10 IT Terms That Every CEO Should Know

If you are a CEO and sometimes think your IT team speaks a different language, then you are not alone. Many CEOs find it challenging to understand IT terminologies. This blog identifies ten of the most important IT terms which are necessary for CEOs to be aware of. Knowing standard IT terms will give you credibility, broaden your knowledge, and allow you to ask the right questions to help your business stay competitive.

  • Cloud: Cloud computing is the delivery of cloud services like data storage, databases, networking, software, servers and analytics over the internet to provide faster and flexible resources. Cloud computing is a significant change from the traditional way organizations think about IT resources. Cloud computing has three distinct features:
    • Cloud services are sold on demand either by minutes or hours
    • It is flexible, and businesses can use as much or as little of a service as they want or need.
    • Cloud services are managed by the provider but administered by the client.
  • Internet of Things (IoT): Internet of Things (IoT) is interconnected devices that collect and/or transmit data via the internet. These devices can be smartphones, laptops, tabs, smartwatch, ATMs, fridges, toasters, oil rigs, etc. – anything which can be connected to the internet. These devices are connected via wired or wireless networks and can be remotely monitored and controlled. The connected devices can communicate and interact with other devices in the network.
  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provides business software via the internet-as-a-service. Instead of installing and maintaining server infrastructure to host your software, businesses can access it via the internet. SaaS is typically a monthly subscription, making it cheaper than other software options. Many business-management software suites, like project management software, are available in SaaS form.
  • Managed IT Support: Many IT operations can be outsourced to managed IT service providers to cut cost and increase efficiency within an enterprise. In a rapidly changing IT landscape, managed IT service providers can help SMEs remain agile, control costs, respond quickly to opportunities and maintain an aligned IT infrastructure.
  • Cyber Essentials: Cyber Essentials is a UK government scheme to help all businesses achieve a recognised minimum cybersecurity standard. Businesses that achieve Cyber Essentials certification will reduce their risk of cyberattack by 80%.
  • Phishing: Phishing is one of the most dangerous yet successful forms of cyber threats to SMEs. Hackers pretend to be trustworthy entities such as fellow colleagues, IT departments, managers, suppliers or regulatory authorities and ask you to disclose sensitive information. Industry experts warn that research has shown that almost 90% to 95% of cyber-attacks begin with phishing.
  • Disaster Recovery Plan: Disaster recovery is an enterprise’s ability to continue operating even after a disaster has occurred.  Crises’ such as server or internet failure, cyber-attack, fire, flood or even a natural disaster could wipe-out your IT infrastructure and cripple your business. SMEs, therefore, must develop and test a recovery plan in case of such a catastrophe.
  • Uptime & Downtime: Uptime explains how long a system has been operational, whereas Downtime is how long it has not been operational. It is essential for SMEs to keep track of downtime as more extended downtime will hinder company operations.
  • IT Governance: IT governance is corporate governance focusing on IT systems.  IT governance evaluates the performance and security risks of IT systems.
  • Servers: Servers are devices which support an enterprise’s networks and systems and host all its related data and applications. SMEs can run servers internally, in datacentres or in the cloud.

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