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IT Terminology For The Busy Professional

Emerging Technologies Are Hard To Keep Up With

By now, many of you have likely stumbled across the viral social media video of a child in a convenience store articulating the meaning of blockchain in simplistic terms to her father (plus some candy bars, ferries, and comical cartoons). As comical and extracurricular as the video seems, it presents an interesting idea: IT is often overly complicated. Particularly with industries changing so quickly, it is easy to immediately jump to IT implications of technology without necessarily fully understanding the technology in the first place. Below we have outlined some of the most important factors for leaders to consider about emerging technologies broken down into the following categories: A. What is it? B. Why it’s important? C. How to apply it within your organization.

Factors Of Emerging Technologies

Blockchain – the technology behind digital currency. Sometimes described as a digital ledger, blockchain allows information to be distributed but not copied. Rather than traditional banking in which information is stored in a central location, blockchain is dispersed across multiple locations and continuously updated for verifiability. Like the analogy in the video, think of a paper chain: each time a transaction is completed, a new link, or “block”, is added to the chain. Each users ownership is recorded on an address on the chain and they are issued a complex key for access.

  • Blockchain not only makes fraud nearly impossible, it also can be programmed to record incorruptible ledgers of just about anything. Put simply, it allows information to be passed in a fully automated, safe way.
  • While this technology is still new and in early stages of business development, there are applications available that provide capabilities such as: smart contracts, transparent and verifiable governance, and supply chain auditing.

 

Agile Development– a flexible form of software development where the code is kept simple, tested frequently, and functional parts of the software are released as they’re completed rather than waiting for the entire finished product.

  • The needs of organizations are constantly changing, and the need to adapt quickly is paramount. Agile development allows for better flexibility without compromising efficiency.
  • The first step is to implement the set of processes to adopt a framework of agile development. Focus on individuals’ ideas rather than the tools themselves to ensure better understanding across the organization.

 

Big Data– refers to the growing abundance of information via technology sources such as social media, search histories, multimedia content, etc and its availability for business decisions.

  • Big data provides companies with extensive information about their consumers that allows for time and cost savings. Companies have more information than ever before on consumer preferences, lifestyle, and direct input on products/services.
  • Because old processing tools are not equipped to handle the evolving size and complexity of new data, companies should adapt new technologies with expanded capacities to process this data to drive business personalization to attract customers.
  • Cloud Computing – computing resources delivered over the internet/other networks through products, services, and platforms available to businesses.
  • These resources allow an organization to outsource the management of computational systems to industry experts, freeing up employee time for other projects and allowing the organization to scale more quickly.
  • Choose products that best fit your organizational needs and can scale with your growth, then ensure that your IT team is properly equipped with the skillsets to implements these systems. Some examples of products include: Microsoft Cloud Services, IBM Cloud, and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud.

 

DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service)- Many are already familiar or have already created a Disaster Recovery Plan. Now, DRaaS not only allows you to implement those policies and procedures via the cloud, it also ensures your ability to continue operating in the event of a disaster through the replicated hosting of your servers by a third party.

  • DRaaS reduces the business impact to your organization during a disaster, expedites the time it takes to get back to being fully operational, and is financially more preferable to the alternative.
  • Find a DRaaS provider that is cost-effective and supports your overall data protection strategy, ensuring your IT team is not distracted with additional complexities. For the best experience, look for advanced features like image based replication.
  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)- form of cloud computing that provides virtualized computing resources over the internet.
  • IaaS eliminates the need for expensive and high maintenance data centers and typically provides a collection of associated services such as monitoring, log access, and storage resiliency.
  • For businesses, IaaS provides the opportunity to essentially rent infrastructure for their needs that is often easier, faster, and more cost effective than traditional models. If your organization is looking to scale quickly and limit cost (along with limiting IT resources), IaaS along with its other two categories of SaaS and PaaS may be good option.