Your Guide to IT Terms and Services

If you are unfamiliar with a lot of the tech jargon and IT-speak you encounter when setting up IT services for your business, don’t worry - you’re not alone. Most people feel confused about the acronyms, initialisms, and tech terms that they encounter when they start working with a local IT company. If you want to learn more about commonly-used technical terminology, check out this handy glossary of IT terms and services you might come across in your day-to-day interactions with your IT team:

Adaptive Technology - A set of tools or products designed specifically to help people with disabilities work efficiently and productively. Adaptive technology is related to assistive technology, which allows people with disabilities to use technology and services to accomplish tasks.

BDR - Backup and disaster recovery. The storage, retrieval, and reintegration of data in the event it is lost or corrupted due to a natural or man-made disaster, such as a flood, hacking attempt, or fire. 

Business Intelligence - Business intelligence refers to an array of software and tools that a business can use to collect and analyze data. This includes data mining, data analysis, and data reporting.

BYOD - Bring your own device. This refers to a company policy that allows each employee to use their own private devices like laptops, cell phones, and tablets to access the company’s servers, files, and networks. 

Cache - This refers to how your computer or device stores information. This data storage allows applications to open faster and perform tasks more quickly. Clearing an application’s cache can increase storage, get rid of faulty or problematic files, and allow services to refresh. 

Cloud - The cloud is a term for online applications, workspaces, services and storage that support a variety of company initiatives, including  disaster recovery and business continuity, , hybrid workplace, and collaborative tools. Rather than being hosted  onsite - or “on-premise” - on server hardware, data, applications, and services “in the cloud” are hosted in the data centers of companies like AWS or Azure. 

Content Management - A collection of tools, software, and processes that enable you to collect, manage, and publish content online. It also allows content to be searchable, so it is easier for visitors to find the information they need.

Cookies - Cookies are small pieces of data that a web browser creates for specific websites you visit. This can be used to save preferences, passwords, shopping and browsing data, and other demographic information it collects. Site owners use this data to track your behavior online and tailor ads and websites to their audience. Clearing your cookies or refusing cookies prevents the storage of this information.

CPU - Central processing unit, or the brain of your computer. Without a CPU, a PC would not be able to function. A CPU can vary in size and power.

Cross-Platform - Something that can operate among different operating systems and platforms. It typically refers to software that can be used on any operating system and processor architecture; for instance, a computer program that can be used on a PC and an Apple computer.

CRM - Customer relationship management. A series of processes, tools, technologies, and software that allow businesses to better manage their relationships with customers. 

Cybersecurity - Strong cybersecurity practices can reduce your risk of hacking, phishing, ransomware, and malware. Cybersecurity should be a multi-layered approach including  firewalls, multifactor authentication and virus scanners to enhance the security of your systems and data.

Data Analytics - A term that refers to collecting and analyzing data to find patterns and gain insight to improve performance, optimize websites, reach new customers, and tailor services to target audiences. 

Encryption - The storage and transfer of data and information in an unreadable format, so it can’t be intercepted and read by anyone other than the intended recipient.

Firewall - Hardware or software that monitors incoming and outgoing data traffic to prevent malicious intent. 

GPU - Graphics processing unit. A piece of hardware that determines how effectively your PC can output graphics and videos.

Green Tech - Environmentally friendly technology that improves health, safety, energy efficiency, and renewable resources, and reduces a company’s carbon footprint. 

Hardware - The physical elements of your PC and your general IT setup. This can include your computer, servers, printers, switches, hard drives, and keyboards. 

IP Address - An identifying marker that indicates the geographical location and network where a computer is operating, as well as the internet provider.

Malware - Software that is designed to alter a system without consent, add or delete files, obtain data, run programs, and otherwise disrupt your system. 

Metadata - Hidden pieces of data found in files, photos, videos, and more. This data contains identifying information that is available on and offline, such as location, IP address, and more. Metadata can also be used on your website to improve your search engine rankings, as it helps search engines find information they need to index your site.

MSP - Managed services provider. An MSP is an outsourced IT partner that provides proactive maintenance and monitoring to support and manage your IT services and technology.

Open Source - An operating system that is open to the public to use and modify without requiring payment. 

Operating System - Software that provides the foundational systems your computer uses to operate, run programs, store data, and more. 

Phishing - A deceptive practice - often conducted through email - used to obtain identifying information, email addresses, and more for the purposes of gaining control of an account or accessing financial or personal information.

RAM - Random access memory. A piece of computer hardware that facilitates your computer system’s ability to retrieve and use data and storage. 

Ransomware - A form of malware that obtains files and information and then uses it to attack its victims, usually for the purpose of obtaining money, or a ransom. 

Risk Management - The calculated process of reducing potential risks to your IT systems and addressing areas of concern proactively.

Sandboxing - Isolating software to its own location or purpose so that it can’t interact with the other systems on your network. This is done to minimize risk, especially if there is a threat to your system. 

Server Hosting - Hosted servers may also be referred to as Infrastructure or Hardware as a Service (IaaS or HaaS). It is server hardware or virtual servers that are housed offsite often at a data center or co-location (co-lo) facility. These are often  files, data, applications, and more so you don’t need to have them onsite. 

Two-Factor or Multi-Factor Authentication - A cybersecurity solution that requires two forms of identification or authentication before granting access. This means that you will need to enter your password and then provide a code that has been sent to your email address, phone number, or generated via a separate app.

VPN - Virtual private network. A VPN protects your IP address and identifying information so you can browse the web anonymously and securely. It also allows you to connect to a remote network, such as when you’re working from home and want to access company files.

Are You Ready to Set Up IT Services in Tucson for Your Company? 

If you’re ready to set up comprehensive, reliable IT services in Tucson for your business, or if you aren’t sure what IT services you need, come see us at Silverado Technologies. We specialize in flexible, scalable IT services that enhance the efficiency of your workplace, increase security, and ease collaboration, whether you have an in-person, remote, or hybrid workspace. Our women-owned IT company has been serving Tucson’s IT needs for 25 years, and we make sure to stay on top of the latest trends, advancements, and improvements in the field so we can offer our clients exceptional service and the best professional IT advice possible. We care about our Arizona community and are wholly invested in ensuring your business is secure, protected, and streamlined. To schedule a consultation, call us today at (520) 903-1580 or contact us online.

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