technology terms in word bubbles: business intelligence, software stack, CRM

When you become a business owner, you start to learn a lot of new things. As you start out, you’ll often wear multiple hats, including CEO, head of marketing, head of accounting, head of development, and head of IT. You don’t need to become an expert in all these roles, but you should learn the basics until you grow enough to start hiring the right team.

IT management is one area that all business owners need to tackle at some point. Even once you have an in-house or outsourced IT team, you will want to understand the basics of your systems and how they work. However, the language IT personnel use can be complex. If you need support to become more familiar with IT (information technology) terms, take a minute to read through the key technology terms our IT team thinks every business owner should know.


An application is another term for a software program that runs on your device, whether it’s a desktop computer, laptop, or mobile phone. 

Back End

The “back end” refers to the layer of an application that contains the data. For example, in a client-server model the server part is the back end. For websites, form submission and client databases are part of the back end. 

Big Data

Big data refers to a large collection of data from multiple sources collected in a short amount of time. Think 3 x V: more variety, more volume, more velocity. Big data is used to store, analyse, and manage large amounts of information to find trends in different industries. 

Business Intelligence

Business intelligence is the collection and analysis of information and data created by a company’s activities. This can include data mining, performance benchmarking, process analysis, and more. 

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

As the acronym suggests, bringing in your own device means you can use your personal device to perform business activities. If you or your employees are working remotely, you’ll want to have a BYOD policy in place. Using your own device also requires different security measures than an office setting. 

Cloud Services

The “cloud” refers to actions taking place over the internet and cloud services refers to the different services that can be provided over the internet. This can include outsourcing IT management, subscribing to a web service (for example, Office 365 or Adobe products), or accessing services on another company’s network (virtual server hosting). 

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

In the past, customer relations were probably monitored by paper files in a drawer or a Rolodex. Today, CRM is a technology that helps keep track of a company’s relationship with their customers. This can include contact information, important data, communication, and more. CRMs help streamline processes and increase profits. 

Data Center

A data center is the location where computer systems are contained. A data center could be an area in a building, an entire building, or a series of buildings.

Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery is a company’s plan of action to regain access to their data and infrastructure after a cyber attack, natural disaster, or other business disruption. 

Flash Drive

A flash drive is a portable data storage device with a USB interface. You can remove it, reqirte it, and carry it around easily. They’re also sometimes called thumb drives or memory sticks. 

Front End

The “front end” refers to the layer of an application that the user sees and interacts with. In the client-server model, the client is considered the front end. For websites, the visual presentation and copywriting is considered the front end. 


Computer hardware refers to the physical parts that are needed for a computer system. This can include the computer or device and any servers, printers, hard drives, keyboards, mice, etc. 


The series of data and directions that tell a computer how to operate are called software. Software can be run locally or virtually, but does not require hardware.

Software Stack

A software stack is the collection of applications you use in your business. This can include hardware, software, coding languages, etc.


A server is a computer that provides data, programs, or services to other computers (aka clients) using a network.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

File Transfer Protocol refers to a standard set of communication protocols used in transferring files from a server to a client computer. 

Malicious Software

Malicious software is an application that is installed onto a network either by mistake or by a cyber attack that maliciously copies, swipes, corrupts, or destroys sensitive data. It can also be called malware.


Phishing refers to cyber scams that bait people for information, often using fraudulent links that give the criminal access to computer networks where they can swipe sensitive data. 

Virtual Machine

A virtual machine is a computer file that can act like a separate computer. Virtual machines are often used in work environments to run separate operating systems than the main computer. They can be used to test out new software and apps in a safe, contained environment. 


The process of virtualization means to create a virtual version of something. In the business world, this might be virtual servers, or a virtual hardware platform, or storage device. Virtualization helps you maximize your hardware utilizations and your capital investments. 

IT Support in Edmonton, Alberta

We hope you’ve learned a little more about IT from this glossary of technology terms! Alt-Tech Inc. is your Edmonton IT support partner. Our professionals provide fully managed IT solutions, data recovery, virtualization services, and more. Contact us for a consultation to see how we can help your business grow and scale with the right solutions.