You Better Know These Tech Terms To Stay Relevant

Understanding tech terms can seem like reading a complex code. (Source: License✓ Free for personal and ommercial use ✓ No attribution required

Understanding tech terms can seem like reading a complex code. (Source:

CC0 License✓ Free for personal and ommercial use ✓ No attribution required

Whether sitting through technology demonstrations, discussion groups, or seminars, I am often caught off guard by the “new tech” terms thrown around that I don’t understand (and am too embarrassed to ask)!

Since the debut of mobile apps, we have been inundated with an endless loop of tech speak. You hear these at our trade shows and among tech providers. I thought I would break them down for you in the spirit of helping you follow along. I found these in a list of “Technology Terms Every Entrepreneur Should Know” compiled by Marci Martin of Business News Daily. Hopefully, this list will give you clarity:

Data center: A facility that houses computer and data-storage systems, including servers. Many data centers are owned by ISPs or large companies, such as Google or Amazon.

Linux hosting: An open-source operating system that can be installed on Web-hosting servers. Many servers run Microsoft operating systems, but some businesses believe Linux is a more secure and reliable option, and prefer to choose Web-hosting services that run Linux.

Back end: What you see when you click on a Web page is the front end. The back end is everything else behind the scenes of that page, like Web servers, databases or applications that make the page work. The back end can determine what search engines see.

Virtual private network (VPN): Allows users to connect to a private network from anywhere for added security. For instance, instead of using the public network at a local coffee shop or hotel room, which has more security risk, employees can connect to your private network with the same security as in the office.

Application programming interface (API): Helps different components of software work together so they all seem to run as a single software. Such interfaces are common and help coordinate numerous “moving parts” to make a program or app easy to use.

Domain name service (DNS): Every domain name is translated into numbers as an IP address when entered into a browser’s address bar. The DNS is a directory of those numbers.

Open source: Describes code available publicly that anyone can use. People can modify it for their purposes.

Machine learning: An example is Siri, Apple’s AI (artificial intelligence) personal assistant. By inferring a general set of rules, refined by use, the algorithm finds an approximate solution in place of having a specific algorithm for each function.

Cloud hosting: Companies that don’t lease servers may instead pay for data to be stored on virtual servers. These servers are said to be based in the cloud if they can be accessed only with an Internet connection. Businesses typically access cloud-based servers through software interfaces specific to their cloud-hosting service providers.

Cloud backup: Data backed up in the cloud is transferred from a business to the data-storage provider’s servers over the Internet. Cloud backup can be set up automatically, making it a convenient data-storage option.

Software as a Service (SaaS): Otherwise known as “software on demand,” this term refers to cloud computing. SaaS is a way of delivering business software via the Internet. SaaS usually can be paid for monthly, making it more affordable than other software options.

Content management systems (CMS): Used to manage the content of a website. They usually include a Web-based publishing feature, which allows for editing and formatting of content without the use of a Web coding language, like HTML. Many CMS also feature one-to-one marketing tools that enable targeted advertising.
Business intelligence (BI) software: Information a business collects about itself. This can include a broad swath of data, which is why businesses often need BI software. These programs let companies keep all their BI data in one place so it is easier to access and analyze.

Customer relationship management (CRM) software: CRM refers to the way a business collects and manages data about its clients. Companies use CRM software to track all the information they collect on clients, such as service calls made or previous products purchased. This helps businesses close future deals and grow relationships with customers.

Content curation: Choosing content to share online. This can be cultivated from existing content, but should always be made new or “fresh” in some way to stay relevant, and to meet search engine algorithms for higher ratings.

Engagement: Knowing how many people use your online resources and how often they interact with your social media. The more your audience engages with social media or your website, the more your message resonates.

Organic: Content that visitors view via their natural or “organic” keyword searches instead of through paid promotions.

Related Topics: industry education, Information Technology, LCT Publisher, mobile technology, Sara Eastwood-Richardson, software

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