A full integration of business and technology defines today’s commercial landscape. Successful business leaders know this and seek to understand the technology systems that make it possible for their companies to operate. To improve communication and maximize efficiency, business leaders should acquire at least a basic working vocabulary of computer tech terms.
Technology Terms for Business Leaders
Computers and the Internet Terms
Tech terms that pertain to the electronic devices and networks business leaders use every day.
A set of mathematical instructions that help computers perform a certain task. Ideal algorithms are as efficient as possible.
Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality
Both these terms describe content that alter a user’s perceived reality through the use of digital tools. In augmented reality, content is woven into a real-world environment, such as in the game Pokemon Go. In virtual reality, entirely new simulations are created that fully immerse the user in an experience or virtual environment.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A secure internet connection that uses encryption and other measures to ensure network privacy. A VPN is “tunneled” through a Wide Area Network (WAN), such as the internet. This makes it possible for users to connect to the same secure network while at separate locations.
Really Simple Syndication (RSS)
Also known as “RDF Site Summary,” RSS is a method of delivering content on websites in a standard format known as XML. Common examples of websites that use RSS are The Wall Street Journal and News.com.
The collection of software that makes up the infrastructure of a computer.
A router or computer system that disrupts the connection between the sender and receiver. Proxy servers help ensure the security of private networks by evaluating requests for access.
Open Source Software
Software that can be distributed without restrictions. Open source software contains its original source code, making it easy for organizations and individuals to modify it for their own needs. Examples include the Mozilla Firefox web browser or the Python programming language.
A technique used by cybercriminals to gain access to personal user information. In a phishing attack, hackers send users emails that claim to be from legitimate businesses in the hopes that users will provide their username, password, credit card number or other private information.
Tech terms that pertain to certain areas of the internet where users may process and store documents and data as well as access other resources.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A collection of servers located in different areas. CDNs are designed to quickly provide content to users, avoid overtaxing a single server and limit damage in the event of a cyberattack.
Amazon Web Services
A collection of internet-based services used by developers to run applications specifically for the web, distributed by Amazon.com. Notable services include cloud computing, storage applications, supercomputing and crowdsourcing systems.
When companies outsource their IT services via the internet and cloud-based platforms. Advantages of cloudsourcing include lower costs and increased accessibility to services.
Application Program Interface (API)
Designed to help programmers create software and for users to interact with an internal computer system. APIs are made up of commands, functions, protocols and objects, such as windows, scroll bars, dialogue boxes and filing systems.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software that is rented instead of bought. Companies may subscribe for SaaS products and receive automatic upgrades during the subscription period. SaaS works best when using the cloud.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
A service provided via cloud computing that offers companies use of a basic computing platform. This often includes simply the hardware and virtual machine, or hardware and operating system.
Tech terms that pertain to the data or programs accessible by means of a computer network.
When a single website is run and maintained on a single server.
When multiple websites are run and maintained on a single server.
A server that contains multiple websites that each carry a unique domain name.
A computer system that hosts websites and provides access to them over the internet.
A unique address that identifies a particular device (such as a computer or tablet) on a local network or the internet.
Records used for translating domain names into IP addresses.
SEO and Marketing Terms
Tech terms that pertain to the practice of search engine optimization (SEO) and online advertising.
User Interface (UI)/User Experience (UX)
User interface (UI) is the way in which a person interacts with digital technology, such as a computer or smartphone. User experience (UX) describes how that person feels when using such technology.
The method of permanently forwarding one URL to another.
A webpage that customers are directed to when they click an advertisement or link. Landing pages display information about a business’s products and often provide a call to action for the customer.
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
A method of marketing where advertisers pay a fee each time their ad is clicked by a user.
Where a website is ranked on a search engine results list based on the search engine’s evaluation of the site, rather than a paid advertisement.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
A process by which businesses seek to increase their visibility ranking in public internet searches. This is done by ensuring a website’s title page includes relevant information about the site and repeating particular words within the site copy. (For example, a website for a shoe store might try to include the words “shoes” or “feet” as much as possible.)
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
The practice of increasing the visibility of a website in a search engine results page.
Operations and Business Systems Terms and E-commerce Terms
Tech terms that pertain to how businesses operate with computer technology and conduct financial transactions.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
The practices used by organizations to manage and analyze customer data and interactions. CRM is used to improve retention, sales and customer relationships.
A third-party company that processes financial transactions between buyers and sellers.
Software that transmits payment information between banks.
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
A common method of transferring data between computer systems and computer networks. Companies may use EDIs for business uses such as sending orders, tracking shipments and writing invoices.
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
A set of policies and procedures designed to maximize the security of financial transactions and protect the personal information of cardholders. PCI DSS is widely accepted and was created by four major credit card companies: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
A protocol designed to help send sensitive information securely over the internet. SSL may be used on any area of a website that requires extra encryption, such as when a customer is asked to “log in,” submit credit card data or provide personal information.
A bank account that enables companies to own and use credit and debit cards.
Bridging Business and Computer Technology
Knowing the vocabulary of computer technology can help business leaders gain a more cohesive understanding of the business world. For those seeking to further bridge the gap between these two fields, the online Bachelor of Science in Integrated Technology from Husson University can help. The program’s comprehensive curriculum allows students to develop a familiarity of technology in context, helping them prepare for real-world success.