16 Tech Buzzwords You Need to Know!

Dec 06 2016

What’s an IoT? What about blockchain? Why is everyone buzzing about the “connected” city or augmented reality?

Each and every month, there is a new term that is causing a stir in the tech community – but what does it all mean? If you feel like you may be falling behind, we have a solution for you: 16 easy to understand tech terms that will put you ahead of the game!


Start your buzzword journey here:




We talk about this all the time on our blog – specifically referencing ERP and your cloud security options… but what does it mean? In the simplest terms, cloud computing is storing and accessing information and services via the Internet.



What’s a virtual machine – or a vm? In essence, it’s software that allows you to use one computer operating system on a computer running another system. An example would be if your client is running Windows 8 on a MacBook Pro.



This one has been around for more than just a year. Big data speaks to the large sets of digital information that are floating around out there. Learn more in our blog post



Taking all that wonderful data that we’ve been collecting and putting it somewhere. By using graphs, charts, tables, infographics and reports to better tell us insights about data and findings from it. Read more about big data and visualizations on our blog post.



With the rise of mobile, this is a pretty important term. A native app is an application that’s been made specifically for a certain device platform.

Example: Mail for iOS; Ingress for Android



NFC, or Near Field Communication, is technology that lets mobile and other devices communicate using radio waves when they’re very close to each other (about 4 inches or less) and is used for services like sharing files, pairing with accessories, or wireless payments.




Do you have a responsive site? It’s imperative that you do! A responsive website is one that that adapts easily to different-sized devices like phones, tablets, wearable devices, etc.




These are websites that look and feels like an app – these guys are also known as “HTML5” apps and are all over the web now!




Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an emerging branch of computer science where humans are building machines that can interact with their surroundings and the world around them. They can sense, learn, reason, act and adapt to the real world, amplifying human capabilities, automating tedious or often dangerous tasks, and solving some of our most challenging societal problems. A great example of technology that employs A.I. can be found in Sage’s Pegg Bot app. Learn more about Pegg and how it can help your accounting department here.




Machine Learning (ML), is a subsection of AI (see above). This is when computers can accumulate and sift through huge amounts of data. Being able to process this data enables them create mathematical algorithms, which allow computers to act or “think” without being explicitly directed to perform specific functions.




Heard of the Pokemon GO craze? This is an example of the newly emerging augmented reality (AR) trend. This is where a computer superimposes “enhancements” that are over layed over a user’s real-world environment – i.e. when you’re looking for a Pokemon on your walk to work.  





Virtual Reality (VR) is where a computer fully creates an environment that a person sees, usually through goggles or another Head-Mounted Display (HMD). Users can experience something like being on the moon, shooting asteroids in the middle of space or walking on the bottom of the ocean.


how blockchain works vertafore insurtech.png



A Blockchain is a public ledger of all the crypto-currency or Bitcoin transactions that have ever been executed. This ledger is continuously growing as these blocks, when completed, are added to a new set of recordings. The completed blocks are added to the “blockchain” in a linear, chronological order. Nodes, which are connected to the Bitcoin network by the computer by using a client that performs the task of validating and relaying transactions, receive a copy of the blockchain. This then gets downloaded automatically once someone joins or logs on to the Bitcoin network.


The blockchain stores complete information about the addresses and their balances right from the first block to the most recent one.




Cloud Computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is part of the cloud computing model. SaaS is the business model that claims people would rather rent software than actually own it. With their web browsers, users access the cloud of the Internet, and log into their online rented copies of their SaaS software.




In cryptography, encryption is the process of encoding messages or information in such a way that only authorized parties can read it. Encryption does not of itself prevent interception, but denies the message content to the interceptor. In an encryption scheme, the intended communication information or message, referred to as plaintext, is encrypted using an encryption algorithm, generating ciphertext that can only be read if decrypted. Learn more about mobile security in our blog here.



Authentication is directly related to encryption. Authentication is the complex way that computer systems verify that you are who you say you are.


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