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"Demystifying tech jargon for savvy business decisions: A non-techie's guide to essential IT terms."

In the modern business environment, technology is ubiquitous, making tech support vital for virtually all companies. Yet, not all business owners are familiar with the various IT solutions available or the complex IT terms (terminology) that often accompany these technologies. For those without a dedicated IT department or significant IT expertise, it becomes crucial to seek assistance from professional IT firms. These experts provide the necessary tech-related services to ensure your operations run smoothly and efficiently in an increasingly digital world.

Key IT Service Insights for Business Owners

Navigating the complex world of IT services is essential for both emerging and established businesses. Integrating external IT support can significantly enhance the efficiency of your technological assets, streamlining operations and simplifying daily tasks. For business owners new to tech partnerships, it’s crucial to understand the basics of these collaborations.

Knowledge of key IT terms is invaluable as it empowers you to make informed decisions about selecting IT service providers and assessing the benefits they bring to your business.

Choosing to work with a managed services provider (MSP) simplifies these complexities. By entrusting your IT operations to an MSP, you can focus less on the technical details and more on your core business areas. MSPs manage critical tech functions—like cybersecurity and cloud operations—through their advanced infrastructure, allowing you to allocate your time and resources where they are most needed. This partnership not only enhances operational efficiency but also ensures that professionals meet your tech needs.

Essential IT Terms and Definitions for Business Owners

Effective management of IT services is essential for any business looking to thrive in a digital environment. Understanding these key terms will empower business owners to make informed decisions about their technology strategies.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing refers to the use of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage, and process data rather than local servers or personal computers. This model offers flexibility, scalability, and cost efficiency.

Key subcategories include:

  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): This type of service provides hardware and software tools over the Internet, greatly benefiting developers.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): Delivers software applications over the Internet on a subscription basis, eliminating the need for internal infrastructure or hardware.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): This type of service offers fundamental computing resources, such as virtualised hardware, in the cloud on a pay-as-you-go basis.


This term encompasses the strategies, technologies, and processes designed to protect systems, networks, programs, devices, and data from cyber-attacks and data breaches. Effective cybersecurity reduces the risk of cyber-attacks and protects organisations from unauthorised exploitation of systems, networks, and technologies.

It involves:

  • Preventive Measures: To secure infrastructure before an attack occurs.
  • Detective Measures: To identify and detect the early signs of a breach.
  • Corrective Measures: To restore and repair systems following a cyber incident.

At Flywheel IT Services, we’re committed to your security. We offer comprehensive cybersecurity services that provide the protection and peace of mind you need in today’s interconnected world. Here are some of our key offerings:

  • Risk Assessment & Compliance: Evaluate your current security posture and ensure adherence to industry standards and regulations.
  • Intrusion Detection & Prevention: Monitor your network for suspicious activities and deploy countermeasures to thwart potential attacks.
  • Incident Response & Recovery: Minimise damage and downtime with swift and efficient responses to cyber incidents and security breaches.
  • Security Awareness Training: Educate your employees on best practices, empowering them to act as your first line of defence against cyber threats.

Data Analytics

Data analytics involves examining raw data with the purpose of drawing conclusions about that information. It is used in many industries to allow companies and organisations to make better business decisions and in the sciences to verify or disprove existing models or theories.

It includes:

  • Descriptive Analytics: Looks at past performance by mining historical data to understand what happened and why.
  • Diagnostic Analytics: Focuses on why issues occurred through the inputs and outcomes of descriptive analytics.
  • Predictive Analytics: Uses statistics to forecast future events.
  • Prescriptive Analytics: This involves using past performance to generate recommendations about how to handle similar situations in the future.


Virtualisation technology allows for the creation of a virtual instance of a resource, such as a server, desktop, operating system, file, storage, or network. The main goal of virtualisation is to manage workloads by radically transforming traditional computing to make it more scalable.

Key benefits include:

  • Increased IT agility, flexibility, and scalability.
  • Reduced capital and operating costs.
  • Minimised or eliminated downtime.
  • Provisioning of applications and resources faster.

Cloud Management

This is the management of cloud computing products and services. Administrating cloud environments involves various processes, including configuration, security, compliance, and monitoring. Effective cloud management ensures that cloud services run smoothly, meet compliance regulations, and are correctly integrated with other business functions.

At Flywheel IT Services, we’re committed to delivering exceptional cloud management. Our expert team offers a comprehensive suite of managed cloud services to help you optimise your cloud environment and maximise the benefits of cloud computing. Here are some of our key offerings:

  • Seamless Integration: We’ll guide you through a headache-free cloud integration, ensuring your cloud solutions are seamlessly integrated with your existing infrastructure.
  • Optimised Performance: Our team of experts will configure and monitor your cloud environment, ensuring optimal performance and minimising downtime.
  • Security & Compliance: You can depend on us to maintain the security and compliance of your cloud services so you can focus on your core business operations.
  • Scalable Solutions: Our cloud management services are designed to grow with your organisation, providing the flexibility to adapt to your changing needs.

AI (Artificial Intelligence)

Artificial Intelligence simulates human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. These processes include learning (the acquisition of information and rules for using the information), reasoning (using rules to reach approximate or definite conclusions), and self-correction.

Practical applications of AI:

  • Voice-activated assistants, such as Siri and Alexa.
  • Personalisation algorithms are used in streaming services like Netflix.
  • Autonomous vehicles, such as those developed by Tesla and Google’s Waymo.

Endpoint Security

Endpoint security is the practice of securing endpoints or entry points of end-user devices such as desktops, laptops, and mobile devices from being exploited by malicious actors and campaigns. Endpoint security systems protect these endpoints on a network or in the cloud from cybersecurity threats.

This comprehensive security includes:

  • Antivirus software to detect and remove malware.
  • Personal firewalls to block unauthorised access.
  • Intrusion prevention systems that identify potential threats and respond to them swiftly.

IT Infrastructure

IT infrastructure consists of all elements that support the management and usability of data and information. These include the physical hardware and facilities (data centres), data storage and retrieval, network systems, legacy interfaces, and software to support the business’s goals. Effective IT infrastructure management is vital for ensuring business continuity and reliability in IT services.

At Flywheel IT Services, we understand the importance of a well-designed, efficiently managed IT infrastructure for your organisation’s success. Our expert team offers a comprehensive suite of services to help you build and maintain a robust, scalable IT infrastructure that supports your business goals.

Here are some of our key offerings in IT infrastructure:

  • Comprehensive Design: Our experienced team will design an IT infrastructure tailored to your organisation’s specific needs, ensuring seamless integration with your existing systems and processes.
  • Professional Deployment: We’ll manage all aspects of your IT infrastructure deployment, ensuring a smooth rollout and minimising disruption to your daily operations.
  • Ongoing Support & Maintenance: We provide ongoing support and maintenance of your IT infrastructure so you can focus on your core business operations.
  • Scalable Solutions: Our IT infrastructure services are designed to grow with your organisation, providing the flexibility to adapt to your changing needs.


Authentication is the act of confirming the truth of an attribute of a single piece of data (datum) or entity. It involves verifying the identity of a user or device, often as a prerequisite to allowing access to resources in an IT system. Authentication can be achieved by:

  • Knowledge factors (something the user and only the user know), such as passwords.
  • Possession factors (something the user and only the user have) include a security token or smartphone.
  • Inherence factors (something the user and only the user are), such as biometric characteristics.


A firewall is a network security device that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic and decides whether to allow or block specific traffic based on a defined set of security rules. Firewalls are crucial to securing modern networks and can be purchased as hardware, software, or a combination of both.

Zero Trust

Zero Trust is a security concept based on the belief that organisations should not automatically trust anything inside or outside their perimeters and must verify anything. Everything trying to connect to their systems before granting access.

The approach helps prevent data breaches by:

  • Minimising lateral movement.
  • Improving user experience and security with single sign-on and multifactor authentication.
  • Providing granular security controls.

Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery is a crucial aspect of business continuity planning, enabling organisations to safeguard critical data, maintain operations, and recover quickly from disruptions. At Flywheel IT Services, we provide three key disaster recovery solutions:

  • Dedicated Disaster Recovery Team: A dedicated team of disaster recovery experts will be assigned to help design and implement a customised disaster recovery plan for your business. They will step in during emergencies to minimise downtime and ensure business continuity.
  • Business Continuity Goals: We work with you to define the systems that are critical to your business and prioritise their restoration in the event of a disruption. This includes identifying which data needs to be backed up and which operations should be replicated off-site.
  • Continuous Plan Updates: As your business evolves, so does your disaster recovery plan. We continuously review and update your plan to ensure it remains effective and aligned with your current business needs.

Our IT Disaster Recovery Solutions include the following steps:

  • Risk Assessment: We begin by identifying the most likely risks to your business and evaluating your IT infrastructure, server requirements, data usage, and geographical location.
  • Disaster Recovery Goals: We help define disaster recovery goals, such as the Disaster Recovery Time Objective (DRTO) and the Recovery Point Objective (RPO), to ensure that critical systems are restored within an acceptable time frame and data loss is minimised.
  • Disaster Recovery Team Allocation: Our team of IT experts will work with you to establish a working group that studies effective disaster recovery plan structures, selects vendors and determines budgets for various options.
  • Activation and Updates: We constantly monitor risks, maintain backup schedules, and store a copy of your disaster recovery plan off-site. Our team regularly tests for new vulnerabilities and updates the plan as needed.

Data centre

A data centre is a facility that centralises an organisation’s IT operations and equipment and where it stores, manages, and disseminates its data. Data centres house a network’s most critical systems and are vital to the continuity of daily operations.

They generally include:

  • Redundant data communications connections.
  • Environmental controls (e.g., air conditioning, fire suppression).
  • Various security devices.


Bandwidth, in computer networking terms, is a network’s data transfer capacity. It is measured in bits per second (bps) and dictates how much data can be sent over a network connection in a given amount of time. Higher bandwidth allows more data to be sent, which is crucial for high-demand applications such as video streaming and large file transfers.

Network Performance Testing

Network performance testing measures the quality of service of a network, including throughput rates, transmission delays, error rates, and the network’s ability to uphold a certain level of service during network congestion. This type of testing helps organisations to:

  • Identify network problems before they become severe.
  • Optimise network performance and improve response times.
  • Ensure that the network can handle new applications and increased usage.

Managed IT Services

Managed IT services allow businesses to delegate their IT operations to an expert third-party organisation specialising in handling these responsibilities. These third-party organisations, known as managed service providers (MSPs), take care of the entirety or portions of a business’s IT systems, as agreed upon based on the SLA (service level agreement).

Partnering with an MSP can offer numerous benefits to your organisation, such as:

  1. Cost Savings: Your organisation can enjoy significant cost savings by reducing the need for internal IT staff. MSPs can efficiently manage your IT systems, allowing you to allocate resources more effectively.
  2. Enhanced Efficiency: MSPs provide specialised expertise that may be beyond your business’s current capabilities. Leveraging their knowledge, you can optimise your IT environment for improved performance and reduced downtime.
  3. Scalability: Managed IT services allow businesses to manage IT growth and complexity without equivalent increases in internal overheads. MSPs can adapt to your organisation’s changing needs, ensuring that your IT infrastructure remains agile and responsive to new challenges.

At Flywheel IT Services, we understand the benefits of partnering with a trusted MSP to manage your organisation’s IT needs. Our expert team offers comprehensive managed IT services tailored to your unique requirements. Here are some of our key offerings:

  1. 24/7 Monitoring and Maintenance: Our team continuously monitors your IT systems, addressing potential issues before they become significant problems. This proactive approach ensures minimal downtime and optimal performance.
  2. Security Management: We prioritise protecting your sensitive data and IT systems with advanced security solutions, including intrusion detection, encryption, and regular vulnerability assessments.
  3. Backup and Disaster Recovery: Our reliable backup solutions safeguard your critical data, while our disaster recovery strategies ensure rapid system recovery in case of unexpected events, minimising business disruptions.
  4. Helpdesk and On-site Support: We provide prompt and efficient support through our dedicated helpdesk, ensuring that your team has access to expert assistance whenever needed. In case of complex issues, our on-site support is ready to help resolve the problem.

Access Point

An access point (AP) is a networking hardware device that allows other Wi-Fi devices to connect to a wired network. The AP connects to a router (via a wired network) as a standalone device, but it can also be an integral component of the router itself. APs support a greater Wi-Fi range and a number of devices that exceed typical home networking equipment.

Risk Assessment

Risk assessment in IT involves identifying, quantifying, and prioritising the risks against criteria for risk acceptance and objectives relevant to the organisation. This critical process is fundamental to an organisation’s security strategy and helps in:

  • Identifying vulnerabilities and threats.
  • Assessing the impact and likelihood of these risks.
  • Prioritising risks based on their potential impact on the business.

Edge Computing

Edge computing is designed to bring applications and data closer to users or the data source, or “at the edge” of the network. It reduces latency and data traffic to improve the performance of applications and services. This computing paradigm can greatly benefit real-time applications such as streaming services and mobile computing.

Business Continuity

Business continuity planning (BCP) involves defining any and all risks that can affect the company’s operations, making it an essential part of the organisation’s risk management strategy. BCPs are proactive planning to ensure critical services or products are delivered during a disruption.


A cyberattack is an attempt to gain unauthorised access to a computer, computing system, or computer network with the intent to cause damage. Cyberattacks can lead to significant data breaches and substantial financial and reputational losses. Defending against cyberattacks requires comprehensive cybersecurity measures and continuous monitoring.

Life Cycle

The IT life cycle involves the stages through which an IT asset goes—from initial planning and demand management through procurement and use to eventual disposal. Effective life cycle management of IT assets helps maximise their value and supports sustainability by minimising environmental impact.

Gap Analysis

Gap analysis in IT examines the difference between the current state and the organisation’s goals. This analysis helps to identify areas of improvement for systems and technologies to meet business needs. Performing a regular gap analysis assists organisations in aligning their IT infrastructures with their business objectives.


In conclusion, mastering essential IT terms and concepts is vital for business owners and individuals in today’s technology-driven world. This non-techies glossary has provided you with a solid foundation to understand common IT terminology, which, in turn, enables you to make informed decisions and communicate more effectively with your IT partners.

Remember, learning is an ongoing process, and the world of IT is constantly evolving. To stay ahead, we encourage you to seek out trusted resources, such as online tutorials, podcasts, and blogs, to expand your knowledge further. Prioritise the IT terms and concepts that are most relevant to your organisation’s needs and technologies. Consult with your IT team or service providers to identify the areas that will yield the most significant benefits for your unique situation.

By investing time and effort in understanding IT, you’ll not only empower yourself to make smart decisions but also ensure your business is well-equipped to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

FAQ Corner

Why should I learn IT terms if I’m not an IT professional?

Understanding IT terms can help you communicate more effectively with your IT team or service providers, ensuring that your business’s technology needs are met and your investments in IT are well-informed.

How frequently should I update my knowledge of IT terminology?

While it’s not necessary to be on the cutting edge of every new IT term or technology, periodically updating your knowledge will help you stay current and make better decisions for your business.

Are there any resources to help me further expand my IT knowledge?

There are numerous online resources, podcasts, and blogs that can help you learn more about IT concepts and terminology. Seek out trusted sources and reputable publications to expand your understanding.

How do I decide which IT terms are most important for me to learn?

Prioritise terms that are relevant to your organisation’s needs and technologies. Speak with your IT team or service providers to identify the most valuable terms and concepts for your unique situation. By investing time in learning essential IT terms and concepts, you’ll empower yourself to make smart decisions that drive your business forward.

Is Your Current Phone System Holding Your Business Back?

In today’s fast-paced world, efficient communication is crucial for success. Don’t let an outdated phone system slow you down. At Flywheel IT Services, we’re here to help you revolutionise your communications with our cutting-edge VoIP phone systems. Tailored to your unique needs, our solutions will streamline your connections, improve collaboration, and drive your business forward.

Let’s chat about how we can make a difference in your company’s communications.