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Technology buzzword bingo: It doesn’t need to be confusing

Date: 13th July 2017     Category: Blog

Technology today can feel like a bit of an alphabet soup. Whether it’s artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality, or Cloud computing, it often causes confusion on exactly what the technology is and what function it performs.

In business the question often is: What does any of this mean? We all know that we need to get on-board the technology journey, but often it can seem too confusing when there’s a million other priorities demanding our attention.

Is it really the terminology?

As someone who is passionate about the advantages technology can bring it made me think: Is it really the terminology that is confusing people or is it the sheer pace of change that makes it difficult to comprehend?

For me it’s a bit of both. The terminology around technology can seem ridiculous but in the end most of it can be easily explained. Take Big Data for example; this relates to the explosion in data that we’ve seen across the world. There’s just so much information available these days and it’s growing at such a phenomenal rate that it’s becoming a challenge (and at the same time an opportunity – more on that later). Many things have contributed to this, from the rise of social media to the sheer volume of content available on the Internet; the key challenge for us all is to work out how to both store data and/or information and to use it better in our businesses.

The pace of change then adds to that. It seems that as soon as a technology becomes mainstream something else is already leapfrogging it to become the new norm. It’s the pace of change that makes it difficult to know what you should do now.

The simple answer can often be the right one

The challenge we all have is finding the right organisation to guide us through the maze, like we did at BTS when fitting out our office space from a technology perspective.

The best way I’ve heard it described came from one of our team when explaining it from his perspective in working with our clients. His job is to uncover a business problem, take the time to understand its impact to the client, convert it to a technical problem, build a technical solution, and then deliver it back as a business outcome. It’s the outcome piece that has stuck with me. Buzzwords become clearer when you can convert it into business language: What’s the technology going to do to solve a problem I have?

Three technology terms that you should know

From my perspective, there’s three areas I think we all need to look at both now and moving forward:

1. Cloud: Accessing IT server capacity and applications from the Cloud is something we should all look at. So many parts of our daily life now involve us dealing with Cloud based applications, from banking and accounting, to social media. The real change we’ve seen is in its accessibility: no matter what size business you are we all now have the advantage of dialling up more and more processing power at a price point that is affordable. For every business that’s a huge advantage.

2. Big Data: Following on from Cloud, this is something we’re all going to need to address moving forward. We’ve already entered into the phase of business where information and knowledge equal market power. Having secure, fast access to the ever-increasing amounts of information within and around your business will be important to your future success.

3. Business intelligence (BI) tools: Looking into the future, the next phase will be how you use your data or information to your advantage. For example, all of us have huge amounts of information relating to our customers’ behaviour; what they like/don’t like, what they might or might not buy. Today many businesses leave this to an individual to manage, perhaps a sales rep or marketing specialist. BI tools will allow you to mine this data more effectively, using technology to analyse vast quantities of data that makes it faster and easier for your people to make decisions on what will likely happen. Many major corporations already do this, what we’ll see in the future is this become available to all business, regardless of size.

Author: Stan Corner