What is IT & Security Software?
Information Technology (IT) software is any digital solution that helps businesses create, process, exchange, store, use, and secure electronic data. You can use software products in this category for building websites, developing and monitoring mobile apps, creating eCommerce stores, monitoring and managing computer networks, automating data backups, password management, and subscription management.
Amid rising cloud adoption, data security continues to remain a big concern for many organizations. Thankfully, some software products in the IT & Security category come with features that help encrypt your connection, and protect sensitive business data against any possible malicious attacks. You’ll also find dedicated data security software that enables multi-factor authentication and centralized access control.
Most Popular IT & Security Categories
How to Choose IT & Security Software
IT & Security software products, depending on the purpose they serve, fall under different subcategories, such as, SaaS & subscription management, eCommerce solutions, UX & UI, CMS, API management, code editors, and IT service management. For businesses looking for IT & Security Software, one good idea would be to start by choosing a subcategory that is most likely to list the kind of software they are looking for. For instance, if you need help building or running an online store, look for products in the ‘eCommerce solutions’ category. Now narrow down your search based on features, such as, payment options, security features, scalability, advanced search filters, and design options. You might an eCommerce software product that helps accept payment in multiple currencies, or one that helps add videos and images to product listings.
Software products in the SaaS & Subscription management category help make subscription management easier for businesses. Key features include the ability to accept recurring payments, to issue credits or refunds, and to add new plans or coupon codes. On the other hand, data security software products typically come with features, such as, disaster recovery, deletion control, and cloud to cloud backup, and data migration. You’ll also find IT & Security Software designed exclusively for application monitoring, application lifecycle management, backup & restoring, mockups & prototyping, content management, and system administration. If you know what exactly you are looking for, you can easily compare and find the right software solution for your business.
Subcategories of IT & Security Software
- API Management: These products are often used to create, publish, and monitor application programming interfaces (APIs) in a secure and scalable environment. The software generates reports on API usage, allowing the API publisher to gain insight into subscriber behaviors. Other functionalities include controlling access to APIs, monetization of APIs, and the ability to manage and secure API traffic. Products in this category often aim to make application development easier and enhance developer productivity. Key features to look for include publishing tools, developer engagement, user profiles, authorization, single sign-on, and token authentication capability.
- App Builders: One major benefit of using a cloud-based app builder is that they typically don’t require you to download or install anything. You can get started quickly and often without any knowledge of coding. However, not all app builders are made for non-coders. Some products come with advanced features that only experienced developers can handle. Some products in the app builder category are suitable for making native apps, while others allow you to build applications for almost every device, including Android, iPhone, and Windows mobile. Other things to consider include your UI customization needs or what kind of graphic design support you require, whether you need advanced content management features, whether you want to develop eCommerce apps with features like customer loyalty program, shopping cart, etc. You’ll also find DIY app builders with social API integration features and a range of other add-ons and plug-ins.
- Application Lifecycle Management: Products in this category help organizations design, develop, test, deploy, manage, and maintain software applications throughout their lifecycle. Key modules of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) software include requirements management, test management, release management, and change management. For instance, change management refers to a product’s ability to adopt changes in requirements during the development phase of a project. Some important features to consider in ALM software include its agile capability, quality assurance, traceability, integration with other products, ability to handle multiple projects, and ability to determine key performance indicators.
- Application Monitoring & Performance: This group of software monitors software applications to see whether they are performing as expected. The right application performance monitoring software helps improve end-user experience, reduce user complaints, maintain business continuity, increase productivity, and foster innovation. These products measure application performance on the basis of metrics, such as, average response rates, transaction volume, error rates, and data throughput. Different products focus on different aspects of application performance, so choosing the right product for your exact needs is important. For instance, you may need a product that helps track the average time for login or one that lets you know how users behave after they download your application. Key factors to consider include stack visibility, system security, and reporting capability, among others.
- Backend/Database: Products in this category help create, organize, manage and maintain databases for websites or software applications. You can use these products for creating actionable dashboards, and for sharing data, consisting of charts and graphs, with your team members. Some products allow you to create dashboards with simple drag-and-drop interface; while others let you customize dashboards to your exact needs. Key features include the ability to generate reports and administrative systems, the ability to create automatic visualization, and the ability to automatically document your systems and backend infrastructure.
- Backup & Restore: Products in this category help create a duplicate copy of data and securely store it either on the cloud or in an external device. In the event of an unexpected data loss or if data gets corrupted, infected or accidentally deleted, the software helps recover the lost data or restore it to its original condition. Cloud based backup & restore software backs up files automatically as the user works on them. For instance, when you add texts, images, videos, or make color edits to your files, the software automatically backs up all changes on the cloud, so you can restore the latest version of your files, should you lose your original data. More advanced features include verified recoverability, high-speed recovery, disaster recovery, multi-destination support, and the ability to secure file sharing on the go.
- Blog Authoring & Plugins: This type of software allows SMEs to create, publish and update their own blog, often for content marketing or inbound marketing purposes. These products typically provide a number of design template options; some even offer customizable design templates. Depending on your blogging goals, you may need a blog authoring software for sharing your social media posts, newsletters, articles or one that is more suitable for creating and publishing presentations, white papers, magazines, case studies, and reports. Some important features to consider include drag & drop visual editors, the ability to publish content in different categories, the ability to communicate with team members, and how easily you can add text, graphs, charts, videos, images, etc.
- Bug Tracking: Bug tracking software is an IT & Security subcategory that focuses on keeping a record of reported bugs in software development projects. Most bug tracking software platforms have extensive databases which record detailed information about bugs. Furthermore, bug tracking software can often be integrated into other software project management applications, such as Slack. This section allows you to compare multiple bug tracking software platforms in terms of functionality, complexity and other features relevant to the niche.
- CMS: CMS software makes creating and managing digital content easier for businesses. You can use products in this category for both enterprise content management and web content management. These products also make site maintenance easier. Anyone from your team can update product pages, make changes in site designs, remove outdated content, add new posts, and edit existing content, with no knowledge of coding required. Some important features to consider when choosing a content management system include custom URLs for SEO benefits, the ability to track article performance, integrated link management, the ability to post content in multiple categories, community support, and the overall ease of use.
- Code Editors: A code editor is a type of text editor specially designed for writing and editing source code of software applications. Unlike a basic text editor, a code editor provides reference to other components within the program, enabling the programmer to improve or automate code editing for quicker and better results. Key features to look for include syntax highlighting, code formatting, error detection, auto-indentation, an integrated development environment, the ability to isolate bugs, and the ability to write code with others in real time.
- Code Repository: A code repository is where snippets and patches of source code for software programs are archived in an organized way. Codes stored in a code repository can be retrieved easily in the future. You’ll find different code repository hosts for open source software projects, single developers and multi developer projects. Products in this category often support release management, version control, mailing lists, bug tracking, and wiki-based documentation. Some code repository software products require users to state the reasons for every commit. The software sends you email notifications when someone updates your repositories.
- Data Security: Cyber and data security software helps businesses prevent any unauthorized access to their systems. These products also provide protection against data corruption and help organizations protect their critical assets, including intellectual property and customer information. In the long run, this helps build trust and credibility and enhance brand reputation. Data encryption or turning data into an unreadable form for unauthorized users is a common technique used for ensuring data security. Other techniques include use of authentication, and adding https (SSL) encryption to a website. Different data security products come with different features. For instance, some products help perform real-time checks from anywhere, while others offer disaster recovery and data migration services. Other features to look for include cloud storage facilities, and the ability to secure communication and file transfers.
- Development Tools: Software developers or programmers use these tools for creating, modifying, debugging or maintaining software products. Depending on the purpose they serve, software development tools can be categorized into different segments. For instance, tools usually come with a compiler and a linker that help turn human readable code into machine readable instructions. Other types of development tools include debuggers, profilers, source control tools, testing tools, integration tools, performance analysts, and GUI builders. Some important things to consider when choosing programming tools include company standards, training requirements for using the tool, integration features, and whether the tools are readily applicable to your environment.
- Domains and Hosting: Web hosting is a solution that provides space for a website on the internet, while domain names refer to a website’s internet addresses. Choosing the right hosting solution is critical to a site’s success. The right hosting solution helps load a website faster, automatically backs up important files and restores them later on, keeps your website account secure, maintains domain privacy, provides quick support when server errors occur or any SSL issues arise. For instance, some hosting software products send alerts when they suspect a service interruption, so you can plan accordingly.
- Easy Website Builders: These products help create and launch a website easily and quickly. They offer an ideal solution for business owners or professionals who want to get started quickly, with no knowledge of coding required. Key software features of easy website builders include drag-and-drop content widgets, the ability to monitor website traffic from a dashboard, the ability to add custom features, design templates and themes, background images and content management systems. Some products even allow you to build corporate sites, mobile applications, news websites, and government applications.
- eCommerce solutions: Different types of eCommerce solutions are suitable for different types of businesses. Some common types include enterprise, hosted and open source solutions. Key features of eCommerce software usually focus on product catalogs, ordering systems, payment options, and customer management. While any eCommerce software lets you create and manage a product catalog, some solutions come with advanced features like the ability to list related products, the ability to customize a product with personal images and the ability to generate coupon codes. You need to decide what features you need. Some key points to consider are scalability, whether the platform can grow with your organization, whether the software seamlessly integrates with other applications, reporting and analysis features or whether the software has adequate features to monitor sales and analyze customer behavior. You may also want to consider security features, responsive design options, user experience, the user interface and the customer support system.
- Electronic Data Interchange: These products usually help transfer important business files from one computer system to another. Global business partners often use electronic data interchange software to exchange business documents electronically. This saves time and costs of file transfer and helps eliminate costly human errors. You’ll also find products specially designed to ensure seamless integration between suppliers and manufacturers.
- IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service provides infrastructure support, including server, storage, networking resources, and data center space, in the cloud. Software products in the IaaS category help organizations reduce infrastructure costs, perform tests and develop faster, and thus speed up time-to-market. IaaS software offers highly scalable infrastructure solutions, enabling you to respond to market demands more quickly. These products also provide a cost-effective solution to disaster recovery. Some other features include website hosting capability, big data analysis, and the ability to develop web apps faster.
- IT Service Management (ITSM): Broadly, IT service management refers to the way in which IT services are planned and delivered to end users within an organization. This software category covers a wide range of products, with different products focusing on different aspects of ITSM, such as, change management, incident management, knowledge management, and release management. For instance, products focused on incident management help deal with unexpected service interruption issues. There are ITSM software products that help implement ITIL best practices, and the ones that help manage customer support of multiple companies from a single dashboard while also keeping isolation between the different companies. Other notable features include the ability to handle changes in IT infrastructure, the ability to automate ticketing, and the ability to automatically track software availability in an organization.
- Legacy Modernization: Legacy (or “Software”) Modernization software provides the tools for companies to convert, re-write or port their legacy systems into modern, more flexible computer programming languages and protocols. This helps businesses to reduce the costs and constraints of legacy systems, and increases their agility through more flexible technical systems. Legacy Modernization is a highly strategic form of “future-proofing” but is also often a lengthy and difficult process. Accordingly, software within this space aims to automate and streamline the process whilst maintaining high accuracy.
- Localization: Companies targeting new markets often need to localize their software products or website to make those useable for local customers. This often requires translating a product’s user interface to a local language and adapting the product to the cultural and legal requirements of the target market. Software products in this category help take the hassle out of localization by automating tedious translation tasks and by streamlining process communication. This helps overcome cultural and linguistic barriers and reduces time to market for fast expanding companies. More advanced products integrate localization into the product development process, rather than viewing it as an additional task. Some products automatically notify the translators whenever any changes are made to a project.
- Machine Learning: Machine Learning is a major driving force behind the intelligent analytics packages that are increasingly essential to modern business. Machine Learning algorithms or platforms learn iteratively from the data sets and can find new insights without being explicitly programmed where to look. This enables computers to create increasingly "smart" insights, predictions and decisions. Business ML solutions focus on creating new & higher value out of BI to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
- Managed Service Providers (MSP): Software products in this category take the workload off your internal IT department by providing network management, applications management and a host of other e-management services on a proactive basis. Depending on your requirement, you can use a product that helps handle quotes and proposals or one that provides file management services. Key software features of a product vary depending on what services they offer. For instance, managed service provider for system administration management may help you set up AD integrated scanning, automatically detect the issues affecting your system administration and fix those before you even know they existed. In addition to proactive support, managed service providers benefit organizations by providing them with a robust infrastructure on demand, and a service level agreement that guarantees quality service.
- Marketplaces: Marketplaces offer a range of solutions for businesses of all sizes. For instance, some products in this category may help you find royalty free images, while you’ll also find marketplace software that provides tools to build flash and Unity 3D projects. Marketplaces for starting a website on multiple platforms or ones that help you hire a marketing partner are also available.
- Middleware: Middleware software allows two separate software applications to interact and share data. Middleware could also act as a software layer between an application and an operating system. This type of software usually supports distributed systems and facilitates messaging services, making application development easier for programmers. Middleware does not disclose the complex nature of distributed applications, and provides the uniform, high-end interfaces necessary for making applications reusable and interoperable. Features of Middleware software typically focus on transaction management, API management and messaging.
- Mockups & Prototyping: Creating mockups and prototypes is an essential part of any application development process. Prototypes help set clear expectations for a project and save time and money by avoiding costly reworks. You can also use mockups or prototypes when pitching an idea to investors. Software products in this category provide the necessary tools to build wireframes, mockups, and prototypes. These include tools to create diagrams, flowcharts, images and tools to add colors, logos, and text. Key features of these products revolve around drag-and-drop widgets, libraries of design templates, testing tools, the ability to design with others in real time and the ability to share prototypes with team members and get feedback from them.
- Network Management: With increasing network complexity, most organizations today are shifting from manual to automated network management. Software products for network management help save time and money on network monitoring, performance management, fault analysis, and service quality maintenance. There are different types of products to suit different requirements. For instance, some products are designed for network device monitoring; some are more suitable for WiFi management. Products in this category usually monitor network components, send alerts and notifications, identify performance issues and fix them quickly.
- Password Management: These products help individuals, SMEs and large organizations organize, backup, and remember passwords and login credentials of their online accounts. Password management software typically prompts users to create a master password that gives them access to their complete password information. With no fear of forgetting important passwords, now you can set a unique, strong password for every online account, which helps avoid password reuse, protects against cyber theft, safeguards sensitive business information, and secures customer data. Some products even allow you to log in to your account with only one click and to logout remotely. Other advanced features include automatic form filling, two-factor authentication, role based access control, and the ability to securely share passwords with others.
- Platform as a Service (PAAS): This group of software provides a platform to build and manage applications in the cloud, without having to download or install any in-house software applications that are typically required for app development. This helps businesses reduce cost by eliminating server and storage overheads, makes managing software updates easier, and enables even beginners to develop applications. Companies across a wide range of industries can use Platform-as-a-Service to develop applications useful for their business. For instance, PAAS for financial institutions can be used to develop applications for internet banking, currency exchange, mobile banking and money transfer. Key features to look for include storage utilization, centralized access control, volume management, maximum uptime, and the frequency of security updates.
- SaaS & Subscription Management: This type of software helps businesses plan and manage subscriptions and collect recurring payments from customers. These products are often used to bill customers automatically, to send and manage invoices and to store customer information and payment data for future use. More advanced software helps add new subscription plans, issue refunds and credits, manage upgrades, downgrades and cancellations, track transaction failures, notify customers about failed transactions and billing errors, generate coupon codes and offer discounts, support multiple payment methods and seamlessly integrates with other applications. Some important factors to consider when choosing SaaS & subscription management software include scalability, accessibility, and the vendor’s customer support system.
- Shopping Cart: Shopping cart software typically allows visitors to an eCommerce store to select products, place orders, and make payments. However, most software products in this category nowadays do more than just accepting payments and collecting shipping addresses from customers. Almost all modern programs can calculate shipping charges on the basis of total billing amounts, number of items ordered, shipping destination and weight of the products. Some shopping carts even calculate taxes based on the buyer’s ZIP code. More advanced features include identifying repeat customers, allowing customers to check order histories and current order status, promoting products through social media and the ability to create, maintain and update product databases.
- Single Sign-On (SSO): Organizations using multiple applications often see their IT professionals struggling to remember passwords for software applications they use. Single sign-on (SSO) resolves this issue by allowing them access to all applications with only one set of login credentials. Software products in this category help make life easier for those using multiple applications, save time, and allow professionals to focus on their core tasks without interruption. Factors to consider when choosing SSO software include ease of use, whether an integration is readily available for your current system, and whether it supports multi-factor authentication.
- Site Search & Web Forms: Site search software helps improve search experience on a website by allowing visitors to conduct quick searches from a single search box. More advanced products allow visitors to search in multiple languages and provide relevant results in milliseconds. On the other hand, web form builder software helps create different types of online forms, including sign up forms, contact forms, surveys, feedback forms, and registration forms. Most web form builders feature drag-and-drop components and multiple design templates; while some products even allow you to create responsive designs and custom fields.
- System Administration: Software solutions in this space aim to maintain, configure and ensure smooth-running of computer systems in a multi-user environment. The software automates a number of system administration tasks, such as, monitoring system health periodically, allocating disk space, managing user accounts, performing security checks and backups, scanning servers and proactively resolving any issues that might hamper day-to-day operations. Key features include the ability to automate multi-server setups, the ability to manage servers from mobile devices, monitoring and resolving memory and network issues, as well as reporting any suspicious login activities. Most programs come with scripted instructions, while more advanced system administration software allows you to add custom scripts and store them in the system for future use.
- Testing: This category covers a wide range of software tools for mobile app testing, software testing, and web testing, among others. Performing a test on an application helps organizations find out whether the application performs as expected. Different types of testing software are available, including products designed for testing a specific function and ones for performing a range of different tests. Typically, mobile and web applications are tested for functionality, usability, browser compatibility, and Operating System compatibility. On the other hand, software testing tools help test a product’s integration capability, functionality, regression and fault tolerance levels. You’ll also find dedicated tools for cross-browser testing, accessibility testing, and security testing.
- UI & UX: Software products in this category help design or improve user interfaces (UI) and/or user experience (UX) of a software application or website. Features of UI software typically focus on improving the front-end view of a software product, with which the user interacts to be able to use the product. Examples of user interface elements include cursor, menus, tabs, icons, dialog boxes, application windows, check-boxes, etc. On the other hand, UX software aims to improve the user’s overall experience of using a product. A good user experience tool is one that helps improve usability and accessibility of a software application or website. In this software category, you’ll find products that help you search for and download the top UI element designs or products that give users guidance on how to operate a complex software program.
- User Identity & Access: With organizations increasingly adopting mobile applications and cloud services, the need for user identity and access management has never been more urgent. Software products for managing user identity cater to this need by allowing the right individual access to the right information at the right time. Products in this category not only help improve your security profile, but simplify reporting and auditing, reduces IT costs, and make accessing applications easier for authorized users. Key features of these products include multi-factor authentication, dynamic password management, access control, single sign-on, and the ability to instantly disable access.
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI): This group of software helps organizations create, use, and manage virtual desktops. Virtual desktop infrastructure helps SMEs save money by skipping workstation hardware upgrades, because even basic-level computers can be used to run virtual desktops. Also, it eliminates the possibility of data loss due to physical theft of laptops/PCs, because all the data remains secure on a central server in a data center. Products in this category aim to provide a secure work environment and features centralized management. Advanced products typically feature the ability to support a mobile workforce and a range of virtual machine monitors (VMMs). Other features to consider include ease of use and the ability to provide technical support to remote computers.
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