ITSM Glossary of Terms

Visit the ITSM glossary for the definition, history, and uses of key industry terms, including standard operating procedures (SOP), risk management, and more.

Service portal

Jul 30, 2022 1:21:00 AM

What is a Service Portal? 

A service portal is a web-based platform that allows customers to access and interact with services. IT can provide a single point of entry for internal employees and customers to submit new requests or give users self-service resources. General web portals first appeared in the 1990s, and their presence has only grown. Now, businesses from IT departments to libraries use service portals. 

Service portals are often used in conjunction with other tools in an organization's IT service management (ITSM) suite. They provide a means for customers to log in and access their data without having to go through several different systems, making for smoother processes and happier customers. 


Jul 30, 2022 1:18:21 AM

What are Macros? 

In IT realm, macros are actions that can be applied when creating or updating a ticket. Macros are not condition-based; they’re manually applied to execute an action, such as changing a ticket assignee, populating ticket forms, add or remove ticket tags, and more. In other words, macros are like “canned responses” that can be used over and over again on tickets. 

The term “macro” has existed since the dawn of computer programming in the 1950s and 1960s. 


Jul 30, 2022 1:15:09 AM

What is PSA? 

Professional services automation (PSA) is a software tool that automates many of the tasks that are typically performed by human resources and administrative professionals, in order to improve efficiency, accuracy, and compliance across various professional industries. These tasks can include accounting, scheduling, project management, and more. 

In the past, businesses might hire multiple external organizations to handle these processes, but PSA automates various administrative tasks in one place. 

Smart Tickets

Jul 30, 2022 1:08:48 AM

What are Smart Tickets? 

Smart tickets are digital tickets that are used to manage the processes of IT service management. They are a form of digital ticketing, and they can be used by service providers to manage their customers' requests and provide better service to them. 

The “smart” part refers to the fact that these tickets use automation to speed up the resolution process. Automation can create rules and trigger workflows to route tickets or send instructions to techs. Smart tickets are built on the principle of "one touch," or the idea that a single point of contact can solve all problems with one interaction. 


Jul 30, 2022 1:05:02 AM

What is Cybersecurity? 

Cybersecurity is the act of protecting computers, networks, and information from unauthorized access, use, or damage. Cybersecurity can be broken down into two categories: defensive and offensive.  

Defensive cybersecurity includes things like firewalls and antivirus software, which keep hackers out of your system by preventing unauthorized access or damage.  

Offensive cybersecurity involves things like phishing emails and malware that are designed to trick users into giving up sensitive information or installing malicious software on their systems. 

Cybersecurity has been a concept since the development of the first computer, but truly emerged in the 1970s when Bob Thomas invented a program called Creeper to see if something could move over a network. In response, Ray Tomlinson created Reaper, the first ever antivirus software. 

Business Logic

Jul 30, 2022 1:02:12 AM

What is Business Logic? 

Business logic is the computational set of rules and procedures that determine how a business operates.  

Business logic can be automated using computer programs like spreadsheets or programs like Microsoft Word. In fact, many companies use these tools because they are simple and easy to use. However, there are also dedicated software products that can help automate business logic so that it can be applied across multiple industries or even across multiple companies within an industry sector. 

Workflow Automation

Jul 30, 2022 12:59:17 AM

What is Workflow Automation? 

Workflow automation is the process of automating repetitive tasks within a business. It can be used to streamline processes, reduce costs, and increase efficiency. 

Workflows arose as a concept in the late 19th century, but the history of workflow automation began in the 1990s with the development of the first mainstream workflow management system. This was followed by several decades of incremental improvements, including: 

  • The introduction of computers into businesses for storing and processing information 
  •  The development of software that could execute tasks automatically 
  • The widespread adoption by businesses of these new technologies 


Jul 30, 2022 12:53:15 AM

What are APIs? 

An Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of rules and specifications that allow two applications to communicate with each other. An API allows one application to make use of the features provided by another application, often without having to reinvent the wheel. 

Though the concept of APIs seems to pre-date the term itself, the term was first used in a clear way in the paper Data Structures and Techniques for Remote Computer Graphics in 1968. 


Jul 30, 2022 12:50:19 AM

What are Webhooks? 

Webhooks are simple HTTP callbacks. They’re a way for third-party services to send data to other services. They're a simple, lightweight alternative to REST APIs, and they can be used to create powerful integrations between different systems. 

The term webhooks was coined by Jeff Lindsay in 2007 from the computer programming term “hook.” They're used by many major companies like MailChimp and Shopify today. They work by sending an HTTP POST request to a specified URL when something happens in your application. 

Business Process Automation (BPA)

Jun 23, 2022 9:01:50 AM

What is Business Process Automation (BPA)? 

Business process automation, sometimes called digital transformation, is the automation and streamlining of important company processes and operations. This ensures that tasks associated with running the day-to-day operations of a business are done automatically. BPA might include email automation, automatic report generation, cloud automation, and more, usually done through low-code and no-code methodology.