing, and storing the documents within an organization.
- Version Control: Version control stops people from overwriting their colleagues’ work while keeping historical data undamaged so that users can backtrack and see how a task was accomplished. This also allows for progress on multiple fronts when teams work together on systems.
- Managed Services: Through IT managed services, organizations can outsource many day-to-day business activities to cut costs and increase corporate efficiency.
- Merchant Account: Merchant accounts are agreements with banking institutions that are required before a business can accept credit card or debit card transactions. In exchange for converting credit card payments into cash, banks charge merchants an interchange and other fees.
The following terms relate to the software your business uses daily.
- Custom Software Development: Custom software development is the process of designing, creating, deploying and maintaining software for a specific set of users, functions or organizations. In contrast to commercial off-the-shelf software, custom software development aims at a narrowly defined set of requirements.
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software: ERP refers to a type of software that organizations use to manage day-to-day business activities such as accounting, procurement, project management, risk management and compliance, and supply chain operations.
- Business Intelligence (BI) Software: BI software combines business analytics, data mining, data visualization, data tools and infrastructure, and best practices to help organizations to make more data-driven decisions. It lets companies keep all their BI data in one place, making this data easier to access and analyze.
- Performance Management Software: HR professionals often depend on performance management software to keep track of employee performance. This software helps in organizing and analyzing large amounts of data more competently.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software: CRM software automates and manages the customer life cycle of an organization. It is commonly used by the sales team, sales reps, and call centre reps to maintain contact with customers and quickly respond to their needs.
The following tech terms are integral to business marketing.
- Email Marketing: Email marketing is the promotion of products and services through email. It is an act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email.
- Minimum Viable Product (MVP): MVP is a development technique in which a new product is introduced in the market with basic features, but enough to get the attention of the consumers. An MVP’s purpose is to collect validated feedback on the product to extract benefits from the minimum amount of development and effort.
- Content Curation: Content curation is assembling, selecting, categorizing, commenting on, and presenting the most relevant, highest quality information to meet the audience’s needs on a specific subject.
- Chatbots: A chatbot is a computer program that simulates and processes human conversation, either written or spoken, allowing humans to interact with digital devices as if they were communicating with a real person. It is an algorithm that identifies keywords in user input strings and attempts to select the most relevant answer from a database of preloaded responses.
- Impressions: An impression occurs every time someone sees a piece of corporate social media content.
- Marketing Automation: Marketing automation uses software to automate monotonous marketing work. Some software and online services measure marketing activities and campaign success through marketing automation tools such as emails, social media, reporting, analytics and customer relationship management.
A/B Testing: A/B testing is used to release two pieces of online content to two different test groups and see which version receives the most engagement. This testing helps narrow down marketing and advertising avenues, predicting which option will be more successful with the general public.