The vocabulary we use in IT is ambiguous and misleading, and we need better, claims IT Support guru Noel Bruton. This is why he has made the Glossary of his ‘Mastering IT Support Delivery’ curriculum available not just free of charge, but unusually, under a Creative Commons licence so it can be freely redistributed by anybody.

“A new world is upon us, with new challenges,” Bruton observes. “We may know what ‘Agile’ and ‘Digital Transformation’ are, but what should they mean to IT Support?” 

In the MISD Glossary, support-tinted definitions of ‘DevOps’, and ‘Lean’ rub shoulders with essentially production terminology such as ‘pre-diagnosis’, ‘authority escalation’, and ‘Lost User-Productivity’.

Bruton continues, “But it’s more fundamental than that. Properly-informed management decisions require accuracy, and that’s not always there in current I.T. parlance. We have to get past imprecise language, for example where ‘incident’ can mean something that is either urgent or not, and where a certain demand requiring immediate attention is deemed a mere ‘request’.”

“There are terms here, which because of our industry’s historical fixation with the ‘Service Desk’ as the be-all of IT Support, have been missed altogether”, Bruton asserts. “The solutions to Servic edesk escalations can come from all over IT – so you get project-based workgroups interrupted by support enquiries and thus losing resources to support work. Meanwhile the Service desk is wondering why downstream groups can take so long to respond. MISD’s proprietary techniques for handling workload can solve all that, and they’re defined here, along with the differences between ‘Service Level’ and ‘Operational’ statistics that can make such a difference to speed of service.”

“Many of these terms will be new to IT professionals,” Bruton claims, “but they are needed so I.T. Support can do its job properly.”

The MISD Glossary is free and available on demand from