The Top Acronyms in Technology

Tech acronyms

We have all heard about some of the classic tech abbreviations by now, such as CPU and RAM. However, modern workplaces are introducing many new ones and below are some that you are most likely to see in today’s business world (check our our previous blog on Internet Lingo for some other terms).

Internet Related

HTTPS: Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. HTTPS is a more secure version of website browsing that encrypts connections using SSL/TLS. It has always been essential on banking and e-commerce websites where sensitive information needs to be sent and received but is now common  place on most websites.

DNS: Domain Name System. DNS translates the human-friendly website address (such as into the numeric IP addresses that computers use to locate internet resources.

SEM: Search Engine Marketing. SEM covers paid promotion methods such as Google Ads that immediately boost search visibility. It is useful for time-sensitive goals such as product launches or seasonal campaigns.

SEO: Search Engine Optimisation. This involves tweaks to improve a website’s ranking on search engines such as Google. This is important for driving qualified traffic to business websites from free, organic search results.

SERPS: Search Engine Results Pages. Are what users see listed after performing a query on search engines. High SERP rankings increase a business’s chances of being discovered online.

SSL: Secure Sockets Layer. A secure sockets layer establishes an encrypted link for safely transmitting sensitive data online. In the offline world, it would be comparable to securely encrypting a confidential letter containing a client’s bank account numbers or social security details before sending it via the internal mail system. SSL protects sensitive cargo from prying eyes along the distribution chain.

Networking Related

AP: Access Point (aka wireless access point or WAP). An access point is the hardware device that transmits a wireless signal. Proper AP placement and configuration are important to receive a strong signal throughout a workplace.

IP: Internet Protocol. An internet protocol address is a unique number identifier for each device (such as a computer or smartphone) connected to a network. This is similar to a physical street address that identifies where deliveries go to, an IP address indicates the device where data is to be sent to.

LAN: Local Area Network. A LAN connects computers within an office or building using wired or wireless connections. This allows devices to share resources on the network, such as internet access, files, printers and scanners.

IoT: Internet of Things. IoT refers to devices that can connect to the internet and share data. Smart lights, doorbell cameras and various temperature monitors are all examples of IoT devices.

VLAN: Virtual Local Area Network. A virtual local area network divides one physical network into smaller software networks. It is used so that one network, such as a Guest network in a hotel can’t access the Hotel’s internal or main network.

VPN: Virtual Private Network. A VPN allows remote employees to securely access office files and resources from anywhere as if they were in the actual office. Many employees are required to use a VPN to work from home so that they can securely access work documents and printers.

WAN: Wide Area Network. A wide area network extends connectivity between multiple office locations over a broad geographic distance. National or international companies use WAN’s to maintain efficient communications and resource-sharing between sites.

WLAN: Wireless Local Area Network. WLAN’s provide wireless network access for devices. People think of this when they use the term “Wi-Fi.”

Security Related

DDoS: Distributed Denial of Service. Is a cyberattack that attempts to overwhelm websites or servers with a massive amount of malicious traffic. These attacks aim to force outages of the server.

IAM: Identity and Access Management. IAM systems provide centralised control over users digital identities, authorisation privileges and access to business applications and data. In an offline world, it would be comparable to a receptionist controlling who can visit which floors based on an employees ID.

MFA: Multi-Factor Authentication. MFA requires multiple verification methods such as one-time codes in addition to a password to access an account. MFA reduces account takeover risks for both business systems and customers as two types of information is required to access the account. MFA is also know as 2FA (2 Factor Authentication)

PCI DSS: Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. PCI DSS protects credit card information during payment processing and aims to reduce payment card fraud by increasing security controls around the cardholders data.

SSO: Single Sign-On. This streamlines user authentication by permitting access to multiple associated accounts after one login. It improves the digital workplace experience while also reducing security vulnerabilities from multiple individual account credentials. For example, it would be like signing in once at the front desk to access your office, conference room and gym.


AI: Artificial intelligence. AI is where machines learn from experience and perform tasks like a human would. AI has come to the fore over the last few years with new technologies such as ChatGPT and Copilot. With these new technologies, AI is enhancing business functions across many industries, such as customer service, fraud detection and even creative work.

APIs: Application programming Interfaces. API’s allow different systems and software to communicate and share data securely. For example, an online shop may integrate with a  courier or delivery company though an API to provide customers with parcel tracing and delivery.

BYOD: Bring Your Own Device. This is when staff members use their personal devices for business use. BYOD policies address how employees can securely access business systems and data on their own phones, tablets and laptops for work purposes.

CMS: Content Management System. A content management system allows non-technical users to easily create, manage and publish marketing, product and support information on company websites. WordPress is an example of a widely used CMS.

SaaS: Software as a service.  Delivers business applications over the internet (usually in a web browser) rather than through the traditional installed program. The flexibility and low upfront costs of the cloud-based SaaS model have made it popular for functions such as accounting, collaboration and customer relationship management. Microsoft 365 (or M365) and the accounting package Xero, are some good examples of SaaS.

SLA: Service Level Agreement. A service-level agreement formally defines the quality of services expected from external providers such as an IT provider or cloud vendors. SLA metrics help hold suppliers accountable for uptime, response times and other service attributes important to business operations.

General Computers

GUI: Graphical user interfaces. GUI’s provide visual menus, icons and windows  that users interact with. To interact with old computers, users had to type commands. These days, most people use a GUI where they can use a mouse or touch screen to click on icons, open windows and perform other tasks.

OS: Operating System. The operating system manages basic low-level functions of devices and allows applications to be installed and run. Microsoft Windows, Linux and Apple’s OSX are all examples of some current operating systems.

TTF: TrueType Font. A TTF is a font that can scale to any size without pixelating. TTF files are a standard format for fonts that work on both Windows and Mac platforms.

VM: Virtual Machines. These emulate entire computing environments that run isolated from actual hardware. VMs improve flexibility, high availability strategies, and disaster recovery preparedness. They are often used to run server operating systems and can also be used to run legacy software on new hardware platforms.

I hope this helps you follow along with some of the current tech terms for today’s digital work and maybe even use them when you are talking about IT. If you need help understanding any other tech terms, contact our team today and we will be glad to help.