Information Technology Glossary

Maybe more than any other industry, IT is full of buzzwords and jargon that may seem difficult to understand from an outsider’s perspective. We’re here to open the curtain and give you some of the basic definitions of the common IT terms with this Information Technology glossary:

Antivirus Software: a type of software program designed to protect computers against malware by detecting and removing viruses.

Application Programming Interface (API): For an application or software, it is a programming feature that allows for two separate software to communication and exchange data with each other.

Application: a program designed for a specific purpose, such as a word processor.

Bandwidth: a measurement of the volume of data that can be transmitted over a network at any given time.

Big Data: Large, complex data sets that are often difficult to manage with traditional data processing software.

BYOD: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is an organizational technology model that allows employees to bring and use personal devices for work-related activities.

Cloud Backup: a service that allows organizations to store data using the internet on an offsite server, often maintained by a cloud provider.

Cloud Computing: on-demand delivery of computer system resources and computing power, often offered through a cloud provider. Services can include servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence, and more.

Cloud Migration: the process of moving databases, applications, and other systems from on-premises hardware to the cloud, or from one cloud to another.

Cloud Service Provider: third-party companies that offer businesses cloud services and platforms, such as IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, cloud backup, and more.

Cloud Storage: files stored on the internet with a cloud storage provider or a dedicated private cloud.

Colocation: housing privately-owned equipment, such as servers, in a third-party facility.

Cyber Attack: an unauthorized attempt to access data or resources from a computer(s) or network(s).

Data Center: a facility that centralizes and maintains equipment for businesses to store data and applications.

Database: an organized collection of structured data typically stored electronically.

Disaster Recovery (DR): a set of policies, tools or procedures that enables a business to continue operating or return to normal operations as quickly as possible in the event of a human-caused or natural disaster.

Domain: the address of your website that people visit (like It is also the identifier for internal network administration including applications, emails, and more.

Encryption: the process of encoding information. Encrypting data will convert it into a seemingly random and unreadable format that can only be translated or read with a decryption key.

Firewall: a security device that monitors incoming and outgoing traffic to block and filter traffic to prevent unauthorized agents from gaining access to a network.

Hardware: the physical components and equipment of a computer.

Hybrid Cloud: a cloud environment that is comprised of different models, such as a private cloud, public cloud, and/or on-premises infrastructure.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): a type of cloud computing where a cloud provider manages the infrastructure and a business manages the operating system, middleware, software, and applications.

Infrastructure: components of IT enterprises. These can include hardware, software, operating systems, and more.

IP Address: an Internet Protocol (IP) address is a unique string of numbers assigned to each device connected to a network, including the Internet.

Managed Service Provider (MSP): a third-party company that manages and provides enterprise-level IT services.

Microsoft Azure: Azure is a cloud computing service. Azure is Microsoft’s server in the cloud that allows for building, testing, deploying, and hosting applications, business data, network infrastructure and more.

Middleware: software that bridges the gap between an operating system and software application.

Multi-Cloud: the use of more than one cloud provider to provide various services.

Office 365/Microsoft 365 (O365): Microsoft’s Office 365 is a cloud-based subscription service that gives a user or company access to most of Microsoft’s most popular products including; Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and many others.

On-Premises: a term used to describe software that is installed and runs on computers housed within an organization’s physical location as opposed to an offsite location.

Platform and a Service (PaaS): a type of cloud computing where an organization is provided with a platform over the Internet, often for developing and running apps.

Private Cloud: cloud computing resources dedicated exclusively to one business or organization. This could be through privately-owned equipment, or through a third-party cloud provider.

Public Cloud: cloud computing resources accessed over the internet that are shared between users.

Ransomware: a type of malware used as a cyber attack. Once it enters a device, it locks or encrypts the data and blocks it until a ransom is paid.

Server: a computer that is responsible for responding to requests made by a client program.

Software as a Service (SaaS): a cloud-based service that delivers software to users over the internet.

Software: a set of instructions that tell a computer how to work.

Unified Communication as a Services (UCaaS): UCaaS is basically a blend of internet-based phone and messaging with a full-featured communications platform. It allows organizations and their employees access to multiple collaboration tools from anywhere.

Virtual Machine: a software that emulates and provides the same functionality as physical computers.

Virtual Private Network (VPN): a service that allows you to create a private network while using a public internet connection, providing greater security and privacy.

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