10 most misused buzzwords in IT

The tech industry is rife with overhyped jargon. Here IT leaders discuss buzzy terms all too often misapplied by vendors and colleagues alike.

10 most misused buzzwords in IT

Perhaps more than any other sector, the technology industry suffers from jargon overload, with vendors and consultants constantly hyping solutions and strategies with phrasings meant to capture buzz. Such efforts do at times hit the mark, aptly describing a solution or an important current in the industry, but all too often the terms and phrases tossed around in meetings are loosely defined or misapplied for the sake of sales and marketing.

When an idea catches fire, vendors seize on vague euphemisms to pitch IT leaders on their solution as The Next Best Thing. Who’s heard “We’re like the Netflix of…” or “We deliver cloud as an innovation platform.” And of course vendors do everything through a “single pane of glass.” As if that makes things so much clearer.

“Buzzwords start out as powerful ideas,” says Matt Seaman, who in his role as Lockheed Martin’s director and chief data and analytics officer of enterprise operations has seen his share of do-it-all data science solutions that don’t do it all. “It’s not until they’re misused and watered down that they become a problem.”

CIOs are just as guilty of misapplying concepts. For example, some IT leaders say they’re doing agile or applying machine learning (ML) when they’re really not, or at least not in a way that satisfies the definition.

Here IT leaders lament the misnomers, misguided appellations, and liberal use of jargon to describe technologies, IT processes, and other infuriating catch-all terms.

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