Get In “The Know”: Hot Topics of 2010

March 19th, 2010 by TCC Leave a reply »

Here are some of the latest buzz words in the technology industry. I did some research on what everyone is discussing these days, and provided some descriptions for those of us who have heard these terms time and time again, but are still slightly confused as to what they really mean.

Web 2.0: Web 2.0 is the term encapsulating the current functionality of websites. In the past, websites were used as information portals, solely one-way communication. Websites now are facilitated to be interactive while sharing information with the visitor. Newer websites have videos, animation, capabilities for user interaction through feedback, and allow customers to be in control of what they see. Previous, non-interactive websites provided limited the viewing experience, where as social networking sites, blogs, and various web communities allow for multiple connections among users to exist on the same platform.

Cloud computing: Cloud computing is a sharing of software services over the internet versus from your local PC. It used to be that in order to use specific programs, you had to purchase or download the software and upload it to your PC. With the access to and speed of internet increasing, it has become more common to share such programs over the internet, leaving them hosted in a fictional “cloud” overhead.

Virtual desktops: similar to the idea of cloud computing, virtual desktops exist when the desktop monitor is separated from the physical computer machine. The “virtualized” environment is created by storing the programs, processes, data, and other applications on a server, instead of the individual local storage. This allows for users of any personal computer, laptop, smartphone or other capable interface to access their same desktop from anywhere. This is good for business needed to be done on the go, because you can virtually take your computer wherever you want to go.

Social media: social media is like traditional media, but is produced, received, consumed, and reproduced all over the internet at an exponentially quicker rate. Traditional media, such as direct mail, is one-on-one interaction with the end user, and feedback or a response can take quite some time, if it happens at all. It is also not able to be tracked so information producers cannot be sure their information is being found, consumed, and acted upon. Social media has changed all of this. These internet-based applications allow for constant connections among multiple users at once, and information can be released to the public in less than a second. Companies using social media can contact their target audience whenever they choose, and attract new customers, reconnect with past customers, and make sure they’re keeping current customers happy.

Twitter: Twitter is a form of social networking in which users post messages similar in length to a text message sent between phones.  These messages, or tweets, are a form of microblogging, where twitter users can post about whatever content they choose, whether it be personal day-to-day activities, or upcoming business events. Users can choose to “follow” other users, and keep up with whatever it is they choose to “tweet” about. Because users control who they follow, the stream of messages is narrowed to only those the user is interested in hearing, which can be great for companies looking to reach out to their current target audience, but not so wonderful if trying to reach out to new customers. It has been said by many to go about using Twitter with ease and to be sure it is right for your type of business before investing the time.

SaaS: Software as a Service provides companies with software applications which are licensed or contracted to them, and are available as a type of service on demand. SaaS vendors host the software solutions on their servers, and lend out the use to customers, allowing them to use the software as needed, or upload it directly to their computer. Typically, it is only available until the contract ends or the term expires, therefore this service is wonderful for those looking to test a new software program or in need of a program for a specific period of time. SaaS is a great idea for smaller firms that aren’t looking to make a big financial investment.

PaaS: Platform as a Service is provided by companies who deliver computer operating services (see cloud computing) along with a solution stack of software and/or other applications.  PaaS grew from SaaS (software as a service) as companies found that the software service alone was not enough for many clients who were looking for the whole package. PaaS is best used by companies who have a need for these services, but don’t have the capital expenditure of larger organizations to invest in and manage the hardware and software.

By Bridgid Shea, Marketing Coordinator for The Computer Company, Inc.


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