Digital transformation is the future of your organization — but reading about digital transformation strategies can feel like looking at a bowl of alphabet soup. Studies show that only about 7 percent of corporate leadership is digitally savvy, which means you might feel a bit out of your ken as your organization begins adopting new strategies and processes in the name of digital transformation.
Remaining relevant in the modern business environment will require plenty of engagement with digital education. In the meantime, you can use the following glossary of acronyms to help you decipher the memos you receive about your business’s ongoing digital transformation.
AI: Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence demonstrated by machines, as opposed to the natural intelligence displayed by animals including humans. Business leaders unfamiliar with AI should spend time in artificial intelligence courses to understand how this tech is becoming essential in business strategy.
IoT: Internet of Things
The Internet of things (IoT) describes physical objects (or groups of such objects) with sensors, processing ability, software, and other technologies that connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet or other communications networks. The IoT first emerged more than a decade ago, but continuous advances to the tech have made it much appropriate and relevant for today’s business and industrial environments.
BPM: Business Process Management
BPM tools provide the enterprise visibility necessary to optimize processes with automated workflows. Thus, BPM is an essential component of digital transformation for business leaders eager to improve business health through efficiency.
RPA: Robotic Process Automation
RPA tools help reduce employee workloads by assuming simple and mundane tasks. Often, robots can perform basic tasks with greater speed and accuracy, freeing up human workers to focus on more difficult tasks that tend to be more fulfilling to complete.
RAD: Rapid Application Development
RAD platforms are also called low- and no-code solutions, which help businesses develop bespoke applications to solve business problems without the cost and headache of hiring expert programmers. This can increase the speed and reduce the expense of digital transformation.
SaaS: Software as a Service
Software as a product has many disadvantages: its difficulty to update and its inaccessibility across devices chief among them. Thus, business leaders should lean into SaaS, which involves third-party hosting of applications on the Cloud, improving scalability, security, support and access to critical business software tools.
IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service
Building a bespoke IT infrastructure can be time-consuming and expensive. Fortunately, Cloud-based IaaS offerings make it easier to achieve effective storage, networking and virtualization without on-site resources.
PaaS: Platform as a Service
A tool that works in conjunction with RAD, PaaS provides the hardware and software tools to enable application development over the internet. Sometimes, PaaS is also used to create and maintain other IT resources and tools.
ERM: Electronic Records Management
Transferring records to digital storage makes key data easier for executives to access. ERM solutions are often searchable, making the digital records more practical than their analog predecessors.
EDMS: Electronic Document Management System
Like an ERM, an EDMS is a software tool designed to improve the management of electronic documents. However, EDMS suites allow users to modify documents after they are added to the system, which is usually impossible in an ERM.
ECM: Enterprise Content Management
Digital marketing is a vital component of digital transformation. ECM solutions make it easier to track the status of digital content, facilitating approvals for different processes and monitoring the timelines for content deployment.
API: Application Programming Interface
Often, multiple programs in use by an organization were not designed to work together. Thus, businesses must employ APIs to enable effective communication between applications.
MSP: Managed Service Provider
During digital transformation, many organizations outsource some component of their digital strategy to a qualified service provider. An MSP might be responsible for maintenance, implementation and updating of the company’s network, applications, infrastructure or security.
BCP: Business Continuity Plan
An essential component of cybersecurity — which is vital during and after digital transformation — a BCP is a plan for mitigation and recovery in the event of a cyber threat to business operations.
DRP: Disaster Recovery Plan
Similar to a BCP, a DRP is a planned response to an unexpected event, like an accident or natural disaster, that causes harm to a business’s digital services. An effective DRP will include processes that protect IT infrastructure during recovery.