It seems we have reached some sort of meltdown point in the world of marketing speak, technospeak, and acronyms. And it’s ridiculous as it is confusing and unnecessary.
IT has slowly been strangling itself with ridiculous nomenclature over the past year beginning with the deluge of as-a-services that followed Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
In the past two weeks people have spoken quite seriously to me or ARN journalists about Internet-as-a-Service, Wi-Fi-as-a-Service, IP-security-as-a-Service, CCTV-as-a-Service. I kid you not!
What is going on? Internet is Internet. That’s all it is. It isn’t anything as-a-service. And neither is Wi-Fi or CCTV or half the other something-or-other-as-a-service offerings IT marketers and sales squads are bantering around as they try to convince customers they have something new. They don’t.
Now, I believe there are a few letters left in the alphabet which don’t have an as-a-service connected to them. Let’s see: Z – that could be Zetabytes-as-a-Service (ZaaS) meaning lots of storage or data!, X is easy – Xtreme-as-a-Service (XtaaSc) or the provision of really Xtreme technology or technology to meet Xtreme needs; B must be Brainstorms-as-a-Service (BraaS) – short of an idea? We can help you! I could go on forever. And waste more time.
What got me really going was when we were introduced to … … the Fog. By definition, “Fog Computing is a paradigm that extends Cloud computing and services to the edge of the network.” What!!!! So that’s low-flying dense Cloud? Next up? Mist Computing? Now you see the Cloud, now you don’t. Of course, we still have Rain, Ice, Sleet and Snow Computing to come.
Then it got worse. Enter the Data Lake aka the Bit Bucket or Landing Zone. This is defined as - and I quote the Revelytix website: A place to store practically unlimited amounts of data of any format, schema and type that is relatively inexpensive and massively scaleable. Data processing software [Hadoop] is available to transform the data from its raw state to a finished product.”
As far as I can figure out that makes it Big Data storage. But let’s get lyrical and see how far we can take it. If the Data Lake develops a Data Leak is this a Data Trickle, Data Rivulet or Data Stream (big leak)? Obviously it’s a security issue and will need to be plugged by, I assume, a Data Plug.
Now, if this Data Leak isn’t Data Plugged then does it became a Data River that eventually reaches a Data Sea which is a gathering of all the Escaped Data. And what happens to it then? Is it then a Public Data Sea or can you create you own Private Data Sea? Eventually, you could even have a Hybrid Data Sea. Although that would probably require a parting of the Data Sea.
It gets worse. Recently, Microsoft came up with this gem: Universal communications. Apparently, this is the next step on from unified communications and it follows the connection of Lync and Skype for video calls.
Microsoft corporate vice-president for Lync and Skype, Gurdeep Singh Pall, laid down his vision at the second annual Lync conference.
Singh Pall said the coming years would bring a dramatic transformation as Microsoft enabled people everywhere to take advantage of rich communications for all the important relationships in their work and personal lives.
(I wonder what they have doing up until now.)
“Consumers that already enjoy Skype will be able to easily reach businesses from the devices and services of their choice, and to take advantage of chat, voice, video and content sharing as they see fit,” he said.
“Professionals will be able to connect in the same ways with co-workers, business partners and customers around the globe, from the applications they use to run their businesses. We call this universal communications.”
Seriously, I’m speechless. Has anybody sat back and thought just how much confusion this naming fest is breeding in the industry. Technology is moving fast enough without adding a new level of difficulty based entirely around trying to get an edge on your competitor by renaming something that fundamentally hasn’t changed and making it sound new when it isn’t.
Have I made my point? I hope so.
Oh, and I hate paradigms and paradigm shifts, as well.
This opinion piece first appeared as the Editorial in the March 5, 2014, edition of ARN magazine.