Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

The top 12 overused IT terms

By James Sudakow | Nov. 15, 2016
A lot of what we talk about in IT confuses the heck out of our business-side colleagues

Every part of the corporate world has its share of unusual and even strange jargon. IT is no different, offering us clouds, ecosystems, waterfalls, sprints and scrums, and even cookies and breadcrumbs. Does anyone outside of IT really know what these expressions mean? Here are the top 12 annoying, overused IT terms that we should replace with normal language. (No need to limit ourselves to 10 just because David Letterman did.)

terms ecosystem f01 c Todd Kale


It’s not Biosphere 2 with an IT twist, and it’s certainly not an indication that environmentalists have taken over the corporate world. It is simply a way of talking about how numerous systems and technologies integrate and are interdependent on each other. In concept, it does make sense, but the term has become so widely used that many non-IT types just tune it out. Maybe we can keep the term ecosystem in the global warming conversation and out of the IT systems migration discussion.

terms cloud f01 c Todd Kale


The use of the term the cloud or in the cloud is not that new. We’ve been talking about cloud technology for a while now. Most of us know that it doesn’t have anything to do with some sort of Dr. Seuss story about cloud creatures who speak only in rhymes and store our stuff for us in boxes on top of puffy clouds. But the cloud is actually complex, and most of us don’t have much appetite to understand the inner workings of the cloud and cloud computing. Suffice to say that we kind of understand that our data is somewhere but not on our hard drives. Let’s just keep it at that.

terms devops f01 c Todd Kale


Is this IT Special Forces? Or maybe I’ve been playing too much Call of Duty. The reality is that most non-IT people don’t really know what either Dev or Ops is let, alone what you get when you complicate things by combining them. Really, what most people in the corporate world want is to know that the systems they use have been developed with the business needs in mind and that there is an infrastructure to support it when it is live. But DevOps? Just keep that to yourselves.

terms agile f01 c Todd Kale

Agile development

We used to talk about waterfalls. Maybe waterfalls aren’t cool anymore, although I certainly like to check them out when I’m out on a good hike in my ecosystem. Now we talk about agile development. While most of us know that this doesn’t have anything to do with IT guys doing gymnastics while simultaneously programming a computer, we really don’t know what the methodology is. To be fair, most of us didn’t really know what the now-outdated waterfall methodology was either, but we got good at faking that one. Give us time and we’ll learn to nod our heads as though we totally get what agile development means.


1  2  3  Next Page 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.