Eight common tech business terms that are often misunderstood

Eight common tech business terms that are often misunderstood

Understanding what key terms like the internet and online really mean and how best to utilise the cloud can dramatically improve the way a business operates and communicates.

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“It is easy for misunderstandings to spread throughout a business, particularly around technical terms that are in common use.

“Because we are used to hearing these terms every day we assume we understand what they mean and therefore we think we understand what the impact of any technical changes would be on our businesses.

“It’s important for non-tech leaders within SMEs to fully grasp the meaning of common technological terms so they don’t find themselves making decisions to do something with the technical infrastructure of the business without first properly understanding what ‘it’ is.”

Eight most commonly misunderstood business tech terms

The Cloud

‘The Cloud’ is a term, the meaning of which has arguably shifted over time as technology has advanced. In reality, the cloud is simply some computers owned by someone else whose capacity you can use for the period of time you have an arrangement set up to do so. The cloud can be confused as everything online but that isn’t true. It can also be confused with a single provider.

Clouds can be both public and private with the difference being a private cloud is shared within your organisation whereas a public crowd shares infrastructure with other organisations. The Cloud has quickly become one of the most commonly used business tech terms because it can save your business so much due to reduced infrastructure and maintenance costs whatever industry you are in.


Confusion can arise as your office phone system can look just like a standard, wired-line PBX, but if it’s coming from an Internet line instead of a landline connection then all calls will be via VoIP. If your business uses a Voice over Internet Protocol system for your phones, then it works over an Internet connection.

Phone “Lines”

With modern, business cloud based phone systems, you no longer have multiple phone lines going into your building. The “lines” are just network connections that go over the internet and you can have as many connections as the speed of your internet connection allows. Even on a standard DSL connection you can typically have around a dozen simultaneous calls, and on fibre internet you can have hundreds. Therefore when setting up a new phone system you should not worry about the number of lines, but instead think about the number of phone users you will have.


We often find customers confuse Wi-fi with their internet connection and get them mixed up. Your internet connection is what comes out of the router and down the wire and is provided by your ISP. Your Wi-Fi is a wireless service that runs off the router device. It may also have booster devices to make the signal run throughout your building. While your supplier might provide a router with Wi-Fi, if your router is up and running and you can get on the internet, but your Wi-Fi isn’t working, the problem isn’t with your internet connection.

Security Certificates

Sometimes called by their old name “SSL certificates”. This is a special type of file which is used to encrypt data that is transferred between a website and the customer. The use of a security certificate is indicated by a small padlock icon at the top of your browser window. It is important to note that a security certificate alone does not make a website secure. A website can still be hacked if the code is not maintained and kept up to date.


Artificial Intelligence is mentioned a lot in the news recently and is attracting a lot of attention. The term conjures images of computers thinking for themselves in the same way humans do. The A.I. we have to date does not do that. In fact, the best experts in the field still don’t know how consciousness works or how to recreate it. The A.I. programs we have today tend to be focused on specific tasks such as speech recognition, image generation or image recognition. Here they can mimic some aspects of intelligent behaviour, but they are not conscious. We don’t need to fear a robot uprising just yet.


Bandwidth is often mistaken for internet speed when it’s actually the volume of information that can be sent over a connection in a measured amount of time – calculated in megabits per second (Mbps).


Scalability is a popular buzzword within organisations, but it is easy to forget that business and technology are different. Scalability in business usually means that you also have to scale your tech. Failure to do so will slow growth as tech can no longer support your expanding business it. It is important that your technology can easily scale up as your business grows.

Written on 09/05/2023 by Juliet Moran

As the Technical Director at TelephoneSystems.cloud, I bring over 27 years of extensive experience in cloud technology. As a woman in the tech industry, I am committed to paving the way for the next generation, demonstrating that innovation in technology should be inclusive of both women and men. My goal is to inspire and empower future generations to actively contribute to the advancement of technology regardless of gender.
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