Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association


Technology Terms That You Need to Know


Tech Terms-1046983540 600x400Common technology terms often come up during meetings, in emails, and in conversations with members. By now everyone should have a basic level of technology literacy that allows them to communicate effectively and work productively. So, it’s important for all, not just the IT team, to have a basic understanding of common tech-related words.

Here are the most common technology terms you will see and hear about today:

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Allowing employees to bring personally owned devices (e.g., laptops, tablets, and smartphones) to the office and to use those devices to do their work and access company information, data, and applications.

Business Intelligence (BI)

An umbrella term that includes the applications, infrastructure, tools, and best practices that enable access to and analysis of information to help organizations improve and optimize decisions and performance.

Data Analytics

The science of examining raw data with the purpose of drawing conclusions about that information.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

In effect since May 2018, GDPR encompasses a set of rules that harmonizes data and privacy protection laws for individuals across 31 countries—all 28 European Union member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway—known collectively as the European Economic Area.

Shadow IT

The use of systems, devices, software, applications, and services without explicit approval from an organization’s internal IT department.

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)

A set of security standards that were designed to ensure that all organizations that accept, process, store, or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment.

Single Sign-On

A service that permits a user to use one set of login credentials (e.g., name and password) to access multiple applications.


A type of scam where an intruder attempts to gain unauthorized access to a user’s system or information by pretending to be the user.


The process of substituting an important and sensitive piece of data with a non-sensitive equivalent.

Two-Factor Authentication

Also referred to as 2FA, this verification process typically requires a correct login plus another verification check.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Machine or software technology that mimics human intelligence.

Augmented Reality

An overlay of digital imagery or content on the real world. Examples include the yellow first-down line projected on football fields, the Pokémon Go! game, and pop-up displays on cars that show information like driver speed.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Software designed to integrate the different systems used to run a business so that data can easily flow between them.

Marketing Automation

Software that lets marketers build better relationships with customers by automating messages to them, including emails, social media, and website communications.

Open Source

Software whose source code is open to the public.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

A form of cloud computing that allows users to access software housed on a server elsewhere via the internet, unlike the traditional model that requires software be installed on the device.


This programming term—or its variant, “tech stack”—is used to describe the process of combining (or stacking) programs and software to create a new program.

Virtual Machine

The process of running another operating system on a machine using virtualization software.

Virtual Reality

While augmented reality is meant to enhance a person’s surroundings, virtual reality is designed to immerse a person into a completely digital world.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

An open-source platform that allows developers to use streamlined HTML to create fast-loading pages for mobile devices.

Application Programming Interface (API)

A protocol that programmers use when writing code to enable different systems to communicate with each other.


A computer’s way of storing information, often temporarily, so it can be quickly accessed.


A broad term to describe a system of storing data on a different server and accessing it via a network. The server could be offsite or onsite.


A small file left on a user’s machine by a website. The file stores information sent by the website, and each time the user returns to the site, the site can access the file and add information.


Data about other data. For example, image file metadata might include the creation date, image resolution, and file size.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The practice of trying to get a website to appear atop the results list when a person searches for a topic via a search engine (e.g., Google, Bing).

User Experience (UX)

Refers to the way a user interacts with a product. The term refers to designing technology in a way that focuses on creating an easy and intuitive experience for users.

Go more in-depth about all these terms and how they relate to your day-to-day work activities by reading the full article here.