It’s 9 am and you’re running late for a meeting with your IT manager. You know she’s going to be throwing around “techie” terms that make no sense and you haven’t even had time for coffee yet! While we can’t get you the coffee, we can give you a crib sheet of technical terms and what they mean in plain English.
VPN – Also known as a Virtual Private Network, this allows users to securely connect over the Internet by using software to create an encrypted private network. Instead of having to worry about the security of a coffee shop connection, you can connect to your VPN and be just as secure as if you were in your own office.
API – This stands for Application Programming Interface, which allows different pieces of software to work together so they appear to be a single software. APIs allow different software components to work seamlessly together at lower cost.
ERP Software – Enterprise Resource Planning software allows a company to manage the many parts of running a business, from human resources to accounting, all in one place. Companies purchase the modules that are relevant to their needs, and the ERP software does the rest by managing the collected data in an easy-to-use fashion.
Technology Stack – This is another way to describe the portfolio of components that make up an office network. Successful businesses of all kinds work toward a Standard Technology Stack to maximize integration and support so they receive a good return on their investment. See our previous blog https://www.npi.net/2015/02/manufacturers-implementing-smac-stack-to-accelerate-growth/.
Client Side – This term refers to the software and hardware that delivers what the employees interact with rather than what happens behind the scenes at the server. People interacting with the right devices and well developed software result in good Client Side productivity.
Ransomware – Just as it sounds, ransomware is a form of malicious software that gets into a network and will hold either the data, individual computers or the entire network hostage until a sum of money is paid. See our previous blog https://www.npi.net/2016/06/fires-floods-ransomware-oh/. To prevent this from happening keep improving security and staff training. Don’t let up after the first training, keep up with changing threats. Before your company is struck with ransomware make sure you can recover from an attack by frequently testing the daily backups.
Managed Services – A method for improving operations and receiving an improved Return on Investment from technology resources. For more information visit our previous blog https://www.npi.net/2016/06/technology-roi-demystified/. The way to have a well-managed technology stack is by engaging an outside service provider to proactively plan and manage the company technology. The best Managed Services providers use strategic planning, advanced tools and state-of-the-art techniques to continually improve technology performance and reliability.
Armed with this simple vocabulary you should be able to hold your own when meeting with the manager responsible for your business technology. And never neglect to ask for clarification of a term—the wellbeing of your company’s technology is more important than an embarrassing moment.