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Guide to Technical Concepts (for Nontechnical Leaders)

The technology industry is crammed with technical concepts, terms, brands, and acronyms.

This can be a big problem.  Information Technology and Information Security require management.  If you are a business leader tasked with overseeing IT and InfoSec [notice how they were both just abbreviated, but in different ways?], you must make effective decisions. And of course, the only way to make a good decision is to understand the tradeoffs and future ramifications of whatever is being proposed.

Complex technical concepts, distinctive terms, and byzantine abbreviations are hindrances to effective decision making.  

Precise communication is necessary to make the right decision.  Imagine learning that your organization is stuck because you approved a “cloud migration” project that you thought meant migrating to SaaS cloud, not hosting your virtual servers on cloud infrastructure (not sure what that means? Read on).  

Or worse, learning that a recent security breach would have been prevented by a cybersecurity layer that was recommended to you two years ago.  It never moved forward because no one understood exactly what having a “SIEM” really meant (unclear what a SIEM is? Read on).

This guide is a translator.  If you are overseeing IT in any capacity, you will likely encounter the concepts, terms, and accompanying abbreviations that we have collected.  These explanations are for nontechnical leaders, sacrificing detail for clarity.

If you treat this as a primer, you’ll be well ahead of the game. Or treat it as a reference when you find uncertainty in decision making.

Without further ado, here is the Mainstay Technologies Guide to Technical Concepts, henceforth known as the GTC, which you can pronounce either as “G-T-C” or if speaking quickly, as “gitcuh,” either of which are acceptable.