Eradicating Tech Buzzwords


David Silverman has a good list of business terms that need to be banned.

That got me thinking again (earlier than I usually do in the morning) about tech buzzwords. Silverman's list is good, but what about all the technobabble out there?

Kudos to the WSJ's Ben Worthen for rallying against technobabble last year; I just wish more people would.

I've tried to do my part. Not too long ago we wrote about the ambiguity and confusion around "IT transformation." Then there's the always puzzling issue of "alignment."

Besides those two vague terms, there are plenty of other tech-centric terms that continue to perplex IT pros. In an age where CIOs must communicate their goals and needs more clearly than ever before, the abundance of buzzwords becomes even more annoying.

So, let's make a list. What are the most annoying/confusing terms permeating the IT world today? Send us your thoughts, along with why.


10 Comments for "Eradicating Tech Buzzwords"

  • Mike M September 15, 2009 10:16 am

    When buzzwords are used, insist they put in (brackets) WHAT THAT TERM OR WORD MEANS. They then will get the message , hopefully. It worked for me.

  • don March 03, 2009 1:49 pm

    Hi, This is a cyclic problem. 10 years ago we had this same conversation: IT needs to speak in a way that business understands. The motivation for doing so was to get line managers to say, 'Yes, we will finance that work.' Has anything changed, except time?

  • Prof March 02, 2009 10:37 pm

    While I agree with everyone so far, I do think that there are a few terms that we could do without: let's start with "mashup." We could do without it very easily as it does confuse many about how we link software pieces together. I also think that if I hear about "green technology" again I might get sick. If a computer box is alternate blue-and-white striped, is it "green" just because it uses 5 watts less than a green-and-white striped box (is the green box no longer considered to be "green")? Gimme a break! Also let's not call anything "nano" meaning that it is small or fast or "cutting edge" unless we really know that it works in the one-billionth of a meter scale. OK, that is a start.

  • Alli-O March 02, 2009 10:40 am

    I agree with Edward. We must not sacrifice leveraging our investment towards network visibility in the name of aligning techno-babble with understandable English.

  • gitmo March 02, 2009 8:50 am

    "Flip The Switch" I need our payroll system to calculate overtime based on time and a half for the first 2 hours and then by 2X for the next 2 hours. Can you flip the switch to make that happen?

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