Expert Advice for Medium and Midsize Businesses

18 Important Acronyms for Your SMB in 2018

Rudolph Lukez
Director, ERP Product Marketing, Oracle

With over 18 acronyms, many SMB choices for next year

One of the characteristics of our modern society is the increasing density of acronyms throughout our daily lives. Neither good nor bad, it is a trend that continues to become more embedded in our language both through writing and conversation. Anymore, it seems rare to get through an hour without using multiple acronyms.

For SMBs (of course, we use acronyms to discuss this business segment!) or, as identified outside North America, SMEs, the use of TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) and other character combinations related to cloud and emerging technologies is important for internal and external communications. As 2017 turns into 2018, it is a great time to consider the acronyms important for your SMB as cloud and next generation technologies grow their importance across all industries. While some may already be common SMB acronyms, all are important to know and understand in 2018.

Start with cloud delivery and capability platforms. These come in a variety of four and five letter combinations. You are probably familiar with several of these platforms, and hopefully are already using at least one offering. In 2018, each of these will grow their capabilities and become more important.

These cloud-based platforms include the three most commonly referenced service and continue to increase in SMB adoption and on-premises systems are moved to the cloud: SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service).  These three offerings continue to be the bedrock of cloud services. If your SMB is not working with one of these foundational services, it needs to be a solid goal to embrace at least one in 2018.

But other offerings are rapidly become more commonplace, and more often are being deployed together in many different combinations to supplement bedrock services. These newer acronyms include similar sounding DaaS (Data as a Service), which is focused on real data from multiple data collection services, and DBaaS (Database as a Service) for ready-to-go database loads for existing or new services from any SMB.

One unique and fast-growing cloud offering is called MaaS (Mergers and Acquisitions as a Service) which helps companies get through M+A activities which is a traditional vehicle for SMB growth. Additionally, as SMBs offload more internal IT capabilities, another area for 2018 is NaaS (Networks as a Service) which often include highly secure VPN (Virtual Private Network) offerings.

Other examples are evolving as more computing and applications are relocated and rewritten from on-premises systems to cloud environments. Generically, these are lumped under XaaS (Anything as a Service) where, mathematically speaking, X is the variable for “anything”.

With SaaS – the core cloud platform every SMB needs for modern business today – companies everywhere will continue to embrace ERP, HCM and SCM op-ex software in the cloud rather than from cap-ex on-premises or hosted systems. The one acronym every SMB needs to look at in 2018 is EPM (Enterprise Performance Management). Simply put, EPM cloud applications are the best way to extract and analyze your enterprise data and meet a common new year’s resolution of doing less with seemingly endless numbers of spreadsheets.

Another important acronym for 2018 is EDM (Enterprise Data Management). This revolutionary and dynamic approach skips over traditional MDM (Master Data Management) by mapping rather than cleansing enterprise data; it lowers project costs and speeds business transformation. So, if you have spelled bolt 16 ways, you can now use EDM to map rather than cleanse metadata.

Beyond cloud platforms and applications, consider next generation technologies. These key technologies include AI (Adaptive Intelligence), AR (Augmented Reality), IoT (Internet of Things), ML (Machine Learning) and RPA (Robotic Process Automation). These rapidly evolving technologies were born in the cloud; they will continue to evolve in 2018 across all flavors of the cloud since this is where their DNA can thrive.

Of course, on-premises and third-party applications will continue to hang on in 2018 and it will be advantageous to connect them to your SMB cloud applications. This is where ICS (Integration Cloud Services) are ready to help and leverage your previous technology investments.

Lastly, take a new look at ROI (Return on Investment) and TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). They have both been around a long time, are sometimes considered financial analysis cousins. Why are they important in 2018? Simply said, expect ROI and TCO answers to be better than ever. Extrapolating from 2017 trends, ROIs are increasing while TCOs are decreasing. Cloud adoption rates for SMBs are rocketing forward and new technologies conspire together to drive down costs with increased capabilities.

With the velocity of technology ascending a steeper curve each subsequent year, it is more dangerous than ever to make predictions for the upcoming year. But one prediction is very safe to make: if you are an SMB working in a traditional on-premises environment, BAU (Business as Usual) will not be a good choice for 2018. There is a lot to learn. So much, in fact, you and your SMB colleagues should attend Oracle’s upcoming MFE (Modern Finance Experience) event in NYC (New York City) from February 13 to 15 where there will certainly be newer acronyms.

By now, you have probably noticed I’ve listed more than 18 acronyms. Which means you can easily craft your own list for 2018 and share them with your colleagues. The truth is I couldn’t whittle the list down to 18, and my editor only originally asked for 10 or 12.

Wishing you, your families and SMB colleagues, a Happy New Year!

PS. Dare I say HNY?

Find out how Oracle Solutions can help your SMB succeed in 2018.


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