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15 Common IT Terms Every Tech Worker Should Know

The global information technology industry will reach a total worth of $5 trillion in 2019, according to predictions. 

The rate of expansion of the use of IT over the past few decades has been truly phenomenal. It is now hard to imagine how our world ran without it. 

If you’re relatively new to the world of IT, you may find that there is a lot of terminology that means nothing to you whatsoever.

So read on as we take a look at 15 common IT terms that you should know.

1. Agile Development

Agile development is a management strategy that helps to create software much faster than the more traditional linear approach.

Sections of the project run simultaneously, rather than each component needing to be fully tested before the next can start. This means that there is no need for each team to have to wait on any other in order to continue to develop the software.

2. Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery is a set of policies put in place to protect your business tech in the event of a natural disaster or deliberate attack.

The cost of downtime to your business can be huge so it is important to minimize the risk of this happening as much as possible. Disaster recovery involves examining the risks to your technology infrastructure, and coming up with detailed plans should the very worst happen.

3. VPN

A VPN is a Virtual Private Network.

It allows users to make a secure connection that uses encryption to maintain their privacy. This is far safer than connecting to a public wifi network which is extremely vulnerable. If you use a VPN, your data is encrypted before it passes through the public wifi network, meaning that you can be sure your data is safe.

It acts as a barrier between you and less secure networks.

4. Technology Stack

A technology stack relates to the underlying components of a piece of software or an application.

For example, your application might run a database that uses SQL, operate on an Apache server, and have been written using a specific programming language or framework. All of these components are part of the technology stack of that application.

5. Data Center

A data center is a facility that houses data storage technology. This will typically be in the form of servers.

Data centers use measures to minimize the risk of disruption to the service. This includes the use of backup power systems, as well as environmental controls that keep the data storage devices at the optimum temperature.

Data centers can be huge; the largest one in China covers more than 10 million square feet.

6. SaaS

SaaS is Software as a Service.

It is a method of accessing software via the cloud, rather than by purchasing a physical hard copy. The benefits of SaaS are that the software is constantly updated, without the end user ever needing to make upgrades at their end.

It is usually purchased via a rental scheme rather than a one-off payment. 

7. Open Source Software

Open source software is distributed without any restrictions.

Because the source code is accessible by anyone, users are able to modify it for their own needs. And open source software is completely free to use.

Some open source software is highly popular. There are well-known image editors, office suites, and even browsers that are completely open source. 


Bring Your Own Device is a business strategy that allows employees to use their own laptops and smartphones at work.

They are able to access the same work-related software and data as they would through company tech. For the employees, it means they don’t have to use two different phones or computers for work and leisure. And for businesses, they have no need to pay for expensive equipment.

9. Cross Platform

Cross-platform software is able to run on multiple different operating systems or environments.

So for example, a program like Windows Media Player will not run on Mac OS. But Javascript will run equally well on either operating system, providing that your browser supports it.

10. Back End

When you use a piece of software or even a website, the portion that you can see and interact with is the front end.

Everything that you can’t see is the back end. It’s where the magic that makes the front end work resides. It includes things such as the code, the databases, even the servers that are running the software.

Without the back end, there could be no front end.

11. API

An API is an application programming interface.

If you’re creating some software, you can harness the tools that an API offers to make your life easier. Rather than having to create a button for your app example, you can just use the “insert button” option that comes with the API. 

This is a rather simplistic explanation, but in essence, an API is a toolkit for developers to save them from reinventing the wheel.

12. CMS

A content management system helps you create and manage digital content. In a CMS, the content can include anything from blog posts and video clips to images or hard data.

A CMS is most often used to manage content on a website without the need for knowledge of HTML or CSS. The most popular CMS is WordPress which allows users to design and build websites with very little technical knowledge at all.

13. AWS

Amazon Web Services is a cloud computing platform. 

It offers a wide range of services including computational power, database storage, and content delivery and is constantly adding more. It is an on-demand service that offers a pay-as-you-go pricing system. 

It is by far the dominant cloud computing platform in the field.

14. ADC

An analog-to-digital converter turns analog signals into digital information. This information can then be processed and manipulated by software. It is useful for things such as music recording and image scanning.

The analog signal can be converted at different resolutions. If would like to know more about ADC and bit resolution, then take a look at this useful article from LabJack.

15. DNS

When you type a domain name into your browser, this is not what your browser actually searches for. Instead, the domain name is translated into a numerical address by your browser. This numerical address is known as an IP address.

The domain name service is basically a directory for converting domain names into their corresponding IP addresses.

Have You Found This List of Common IT Terms Useful?

If this list of common IT terms has been of use to you, then we have plenty more similar articles on the site.

We have a wide range of articles covering everything from starting a business through hiring an employee to payroll and accounting. Whatever stage your business is at, we’re sure you’ll find something to help.

Feel free to take a look around.