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Classe Affaires - Glossaire

Classe Affaires – Digital Glossary

Technological innovation is accelerating, leading to the introduction of a multitude of terms, expressions and acronyms. Does this new vocabulary leave you a little confused? That’s normal. Here’s a little list to help you find your way around!

Agile management

 

This set of practices is the result of bringing together three vectors:

 

  • The motivation of teams through the development of collective intelligence
  • The optimal use of new technologies, notably through personalization
  • Process optimization through continuous improvement

 

In the context of a project, agile management is an iterative, personalized and adaptive approach. In concrete terms, this means that your project will be built step by step with frequent deliveries, allowing you to evaluate the quality of the solution as it is being built. The solutions are flexible and are improved thanks to feedback from your end users. Collaboration, flexibility and interactivity are the key words!

 

McGill University offers an in-depth article on the subject.

API

Acronym for Application programming interface 

 

 

An API is an intermediary between computers or software. Through an API, one app can offer its services to another app, in order to add features to those initially available. The use of APIs facilitates the automation and programming of certain tasks. Traditionally, it was necessary to manually export data from one system and import it into another system. With APIs, systems can now communicate directly with each other, which gives you more time to perform your value-added activities (the real business!). For systems that don’t have APIs, you can turn to RPA (robotic process automation).

Artificial intelligence (AI)

 

Simulation of human intelligence integrated into a machine or system. As a result, machines become capable of processing language and visual information, recognizing patterns or making decisions.

 

Discover 5 ways to increase your business performance with artificial intelligence.

Automation

 

This term covers a broad category of technologies designed to reduce human intervention in your business processes. Automation allows you to increase your company’s performance by eliminating repetitive and non-value added tasks.

BI

Acronym for Business Intelligence

 

BI processes your data to transform it into meaningful information for your business. By simplifying the management of your data, it allows you to quickly access the information you need to make informed business decisions.

 

Read more about this in the article What if your data were intelligent?

Big data

 

Digital data set characterized by its imposing volume, its variety and its velocity. It requires technologies and analytical methods to be properly processed. The right tools make it easy to capture, store, search, share, analyze and view such data. A data warehouse, BI or a decision support system help you get the most out of it. A network of physical objects or the Internet of Things (IoT), in particular, is likely to generate a large amount of data and may require big data processing tools.

Business analyst (BA)

 

A BA assesses your needs, documents your processes and studies your workflows. This process makes the BA the best liaison between you and our development team. No need to talk about IT with the BA; your exchanges will focus on your business, and the BA will explain the concepts that apply to you.

Business architecture

 

A management discipline that focuses on optimizing your organization as a whole. It helps you design and plan the changes that will be most beneficial to you. Your processes, capabilities, knowledge, information and organizational structure, among other things, are taken into consideration.

Cloud computing

 

Through a provider, cloud computing allows you to have access to computer services or infrastructures such as servers, storage, networks or software. These resources are accessed via the Internet, called the “cloud.”

CMMS

Acronym for Computerized Maintenance Management System. 

 

This system generally assists you in your management activities:

 

  • equipment (inventories, location, work orders, etc.)
  • maintenance (preventive or corrective)
  • parts inventories (location, supply, suppliers, etc.)
  • purchasing (quotes, orders, invoicing, etc.)
  • staff (activities performed, availability of resources, planning, etc.)
  • costs and budget (labour, material, purchases, rentals, etc.)

 

It also provides you with performance indicators (KPI) and can include a dashboard, notifications or alerts.

CMS

Acronym for Content Management System 

 

It is a computer software used to manage the creation and modification of digital content. Websites, for example, have a CMS allowing the management of content by multiple users. Some known examples of CMS: WordPress, Hubspot, JOOMLA, Magento, Blogger et Shopify.

Dashboard

 

Like an airplane’s instrument panel, the management dashboard is a valuable steering tool. It allows you to visualize your data and presents the key performance indicators (KPI) you need to make strategic business decisions. Combined with a BI tool, the dashboard also allows you to anticipate certain results or test different scenarios.

Data analysis

 

The grouping and linking of data using various statistical methods. Data is put into context and linked together to provide you with the information you need. Today, BI tools allow you to process a large volume of data, to support you in your strategic decision-making.

Data governance

 

A detailed description of the decision rights and accountability framework surrounding the management and use of your data. Gartner states that it is intended to ensure appropriate behaviours in the assessment, creation, use and control of your data and analytics.

Data warehouse

 

A data management system that collects, organizes and stores data generated by your company or by an external source (social networks, weather, etc.). Once centralized, this data can be presented in the form of reports or dashboards, but also analyzed by BI tools to facilitate your strategic decision-making. The data warehouse is the basis of artificial intelligence and machine learning projects.

Decision support system

 

A type of system that facilitates your strategic decision-making. Equipped with artificial intelligence and data analysis tools, it connects databases and knowledge in order to evaluate the impact of different scenarios.

Design thinking

 

Used in problem solving, this approach aims to innovate by focusing on people. The process is divided into five phases: understand your customers, define the problem, find a solution, create a prototype, then test it with the end user. This approach, which can be iterative, ensures the performance of the solution before implementing it on a large scale.

Developer

 

A person who designs your new systems or makes changes to your existing applications. In concrete terms, the developer writes the source code necessary for the proper functioning of your technology solution. To do this, he/she must master computer languages such as C#, C++, Python or .NET. He/she works with the business analyst, the functional analyst and your team to ensure that you achieve your business goals.

DevOps

 

An approach to unify software development (Dev) and operations (Ops). DevOps principles favour short development cycles, regular testing, more frequent deployments and continuous delivery. Modules are implemented progressively in accordance with your company’s priorities, while promoting end-user satisfaction. In the last few years, the term DevSecOps has cropped up: security (Sec) is inserted in between software development and operations.

Digital transformation

 

The modernization of a business to deploy technological innovations such as cloud computing, BI, automation and artificial intelligence, but that’s not all. Digital transformation also involves changes in workflows, roles, responsibilities and, often, company culture.

 

Find out why digital transformation is a must for business sustainability.

Digital twin

 

A digital replica of an object, system or process. Through the Internet of Things (IoT), this digital simulation is updated in real time from the information provided by its physical twin. It also keeps a history of the data linked to it. The digital twin combines artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics to optimize the operation of physical assets, systems and processes.

Edge computing

 

This is an optimization method used in cloud computing. Data is collected, processed and analyzed at the edge of the network, close to the data source, minimizing bandwidth requirements. By avoiding the transmission of large amounts of data to the cloud or data centre, edge computing increases the fluidity and speed of systems.

ERP

Acronym for Enterprise Resource Planning

 

Acronym for Enterprise Resource Planning. This system is made up of a set of modules allowing the integrated management of the main processes of your company. ERP centralizes and disseminates in real time the information generated by the various departments: production, supply, sales, accounting, etc.

ETL

Acronym for Extract, Transform, Load

 

This term refers to a process by which your data is used. First, your data is collected from any number of sources. Then, the raw data is cleaned and transformed: formats are standardized, duplicates are eliminated and the data is verified and sorted. Finally, the data is centralized in a data warehouse. Once ETL is complete, you can leverage your data, for example, with data analysis, BI or decision support system tools.

Functional analyst

 

He/she takes charge of the design of your business solution by translating your requirements in terms of technology. To do so, he/she analyzes the characteristics of your project and develops the best solution according to your needs, your budget and your schedule. He/she works in close collaboration with the business analyst and the team of developers.

IaaS

Acronym for Infrastructure as a Service

 

IaaS is a model where you benefit from the IT infrastructure (servers, storage, backup, network) of a service provider, via cloud computing. As a result, your company does not have to own or manage physical computing resources. You still control your operating system, your databases and the applications available.

Industry 4.0

 

Intelligent automation of your business by integrating digital technologies such as connected machines, data analysis and artificial intelligence. Processes, management styles, business models and workforces can all benefit from these new technologies. In practice, the BDC states that the transition to Industry 4.0 has the potential to increase your productivity, reduce your costs and increase the quality of your products.

Internet of things

also called IoT

 

The network created between tangible objects equipped with sensors, software or other technologies that connect with other objects or systems via the Internet to exchange data. For example, a connected device whose data indicates a deviation from normal can automatically send you a notification on your smartphone. The smart home is another great example of connected objects.

IT

Acronym for Information Technology

 

This expression refers to the field of information processing (i.e., the creation, processing, storage and exchange of digital data). IT encompasses a wide range of technologies: software, hardware and communication technologies, among others.

KPI

Acronym for Key Performance Indicator

 

These are the performance indicators deemed most relevant to evaluate the success of your company as a whole or on specific aspects. Often presented in dashboards, these indicators guide your strategies and qualify your company’s growth.

Machine learning

 

One of the components of artificial intelligence, it allows machines to learn autonomously, directly from data. Systems equipped with it have the ability to improve their performance without additional programming. For machine learning to be possible, a very large amount of good quality data is required. This data is normally found in a data warehouse.

Metaverse

 

A contraction of “meta” and “universe,” this term is used to describe a fictional virtual world. Metaverse generally refers to a new version of the Internet, which gives access to decentralized and enduring virtual spaces. Equipped with a virtual reality headset, augmented reality glasses, a smartphone, a computer or a video game console, it is possible to interact with these 3D virtual spaces.

The metaverse opens up many possibilities in video games and social media, but also in business, education, sales and real estate. Microsoft Mesh, for example, will soon offer a virtual office platform. Through avatars or holograms, users will be able to collaborate virtually in a 3D space simulating an office environment.

PaaS

Acronym for Platform as a Service

 

Through this type of cloud computing, a provider offers you a runtime platform for your applications. As such, it is responsible for:

 

  • the servers, including the motherboard, RAM, etc.
  • the core software, such as the operating system and database engine
  • the network connection, storage and backup infrastructure.

 

You are responsible for the applications themselves. You choose, install, configure and use the applications at your convenience. A PaaS significantly reduces your maintenance costs, because you no longer have a server to administer, antivirus software to renew, security updates to install, etc.

Process mapping

 

A planning and management tool that visually describes your workflow. Process maps show a series of events that produce an end result, including the people, tools and elements involved. This map allows you to analyze your processes in order to optimize them and, therefore, increase your performance.

Process optimization

 

A set of improvements that allow you to reach a higher level of operational efficiency (i.e., to increase the performance and profitability of your company). In order to do this, all types of waste (time, resources, money, etc.) must be identified and gradually eliminated. Activities with little or no added value that can be automated are also targeted.

 

Continue your reflection on process optimization.

Resistance to change

 

Behaviour or attitude that denotes a refusal to support or effect change. Resistance to change is a frequent phenomenon in the context of technological projects or digital transformations.

 

Here are 6 tips to boost your team’s engagement. 

RPA

Acronym for Robotic Process Automation

 

This process automation technology allows the creation of software robots by learning the behaviour of human users on an interface. Thanks to artificial intelligence, the system learns by itself the list of tasks to automate by observing the work of your teams. This technology is used, among others, to automate tasks related to data processing, invoice management or customer service.

SaaS

Acronym for Software as a service

 

SaaS is generally cloud-based software, as opposed to a program installed on your computer. The cost of acquisition is nil or almost nil, but an investment may be required for the initial configuration. You can use a SaaS by subscribing to a provider, which takes care of updates and infrastructure maintenance.

Software 2.0

 

While traditional programming is done by developers, Software 2.0 is done by machines. The code is created by neural networks in order to reach the objective set by the operator (who is a human). Using machine learning, the machine performs tests and iterations in order to optimally reach the objective.

Software package

 

Produced by an editor who offers it to a large clientele, the software package is composed of an assortment of parameterizable programs. ERP, for example, is a type of software package.

Technology debt

 

A technology debt can be a delay in the modernization of the infrastructure. We are talking about hardware, but also about all the systems in use in your company. Technology debt can also be caused by recent solutions that are out of step with your company’s objectives.

 

Pour en savoir plus, consultez nos 6 conseils pour contrer la dette technologique.

UI

Acronym for User Interface

 

It is the hardware or software device that allows you to interact with a machine. You use the UI to control the operations of a machine, while the machine presents information that can help you in your decision-making processes. The term UI also includes the windows and screens of the applications you use in everyday life, especially on the web.

UX

Acronym for User Experience

 

In technology, we speak of UX to qualify the interactions of a user with a product, a system or a service. UX has two components: the first is related to perceptions of the technical characteristics of the tool (efficiency, security, reliability, etc.), while the second is related to its ergonomics (appearance, aesthetics, emotions, etc.). As a result, UX is subjective and can vary according to the different users.

Virtual machine (VM)

 

Software that emulates the behaviour of a physical computing device. For example, a virtual machine can simulate the characteristics of a real computer (memory, processor, hard disk, operating system, etc.), allowing it to run programs as the real computer would. Let’s take the example of four physical servers, each of which is used at 20%. You can replace them with a single physical server, which runs all four virtual machines and separates the available resources according to peak usage.

Workflow

 

A sequence of operations established in your company and repeated on a regular basis in order to achieve an objective. By analyzing a workflow, you describe the different steps of a process, the people involved, the time required and the resources needed (material or in terms of information).

4D printing

 

Just like 3D printing, this is the creation of a three-dimensional shape by depositing material in successive layers according to a digital model. What sets 4D printing apart is that the resulting shape is able to morph into different forms in response to environmental stimuli such as light, temperature, voltage or humidity.

5G

 

5th generation cell phone standards. It offers greater bandwidth, faster download speeds, and limits the risk of network saturation.

Do you have a technology project in mind?

 

Contact us – we’ll be happy to discuss it with you!