A Business Owners' Guide to Decoding IT Jargon

A Business Owners' Guide to Decoding IT Jargon

Kevin Kembel
Are you overwhelmed by some of the IT Jargon you have heard and want to understand how it impacts your business? In this article we are breaking down 8 common IT terms for business owners like you.

As a business owner, you may feel like you’re drowning in a sea of confusing IT jargon. From cloud computing to encryption, it can be overwhelming to understand the technical terms that your IT team uses.  A lack of understanding can impact your business process and business goals, spelling bad news for effective business communication. 

Fear not! With a little help, you can decode IT jargon and better understand your business' IT needs and what your IT provider is talking about. This guide will break down some of the most common IT terms and explain them in plain English.

Not only will this knowledge help you communicate with your tech team and boost employee engagement, but it will also give you a better understanding of your business’s technology infrastructure and how it can be improved to drive growth and success. So, let’s dive in and start decoding!

Understanding the IT Needs of your Business

Before we dive into specific IT jargon, it’s important to understand the basic IT needs of your business. This will help you better communicate with your IT team and make informed decisions when it comes to technology investments and upgrades.

First and foremost, your business needs reliable and secure hardware, such as computers, servers, and networking equipment. These devices should be updated regularly to ensure optimal performance and security.

Next, your business needs software that is tailored to your specific needs. This can range from productivity software like Microsoft Office to industry-specific programs.

Your business also needs a secure and reliable data backup and recovery plan. This ensures that in the event of a disaster, such as a cyber-attack or natural disaster, your business’s data is safe and can be recovered quickly.

Finally, your business needs a network that is fast and secure. This includes firewalls, VPNs, and other security measures to protect against cyber threats.

By understanding these basic IT needs, you can work with your IT team to ensure that your business’s technology infrastructure is optimized for success as it interfaces with your human resources. 

Now, let’s dive into some specific IT jargon and decode it in plain English.

Why is it Important to Understand IT Terms? 

Understanding IT jargon, even as a non-technical business owner, is important because it allows you to communicate effectively with your IT team and understand the technology that your business relies on. This is particularly important when making decisions about IT investments in your business setting, such as purchasing software or hardware. If you don't understand the technical terms, you may not be able to evaluate the options effectively or understand the potential risks and benefits. 

Additionally, understanding IT jargon can help you avoid misunderstandings or miscommunication with your IT team, which can lead to costly mistakes or delays in projects, extending over time periods. 

Overall, having a basic understanding of IT jargon can help you ensure that your business runs smoothly and stays competitive in a technology-driven marketplace.

Here we go! 8 Common IT Terms Decoded…

Business owners contact us all the time asking for help and one of the first steps is breaking down some of the IT jargon they hear, but don't understand. As a business owner, it's essential to have a basic understanding of IT jargon so you can make an informed decision on the importance of your IT needs with your outsourced IT Team.  Having a solid outsourced IT Team means you won't have to take on additional employees to manage your IT in-house. 

Here are some of the most common IT terms and what they mean:

1. DNS

DNS stands for Domain Name System and is the system that helps you to connect to websites. It translates a website’s domain name (eg. www.Example.com) into an Internet Protocol address (IP address). This allows your computer or device to find and access the web pages for the website you are trying to visit.

2. SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of optimizing a website to increase its visibility and ranking in search engine results pages. The goal of SEO is to drive organic traffic to a website by targeting relevant keywords and phrases that potential customers may be using to search for products or services. SEO involves both technical and creative elements, including on-page optimization, backlink building, keyword research, content creation, and website design. The ultimate goal of SEO is to improve the user experience on a website and increase conversions, ultimately leading to increased revenue for businesses.

3. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is the process of storing, managing, and accessing data and applications over the internet. It allows businesses to access data anywhere, at any time, without needing to maintain their own physical infrastructure. By using cloud services, businesses can reduce costs and increase efficiency by offloading tasks like storage and computing power to remote servers. It provides scalability, flexibility, and faster access to services. This can help businesses save money and increase efficiency.

4. On Prem

On-premises IT (or On Prem for short) refers to having your own physical infrastructure and servers onsite, which requires the maintenance of hardware and software. It is beneficial for businesses that need complete control over their IT environment or prefer not to rely on a cloud provider.

5. Share Point

SharePoint is a platform for collaboration and document management. It allows businesses to store, share, and manage documents, applications, and data securely in the cloud. SharePoint also provides features such as version control, workflow automation and integration with other Microsoft services like Skype for Business and Office 365. It can help businesses improve their productivity by streamlining communication and collaboration between employees, customers, and partners.

6. Disaster Recovery Plan

A disaster recovery plan is a document that outlines the steps and procedures necessary to recover from system outages, data loss or other IT disasters. It should include an assessment of the potential risks and threats, backup plans for data protection, an outline of personnel roles in the event of a disaster and detailed instructions for restoring operations.

7. Phishing vs. Spam

Phishing is a form of cyber-attack where the attacker attempts to trick people into revealing sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card numbers. The attack typically uses emails that appear to be from legitimate sources and contain malicious links or attachments. Spam is unsolicited email sent out in bulk, usually containing advertisements or links to malicious websites. Click here to read more about Business Email Compromise on our blog!

8. Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) that encrypts data and locks users out of their systems until a ransom is paid. It’s typically spread through email, social media or websites, and can cause significant damage to businesses if not addressed quickly. The best way to protect yourself from ransomware is to ensure you have up-to-date security software and regularly, and back up your data regularly.

Decoding IT Jargon - Making it Easy for Business Owners

In conclusion, understanding IT jargon is essential for any business owner. It can help you make informed decisions, communicate effectively with your IT team, and ultimately, save you time and money.

By breaking down common IT terms and concepts, you can empower yourself to take control of your technology and use it to grow your business.

So don't be intimidated by complex IT jargon! With the right resources and a bit of effort, you can master the language of technology and use it to take your business to new heights.

Want to learn more about how to make IT easy for your business? Check out our IT services page and keep an eye on our blog for future blog posts that will explain these 8 IT components more in depth.

Kevin Kembel

Kevin Kembel
Transpera Technologies Inc.