IoT, AI, Blockchain, 5G., etc. What does it all Mean?

It’s difficult to keep up with all of the developments in information technology over the past couple of years.  More and more acronyms and buzz words have popped up and it isn’t always clear what they mean. 

Here’s a quick cheat sheet for your reference:


  • IoT – Internet of Things
    • The internet of things, or IoT, is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a data network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.  Organizations in a variety of industries are using IoT to operate more efficiently, better understand customers to deliver enhanced customer service, improve decision-making and increase the value of the business.  For example, an IoT system that monitors pressure and flow of natural gas lines and transfers that data via a wireless network to a centralized database for analysis by the natural gas company to check for anomalies and issues. 
  • AI – Artificial Intelligence
    •  Artificial intelligence (AI), sometimes called machine intelligence, is ”intelligence” demonstrated by machines.  A true artificially-intelligent system is one that can learn on its own.  Artificial intelligence is a theory and development of computer systems that can perform tasks that normally require human intelligenceSpeech recognitiondecision-makingvisual perception, are features of human intelligence that artificial intelligence may possess. A good example of AI is voice-powered personal assistants like Siri and Alexa.  Another example is autonomously-powered self-driving vehicles boasting powerful predictive capabilities.
  •  Blockchain
    • A blockchain is a growing list of records called “blocks” that are linked using cryptography (secure communication) methods.  By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of the data. It’s “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way”.  Blockchain was invented in 2008 to serve as the public transaction ledge of cryptocurrency Bitcoin.  Blockchain is a distributed database existing on multiple computers at the same time. It is constantly growing as new sets of recordings, or ‘blocks’, are added to it. Each block contains a timestamp and a link to the previous block, so they actually form a chain.
  • Hyperconverged Data Center Infrastructure
    • Hyperconverged platforms include a hypervisor for virtualized computing, software-defined storage, and virtualized networking, and they typically run on standard, off-the-shelf servers. Multiple nodes can be clustered together to create pools of shared compute and storage resources, designed for convenient consumption.  The value of these platforms is that stand alone servers, storage arrays, networking and virtualization technologies are no longer necessary.  There is a single point of management and adding more capacity is typically far simpler than with traditional IT systems.  For IT leaders who are embarking on data center modernization projects, hyperconvergence can provide the agility of public cloud infrastructure without relinquishing control of hardware on their own premises.  There are several OEMs that manufacture hyperconverged platforms.
  • 5G Cellular – 5th Generation Cellular Network
    • Currently, our mobile phone network is in its fourth generation or 4G.  The fifth generation or 5G is up and coming and has been rolled out in some areas of the world including certain cities in the U.S.  5G will not only make our mobile devices better, smarter and faster, 5G will also affect many other kinds of devices, including industrial robots, security cameras, drones and cars that send traffic data to one another.  5G offers mobile internet speeds that will let people download entire movies within seconds and most likely bring big changes to video games, sports and shopping.  By 2024 there will be over 1.5 billion of us connected to 5G, according to Ericsson, a company that makes some of the infrastructure and systems that makes 5G possible.

That’s a lot of information.  Is your organization in the process of deploying these initiatives?  How can you find additional funding for these initiatives?  Consider partnering with a Third Party Maintenance (TPM) company.  TPMs provide support and maintenance for data center infrastructure including servers, storage and networking systems at a FRACTION of the cost of OEM support and maintenance.  Use the savings to invest towards your new IT initiatives for 2019, 2020 and beyond.

Partner with Sherlock Services, Inc., a global TPM Company.

When it comes to supporting IT, we’re at your service. 

Patti Porter