IT term flash cards for internal communications

IT Glossary for Internal Communicators

Kicking off a new project is similar to grabbing a popsicle on a boiling summer’s day. With your first bite, you’re met with an immediate sense of relief, just like your initial solution for your burning internal comms problems. But, over time, you’re met with sticky situations in integration or implementation meetings with your IT department.

We get it! Sometimes, talks with potential vendors seem like everyone is speaking a different language. With help from our Customer Success team, we created a glossary of tech vendor’s “slanguage” to help you gain a better understanding of the technological requirements. 

We hope this guide will help you and your tech team tackle new challenges and strengthen your working relationship



Internal Communicator’s IT Glossary

Application Programming Interface (API)

This is an interface or communication protocol between different parts of a computer program intended to simplify the implementation and maintenance of software. API’s are used to connect different systems and automatically keep the systems synced. 

Example: A situation that we run into quite often is connecting our clients’ Content Management System (CMS) to Cerkl. 

[Check out Cerkl’s API Documentation.]

Active Directory is a Microsoft technology used to manage computers and other devices on a network. It’s a primary feature of Windows Server. Active Directory allows your network administrators to create and manage domains, users, and objects within a network. 

Example: Your admin creates a group for your team, giving you specific access privileges to certain directories on the server.

Authentication

In computing, authentication is the process of verifying the identity of a person or device. 

Example: When you log in to your Nest or Ring account from a new device, you have to verify that you are the owner of the account with a code or an email before you can gain access. 

Business Case

A justification for a proposed project based on its expected commercial benefit. Each company has its business case process that usually includes a lengthy proposal detailing all aspects of the project and the return on investment (ROI). Other times, it’s a shorter written statement with an attached project budget.

Business Continuity Management (BCM)

By defining and planning for potential risks, the BCM focuses on maintaining normal business functions after a disaster has occurred. 

Examples:  Potential risks include but aren’t limited to fires, floods, or cyber-attacks.

Cloud Service Provider (CSP)

Companies that offer network services, infrastructure, or business applications in your business’ cloud.

Example: Your intranet is an excellent example of a service that can be used “in the cloud.”

CNAMES

These are the records that are added to a Domain Name Server (DNS) to complete the white labeling process. 

Dedicated IP address

This is a unique Internet IP address that’s assigned exclusively to an existing host account. 

Example: For Cerkl partners, using their dedicated IP addresses increase IT security by blocking out traffic from anything other than your exact newsletters. 

Distribution List (DL)

Email lists kept in Active Directory or an email solution to target the correct groups of employees. Often DLs cover employee location, job level, team, business unit, and more. 

Example: There are separate DLs for your organization’s Chicago and Charlotte locations. 

Domain Name Server (DNS)

This is what controls your company’s website and handles underlying internet traffic security. 

Email alias

An email alias is a way to create an additional name for your email account. This allows you to develop alternative email addresses without having to maintain another inbox. But keep in mind, you can’t send an email from an alias.

Example: If you’re planning on sending an email and want to show the sender as ‘From the Desk of the CEO’, you can use CorporateComms@YourCompany.com as your email alias. 

Human Resources Information System (HRIS)

The HRIS manages employee data such as email, job title, location, compensation level, employee ID, reporting hierarchy, and more. 

PHP

A widely-used programming language that is especially suited for web development on the server-side. HTML makes all of the things you see on your site, PHP is in the background and used in server-side scripting, command-line scripting, and writing desktop applications. 

RSS

An automatically generated and updated document that is used to ingest content from one system into another. 

Examples: Your Intranet, company blog, social, and more all have RSS feeds.  One of the ways that Cerkl helps internal communicators simplify the task of cross-team collaboration is automatically pulling content into your organization’s Content Manager using RSS feeds from different departments.

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

An agreement that dictates the level of service, responsibilities, and technical support delivered to the client within the contract period. Many IT software vendors will give your tech team a large SLA for on-going training and support services. 

Statement of Work (SOW)

During a request for proposal process, a software vendor will outline the development work that they’ll perform and describe what the organization’s IT department must do to integrate and deploy the system. 

Single Sign-On (SSO)

This sign-on controls access to multiple related, yet independent, software systems. With this property, a user/employee logs in with a single ID and password to gain access to any of several related systems. While the wase of use is great for adoption and the day to day work of your audience, be careful. This secure single-source access when deployed on Intranet platforms can skew analytical tools used to measure an employee’s intranet journey because it may not pick up all the tools the employee accesses on the network or what location the traffic originated. 

White labeling

A process where information (CNAME records) is added to a DNS. This means a third party email sending platform has permission to send emails on behalf of a server, increasing the trust factor of said emails and reducing the chances of those emails being blocked or marked as spam.

White labeling and dedicated IP addresses are often confused but are quite different. Check out our help desk article to learn more

Whitelist email

To whitelist an email address means you add them to your ‘approved senders’ list. Whitelisting tells your email client that you know and trust this sender, which will keep emails from this contact at the top of your inbox and out of the junk folder.

Example: Having your organization whitelist your email platform is imperative to keep your comms from being marked as ‘Spam.’

Whitelisting IP addresses

Done to guarantee internet traffic being sent from a specific dedicated IP address is allowed through, preventing it from being blocked by spam filters or security features.


As an internal communicator, you know the difficulties of generating buy-in from employees outside of your department. By using their terminology, you can recruit your IT department to partner for upcoming projects. 

Reach out to your tech connection and ask about your company’s “slanguage” to understand the specifics. You’ve got your seat at the table, now make your voice heard.

What’d we miss? Leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to add it to our list.

Digital Content Coordinator