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The Lost Glossary of IT Acronyms

An archive of IT acronyms for those who find it hard to keep up

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In the fields of information technology and systems management, application performance management (APM) is the monitoring and management of performance and availability of software applications. APM strives to detect and diagnose complex application performance problems to maintain an expected level of service.


The term configuration item (CI) refers to the fundamental structural unit of a configuration management system. Examples of CIs include individual requirements documents, software, models, and plans.


A configuration management database (CMDB) is a repository that acts as a data warehouse for information technology (IT) installations. It holds data relating to a collection of IT assets (commonly referred to as configuration items (CI)), as well as to descriptive relationships between such assets.


Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies (COBIT) is an IT Governance framework that specifies control objectives, metrics and maturity models. Recent versions have aligned the naming of select control objectives to established ITSM process names.


Continual Service Improvement (CSI), defined in the ITIL continual service improvement volume, aims to align and realign IT services to changing business needs by identifying and implementing improvements to the IT services that support the business processes. It incorporates many of the same concepts articulated in the Deming Cycle of Plan-Do-Check-Act. The perspective of CSI on improvement is the business perspective of service quality, even though CSI aims to improve process effectiveness, efficiency and cost effectiveness of the IT processes through the whole lifecycle. To manage improvement, CSI should clearly define what should be controlled and measured.


A database-management system (DBMS) is a computer-software application that interacts with end-users, other applications, and the database itself to capture and analyze data. A general-purpose DBMS allows the definition, creation, querying, update, and administration of databases. Predictive analytics can be applied to DBMS through database analytics and dash-boarding.


Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM) is a technology discipline for gathering intelligence about the health of IT services from the perspective of the end-user and in the context of an organization’s business objectives.


Digital Employee Experience (DEX) is an employee’s holistic experience with the digital workplace that IT provides; allowing them to be productive and engaged.


Device Performance Monitoring (DPM) solutions address part of what’s required for End User Experience Monitoring (EUEM) . DPM products use light-weight agents to monitor the health and performance of end users PCs, laptops, and virtual desktops. They track operating system metrics like resource utilization and health.


Digital transformation (DX) is the reworking of the products, processes and strategies within an organization by leveraging current technologies.


The Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) market is defined as solutions that record endpoint-system-level behaviors and events (for example user, file, process, registry, memory and network events) and store this information either locally on the endpoint or in a centralized database. Databases of known IOCs and behavior analytics techniques are then used to continually search the data to identify early identification of breaches (including insider threats), and to rapidly respond to those attacks. These tools also help with rapid investigation into the scope of attacks, and provide response capability.


Enterprise mobility management (EMM) is software that allows organizations to securely enable employee use of mobile devices and applications.
In addition to addressing security concerns, EMM software also helps employees be more productive, because IT departments can provide them with the applications and data they need to perform work-related tasks on mobile devices.


Endpoint Protection Platforms (EPP) provide a collection of security capabilities to protect PCs, smartphones and tablets. The EPP is an integrated solution that has the following capabilities: anti-malware, personal firewall, port and device control. EPP solutions will also often include: vulnerability assessment, application control and application sandboxing, enterprise mobility management (EMM), typically in a parallel nonintegrated product, memory protection, behavioral monitoring of application code, endpoint detection and remediation technology full-disk and file encryption, also known as mobile data protection, and endpoint data loss prevention (DLP).


Gartner first coined the term Endpoint Threat Detection and Response (ETDR) in July 2013 to define “the tools primarily focused on detecting and investigating suspicious activities (and traces of such) other problems on hosts/endpoints.” While it’s a relatively new category of solutions, this grouping may also be referred to simply as Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), which is sometimes compared to Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) in terms of overall security capabilities.


End-user computing (EUC) is a term that refers to the technologies that IT professionals use to deploy, manage and secure the devices, applications and data that workers require to perform their jobs.


End User Experience Monitoring (EUEM) enables IT teams to monitor the impact of application and device performance from the end user’s point of view. EUEM products help IT ensure the quality of key IT services across an enterprise, as seen by the end user.


I&O is short for Infrastructure and Operations.

This term is used widely by analysts such as Forrester & Gartner. I&O is usually grouped for IT Pros, incorporating things like server virtualization, data center consolidation, storage optimization, unified communications (for Infrastructure) and ITSM/ITIL process maturity, service catalogs, service rate setting/chargeback (for Operations). Legacy infrastructure and operations practices and traditional data center architectures are not sufficient to meet the demands of the digital business. Digital transformation requires IT agility and velocity that outstrips classical architectures and practices.

IdM or IAM

Identity management (IdM), also known as identity and access management (IAM) is, in computer security, the security and business discipline that enables the right individuals to access the right resources at the right times and for the right reasons. It addresses the need to ensure appropriate access to resources across increasingly heterogeneous technology environments and to meet increasingly rigorous compliance requirements.

Identity Access Management Tools, products, applications and platforms manage identifying and ancillary data about entities that include individuals, computer-related hardware, and software applications. IdM covers issues such as how users gain an identity, the protection of that identity and the technologies supporting that protection (e.g., network protocols, digital certificates, passwords, etc.).


IT4IT is a vendor-neutral Reference Architecture for managing the business of IT, consisting of a formal IT operating model, based on the value chain concept that revolutionized manufacturing, known as the IT Value Chain.


ITIL, formally an acronym for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a set of detailed practices for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business.


IT Infrastructure Monitoring (ITIM) tools capture the availability of the various IT infrastructure components that reside in a data center or are hosted in the cloud as infrastructure as a service (IaaS). These tools monitor and collate the availability and resource utilization metrics of server, networks, database instances, hypervisors and storage. Notably, these tools collect metrics in real-time and perform historical data analysis or trending of the elements they monitor.


IT operations analytics (ITOA) is the practice of monitoring systems and gathering, processing, analyzing and interpreting data from various IT operations sources to guide decisions and predict potential issues.


IT operations management (ITOM) software is intended to represent all the tools needed to manage the provisioning, capacity, performance and availability of the computing, networking and application environment.

Gartner divides the ITOM market into 10 major segments that include DBMS, application management, availability and performance, event, fault and log management, network management, configuration management, IT services desk and IT help desk, asset management, job scheduling and other ITOM (which refers to output management software) for tools used to manage hardware peripherals, such as printers.


The IT Process Automation (ITPA) tool market is composed of solutions that automate IT processes (with increasing cross-functional organizational requirements) to improve operational efficiency, mitigate operational risk, reduce costs, offset the negative effects of complexity and improve standards enforcement. Key differentiated capabilities in the ITPA market include templates and workflows – the quantity and quality of out of the box (OOTB) content provided to accelerate time to value, actions and operations – the number of provided actions used to create the desired workflows, connectors and integrations – workflow elements that automate the interface to other products, tools and other automation tools, ease of implementation and use, creation, maintenance and management, status, logging and reporting.


IT service management (ITSM) refers to the entirety of activities – directed by policies, organized and structured in processes and supporting procedures – that are performed by an organization to design, plan, deliver, operate and control information technology (IT) services offered to customers. ITSM is thus concerned with the implementation of IT services that meet customers’ needs, and it is performed by the IT service provider through an appropriate mix of people, process and information technology.


Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS; previously known as Knowledge-Centered Support) is a service delivery method that focuses on knowledge as a key asset of the organization implementing it. Its methodology is to integrate use of a knowledge base into the workflow.

KCS seeks to:

  • Create content as a by-product of solving problems
  • Evolve content based on demand and usage
  • Develop a knowledge base of an organization’s collective experience to-date
  • Reward learning, collaboration, sharing and improving


Mobile device management (MDM) is software that allows IT administrators to control, secure and enforce policies on smartphones, tablets and other endpoints. MDM is a core component of enterprise mobility management (EMM) which also includes mobile application management, identity and access management and enterprise file sync and share. The intent of MDM is to optimize the functionality and security of mobile devices within the enterprise while simultaneously protecting the corporate network.


Mean Time to Resolve (MTTR) is a service level metric for desktop support that measures the average elapsed time from when an incident is reported until the incident is resolved. It is typically measured in hours, and refers to business hours, not clock hours.


NMS stands for Network Management System. An NMS is a system designed for monitoring, maintaining, and optimizing a network. It includes both hardware and software, but most often an NMS refers to the software used to manage a network.


No operations (NoOps) is the concept that an IT environment can become so automated and abstracted from the underlying infrastructure that there is no need for a dedicated team to manage software in-house.