As leaders of manufacturing, distribution, and membership association organizations, it goes without saying that you rely on technology for every aspect of your business.
If you are considering working with a fractional CTO--and there are many reasons why you should, as we’ve discussed here and here--it’s important to have a high-level understanding of tech terms. As you’re well aware, technology moves so fast that it’s hard to keep up with the speed of new acronyms and jargon.
However, there are important terms that we want you to know. This will prove beneficial in understanding and talking with technology firms. With this in mind, we’ve collected some of the most important tech terms you should know.
Concurrent vs. Named Software Licenses
When you’re selecting new software, you will typically have the choice between licensing it on a named or a concurrent basis. When you have a named license, the people “named” are the users who must log into the system individually to access the software. If an employee departs, you can reassign their portion of the license to someone else.
Concurrent software is different. Only one person signs in, and they allow everyone else to access the license. If they log out, someone else must log in to grant people access. Some companies use both licensing systems for critical software. In general, concurrent is the least expensive option, but it may also be a hassle.
IT Steering Committee
Your IT Steering Committee comprises the group of people entrusted to determine your priorities for your IT needs or new software implementation, who then follow through on that plan. This team is essential to ensure that your new software implementation is a success.
Subject Matter Expert (SME)
A subject matter expert is a person who has extensive knowledge in a particular area, whether it is a product, business process, task, material, or machine. In the tech world, an SME may have knowledge of specific software, or your tech team may want to talk to an SME who understands some portion of your business to help select and implement software to assist them.
User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
User Acceptance Testing is an important stage in software implementation. In this stage, at least one person who will be using the software tests it. This is how we ensure that the software will actually meet the person’s day-to-day needs. It is essential to bring the end-user in to discover problems and confirm that the software will do its job.
Conference Room Pilot (CRP)
Conference Room Pilot is a method of performing User Acceptance Testing. During this testing method, the team that is launching and integrating your new software brings end-users into a conference room. Together, they run through all of the functions that the software will need to perform in predetermined scenarios. As the team knows the results the scenarios should produce, they can assess if the software is functional.
Value-Added Reseller (VAR)
A value-added reseller refers to additional products or services that a business bundles with a core service or product that is offered by a third party. VARs offer more value to the purchaser than they would get just by buying the product from the original producer. In the IT world, common value-adds to software from third parties include installation, troubleshooting, and additional hardware options.
As we mentioned earlier, tech moves at a torrid pace, and while you don’t need to have mastery over each and every term, having a foundational understanding will help you and your team make more informed decisions.
The Results Technology Difference
Results Technology Group provides technology services to our clients with best-in-class software selection, project management, and business technology leadership services. To learn more about our fractional CTO expertise and capabilities, schedule a free 30-minute technology discussion. Visit our blog page for more content, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.