May 18, 2023
Technology folks have earned a certain reputation for their love of acronyms that tend to confuse the general public. But to be fair, they’re hardly the only group of people to use them.
At Marco, we try to keep the jargon to a minimum, but just in case it’s helpful, I’ve compiled the most common acronyms you’ll likely hear if you’re researching managed IT. You know, just as an FYI.
Most Common IT Services Acronyms
Let’s start with the big one. IT stands for Information Technology and refers to the use of digital tools and systems to create, process, store, secure, and manage electronic forms of data.
MSP stands for Managed Service Provider. The service may refer to cybersecurity, print, IT, backup and recovery, and more.
A Service Level Agreement, or SLA for short, is a document that specifies what a vendor will provide, like guaranteed uptime, timeframes, and more.
Remote Monitoring and Management, a.k.a. RMM, refers to a service where IT professionals can protect and manage your digital tools online from anywhere. RMM allows vendors to anticipate disruptions and respond before you’re aware of a problem, so it’s especially helpful when it comes to providing cybersecurity, Managed Print Services (MPS), and Managed A/V Services.
Professional Services Automation (PSA) is a type of app that helps businesses manage their core processes. PSA software is frequently used in businesses like law and accounting firms and often includes tools that help with project and resource management, reporting and data collection, and more.
NOC, pronounced “knock,” stands for Network Operations Center. As the name suggests, it refers to a central location where an IT professional can monitor and manage an organization’s network and online tools.
A SOC, pronounced “sock,” is short for Security Operations Center. Before the pandemic, SOC usually referred to a place where IT experts worked together to secure an organization’s systems, tools, and data. Now, your SOC typically refers to your cybersecurity team, which may operate from anywhere.
This gets a bit confusing because SOC can also refer to a type of report that provides an unbiased overview of a service organization. If you hear “sock” by itself, the speaker is probably talking about a cybersecurity team. If you hear “sock report,” they’re talking about a third-party verification that their work consistently meets best practices. You can read about ours here.
The goal of IT Service Management (ITSM) is to guarantee the availability, security, and confidentiality of an organization’s data and services.
ITIL, pronounced “eye-till” stands for IT Infrastructure Library. It’s essentially a catalog of best practices for delivering IT services that was first drafted by the British government’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency.
Pronounced “sass,” Software as a Service refers to software that is provided through a subscription, most commonly through the cloud. Think Microsoft 365, Netflix, and HubSpot.
Pronounced “pass” or “paz,” Platform as a Service is when a third-party provider delivers hardware and software tools over the internet. Google App Engine is a good example of PaaS.
Although this term is often pronounced “eye-azz” or “ice” or sometimes “eye-ass,” it’s also completely okay just to spell this one out for clarity. IaaS, or Infrastructure as a Service, is when a third-party provider delivers and manages storage, server, or networking resources through the cloud. Think Azure or Google Compute Engine.
Not unlike BYOB, Bring Your Own Device refers to workplaces where staff can use their own smart devices for business purposes. BYOD workplaces offer more flexibility for employees and can save the company money, but they often present significant cybersecurity challenges.
Mobile Device Management refers to the software and policies companies use to secure mobile devices and protect an organization’s data, systems, and tools.
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, a networking solution where users can get more privacy, even when accessing public WiFi. Unfortunately, VPNs are no longer considered sufficient protection from modern cybersecurity threats.
A Wide Area Network (WAN) is a network of information that extends over a large geographical area. The World Wide Web is the best example of a WAN.
LAN stands for Local Area Network and refers to a group of connected devices in a single area, like your home.
The Domain Name System, or DNS, matches website names with their corresponding IP addresses.
This acronym stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, which helps you automate the configuration of networked devices.
A Secure Sockets Layer is a method of establishing authenticated encrypted links between computers. An SSL certificate (now more frequently called a TLS certificate) authenticates the identity of a website and facilitates an encrypted connection.
Interested in common cybersecurity terms and definitions? We’ve got that for you right here.
Managed IT Services For The Win (FTW)
An excellent managed IT services provider should make your life easier, not harder. At Marco, our US-based team takes care to speak in plain language to our clients so they can focus on what they do best and leave the rest to us. Managed IT has certainly come a long way, but it isn’t the right solution for every organization.
If you’re curious about managed IT for your business, our free checklist can help you determine if it’s a good fit.