7 Tech Acronyms and Abbreviations That Need to Go Away

IT is full of shorthand. (Hey, there's one example.) Many abbreviations and acronyms have become standard terms in tech, if not everyday language. But some terms just need to be retired.

By John Brandon
Wed, February 19, 2014

CIO — When it comes to acronyms, no industry has mastered the art of cryptic references like Information technology (or IT). You're reading this because you typed a URL into a browser, but try explaining what a Uniform Resource Locator even means in lay terms.

Some acronyms and abbreviations have worn out their welcome. A few date all the way back to the early 1990s, before we even had easy access to the Internet and the World Wide Web (WWW). Here are seven that should be retired before we forget what they mean altogether.


The acronym for Database Activity Monitoring is, in part, a security technique that looks for open databases on your network. Like many tech acronyms, it's too hard to remember and could also stand for many other technologies — Direct-access Memory, say, or Digital Asset Management. Plus, it's a tough one to explain at the water cooler when the boss walks by and hears you ask, "Did you get your DAM fixed?"


Introduced in 1993, the New Technology File System isn't exactly new anymore. Like many tech acronyms, it has lost its meaning, as Microsoft has developed new variants with different maximum file size limitations. The casual reference to Windows NT doesn't make any sense, either, considering that that operating system also came out 21 years ago.

[ More: Tape Storage Finds New Life in the Enterprise and Beyond ]


You might think this acronym stands for Business Value Dashboard, metrics-driven software that helps executives understand business drivers. Unfortunately, the Bradley, Voorhees & Day company — founded in 1876 and acquired by Fruit of the Loom 100 years later — has claimed the abbreviation as its own. Plus, BVD underwear is a much more established use. Let's just stick with BI, even if it could be Business Intelligence or Business Informatics.

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