The influence of the Internet on the world of business continues to change on a daily basis. In fact, it sometimes changes so fast, it’s difficult to keep up with the pace.
New concepts are always being developed. Acronyms and buzzwords are now a normal part of most conversations.
Yet with it all brings an abundance of confusing, misunderstood, or sometimes just not understood ideas. And that can be frustrating if you’re not speaking the same language as those around you. If you ask for one thing and receive another, all because of misinterpretation of what a buzzword really means, that’s a breakdown in moving a business forward.
APIs are one of many examples. API – application programming interface – are tools for building software and applications. They provide the interface between software and other applications that allow third-party programs to access the data and use it in a way that maintains its own internal integrity, and remains highly functional together.
A good example would be using the Google Maps API. In fact, you may use it already on your own site. It allows businesses to layer data (maps, reviews, ratings) on top of Google’s location-based information, and combine it with your own data for ease of use for your visitors and customers.
Cloud computing can also be misunderstood. Cloud computing is a general term used for the delivery of hosted services. It essentially has enabled companies to consume Internet and computer resources as a utility, paying for the ability to use the service rather than having to purchase the entire program or part. It gives businesses the ability to pay per use, buying resources only when you need them most.
Cloud services should be on-demand, accessible anytime and from anywhere. They are resources that can be used to serve many customers, often with rapid scaling of capabilities depending on the services you purchase.
Within the cloud computing world, you’ll find delivery comes through as Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
Software as a Service (SaaS) – think of it as on-demand software. It’s a software licensing and delivery model in which software is delivered on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) – it provides a platform that allows customers to develop, run and manage applications without having to build or maintain the infrastructure associated with developing and launching an app.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – is a third party provider that hosts hardware, software, servers, storage and other infrastructure components on behalf of its users. They host users’ applications and handle tasks including system maintenance, backup, and resiliency planning.
As computer systems become faster, more powerful and more intelligent, you’ll find more artificial intelligence systems (AI) capable of answering questions you provide it. AI systems today are cognitive by nature because they use existing knowledge to develop new knowledge.
You may have become intrigued with AI technology after Watson won the quiz show Jeopardy! several years ago. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what AI can do. You’ll find AI assisting you in everyday applications, just ask Siri. AI is transforming health care as we know it. AI can even laugh at your jokes and be a friend.
And this is just the beginning. How are you incorporating technology into your business?