Tip of the Week: IT Has A Lot Of Jargon… How Much Do You Know?

If you spend more than ten minutes with anyone from the technology industry, you may notice that they have a rather colorful vocabulary. It’s not too vulgar or anything, but it is chock-full of buzzwords that you may not fully understand. Here are some of the most frequently used words in the IT industry.

Actionable Analytics
Businesses are capable of harnessing the power of analytics like never before. However, it’s important to remember that only certain data will actually be useful. The data that can be used to improve operations and measure progress is called actionable analytics, and it’s likely some of the most important data you’ll acquire.

Artificial Intelligence
Suspend any knowledge of artificial intelligence that science-fiction movies like The Matrix or Terminator have introduced over the years, and consider instead what intelligent technology can do for your business. You can use it to process lots of data all at once, or make educated decisions using this data. Other types of machinery are capable of speech recognition, learning, planning, and even problem solving.

Blockchain
Blockchain technology is pretty complicated, but the basic idea of it is that each time a file is changed, the changes are recorded, encrypted, and stored in a change log that cannot be edited or changed in any way. Blockchain technology is used in most cryptocurrency transactions, but also has uses in electronic medical records and legal agreements.

Chatbots
Chatbots are commonly considered programs that can build upon conversation, whether it’s through a chat window or spoken over the phone. It’s basically a way to automate certain functions for your business, allowing individuals or groups to get the support they need, even if they don’t speak a specific language. Chatbots can use databases and natural language processing to translate sentences in one language to another.

Cloud-Based Services
Cloud computing has allowed organizations to offer their assets “as a service.” What this means is that services can be delegated to organizations in a scalable, affordable, cloud-based environment that defies the boundaries of traditional hardware and software infrastructures. Furthermore, the company offering the services is generally responsible for any maintenance or security the service requires, while providing the consumer with the ability to control user permissions. Let’s say you purchase virtual server space--you pay a monthly fee, which keeps you from purchasing an entirely new server unit. It’s a considerable cost savings, to say the least.

Datafication
Since businesses are digitizing so much data, it is now being analyzed to transform the way that it’s utilized. This is called datafication, which is the process of turning aspects of everyday life into data that can be used for various purposes. One example is using social media to understand just who your potential employees are. In this sense, social media can, to an extent, replace personality tests. In fact, analyzing data is often a more accurate gauge of character than a personality test.

Decentralized Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency is something that is often used on the dark web to make sketchy sales. On the other side of the coin, however, is the ability to send and receive private, encrypted transactions outside of traditional banking. Cryptocurrency is a virtual asset that doesn’t rely on a physical currency to function, so in a lot of ways, it’s useful. One example of a rather popular cryptocurrency is BitCoin.

Gamification
When they first entered the computing world, video games made a huge splash. Chances are that your younger workers grew up with video games in at least some capacity. You can use this to your advantage with gamification techniques designed to enhance productivity through making work fun--or, at the very least, offering goals or “experience points” for your team to meet. If they earn enough points, they can level up and earn a reward.

Machine Learning
Machine learning is an aspect of artificial intelligence that allows a computer to collect data from different sources, and transform that data into reliable predictions. Businesses might use this information to make educated decisions about their future. For example, a company could use machine learning to collect data from potential customers and use it to increase the possibility that the target would buy specific products or services.

Microservices
If you don’t want each and every service that an application or a program has to offer, there’s often the choice to invest in a microservice, which breaks each of these features down into bite-sized pieces. You can then pay for them individually so as not to purchase services that you don’t need, and they can easily be swapped out or changed as needed.

Open Source
Open-source programs are built off of public source code that can be modified to suit the general needs of the organization. It’s often free and available for any organization that wants to use it. Businesses that want to create custom-made applications can often use open-source code to build working applications with a negligible price margin.

For more information about the many, and often confusing, words in the IT technician’s vocabulary, reach out to Ashton Technology Solutions at 216-397-4080.

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