Decoding IoT jargon for small business owners

IoT, M2M, Big Data, and more: A simplified guide for small businesses.

If IoT, IoE, M2M and Big Data have you scratching your head, don’t worry. This jargon busting guide will help you understand more about this technology that has the power to future-proof and transform your business.

IoT (Internet of Things)

IoT connects devices, appliances and machinery and turns them into a smart, interconnected network. These devices can include things like your coffee machine, light sensors and computers.

Why it’s important: It can help automate processes, track key business operations and even optimise your energy usage, ultimately saving you time and money.

Big Data

What is big data, you might wonder? This refers to all the insight gathered by IoT devices.

Why it’s important: By analysing this data, you’ll gain a rich and deeper understanding of different areas of your business, helping you make informed decisions and implement data-driven strategies, like personalised customer experiences.

M2M (Machine to Machine)

This is the direct communication between machines. It’s essentially devices talking to each other, passing information without the need for a human.

Why it’s important: For a small business, this would help with automation, meaning processes would run smoothly without a person needing to watch over it all the time.

GPS (Global Positioning System)

GPS is a navigation system that’s able to pinpoint the precise location of its user anywhere on earth. You might have one in your car, and yes, the maps app on your phone counts too!

Why it’s important: The GPS is useful for navigation, like tracking deliveries and precious cargo.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing lets you store and access information and apps using the internet instead of a physical hard drive.

Why it’s important: This is useful by lowering costs to do with infrastructure and giving you flexibility in the way you manage data.


This is the software embedded into your IoT devices that keeps everything running.

Why it’s important: Your firmware should always be up-to-date so you know your devices are operating properly and securely.


The gateway is what manages the flow of data between your devices and the cloud.

Why it’s important: It should be robust and reliable to ensure you have easy communication, which is essential for a smooth data exchange within a business.

QoS (Quality of Service)

QoS is the management of the data flow to make sure the performance is optimal.

Why it’s important: The data delivery to your business needs to be reliable and consistent so things continue to operate smoothly.

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)

RFID uses radio waves to identify and track items to make inventory processes more straightforward.

Why it’s important: This means less time is spent looking for missing products so your time can be spent on more strategic tasks.

Network Security

This is all about protecting your IoT devices and data from cyber threats.

Why it’s important: It means you are protected as much as possible from online hackers and potential data breaches.

Device Management

Device management is how you keep track of your IoT devices, make sure they’re working together properly and keep them secure.

Why it’s important: Effective device management helps avoid mishaps and also results in more productivity.

Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance gives you the power to foresee potential problems through data analytics, so you can get things fixed before they get worse.

Why it’s important: This can be incredibly helpful for small businesses by saving them from costly fixes and unanticipated downtime.

OTA (Over-The-Air) Updates

OTA updates let you upgrade your device’s software remotely, meaning no tricky manual updates.

Why it’s important: This helps your devices stay up to date with minimal disruption to you and your business.

With a better understanding of IoT jargon, you’re armed with more knowledge as to how this technology can help you build a well-connected and efficient business.

For more information about the Internet of Things, you can speak with our helpful V-Hub Digital Advisers for 1-2-1 support.

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