Finally a few weeks out of the office—a holiday! I reclined my seat and browsed the in-flight entertainment magazine to plan my movie-watching for the next 10 hours. I counted my British coins and my American change to choose how I should fund my gin and tonic. I looked out the window and I cringed. I was in “the Cloud”.
Everyday I overhear “cloud” numerous times. The word is no longer representative of daydreams, relaxation, picnics or walks in the park. Instead we all use it to boost credibility when we discuss our IT strategies. It’s our overused code word to signal we are “in the know”. If you’re not talking “cloud” you must not be “thinking outside the box”, “innovating” or “pushing the envelope”. Blah blah blah.
Hopefully, it will quickly die out and we can soon look up to the sky and think of The Simpsons once again instead of SaaS. Does anyone remember how long it took to once again enjoy Starbucks after the Java language originated? (Interesting fact according to Wikipedia: the language was originally called “oak” after an oak tree outside one of the originator’s office but was later changed to “java” because of the large amount of coffee consumed by its creators.) I wonder if some programmers only drank tea until their bugs were resolved.
Of course Cloud technology will have a dramatic and positive effect on businesses and consumers but I just wish they had called it something else. Why do we let nice words creep into the office? It’s not like we allow the opposite to happen—we don’t go home and request our spouses to create “more innovative” meals or to give us an “elevator pitch” before selecting which tv programme to watch.
I think we should be able to safeguard a list of words to ensure they never become a technical buzz phrase or ever associated with work. Although I probably wouldn’t have had the foresight to add “cloud”, even if the list did exist, maybe someone out there would have.
So as a start to that list of taboo words that should never be allowed into a PowerPoint presentation or sales meeting, here are my first four:
I am interested to know what you would add.