Mar 10, 2021

Debunking Over-Exaggerated and Overused IT Buzzwords

IT Services Blog


Have you ever listened to someone talk about something that they really have a good handle on? One of two things will happen. First, their language will be filled to bursting with buzzwords and jargon that—while they clearly know what it all means—is confusing for a layperson. We can be guilty of this ourselves, so we wanted to take a few moments to take the second option and discuss what they mean in more common terms… and, despite how others may use them, what they don’t.

“Disruptive Technology”

This phrase is very commonly used to describe any new technology, when its actual definition is far more specific: it’s a technology that swiftly revolutionizes and replaces a standard operating procedure.

While the idea of a disruptive technology may sound impressive and offer a compelling selling point, it isn’t a phrase to just tack onto something. That something needs to have come with no warning and completely overhauled the status quo.

However, the way the phrase is misused nowadays, this context is effectively eliminated. Now, regardless of how long something has been in development, the term “disruptive” is tossed around when it really shouldn’t be.

“Digital Transformation”

While many companies use this term to describe any expansion to their IT systems, it technically only describes the process of switching from an antiquated analog system to a modern, digital one.

It is also common to hear this term used willy-nilly when things are digitized for the sake of digitizing them. While this can provide operational benefits in some cases, it can just as easily be a wasteful exercise in redundancy (the bad kind of redundancy, too).

Technology is a tool—but like any tool, trying to use it without any idea how can ultimately make things take longer. Going into any updates, upgrades, or operational shifts, you always need to have a strategy supporting you to avoid changing things that work perfectly well for the sake of changing them.


“5G” is the term for the still-developing fifth generation of wireless connectivity that will greatly diminish latency while achieving speeds measured in gigabits, but it has already become little more than a marketing MacGuffin for cellular networks.

Granted, the concept of 5G (and yes, the promise it shows) are certainly exciting and enticing. However, many of the claims made nowadays by wireless carriers are made by overshadowing the fact that 5G is extremely limited in its geography, currently available in very few places with little-to-no chance of that reach increasing by any measure anytime soon. Right now, any promises of 5G made by these providers are little more than a misleading sales pitch.

There is also 5G as it pertains to a modern Wi-Fi router, which may help make the use of 5G as a marketing buzzword more impactful. This form of 5G is just another, faster wavelength that a router can use to connect to devices, albeit with a shorter range and a more difficult time bypassing obstacles.

“Machine Learning”

In actuality, machine learning is a specific type of artificial intelligence capable of analyzing massive samples of data and drawing inferences from them… but that doesn’t stop people from using it to describe anything that has some form of automation built into it.

While these concepts are similar, it’s in the way that Babe Ruth is similar to the kid who stands in the outfield and plays with his own shadow during the local pee-wee baseball league’s game. Same sport, vastly different capabilities. Machine learning is meant to describe the feature by which a software can adjust in response to data-based feedback and input to improve its outcomes, whereas basic automation is just the repetitive motions of a predefined task list.

“Business Intelligence”

While many treat the idea of business intelligence as a kind of a cheat code to success, all it really amounts to is a software-based capability that takes the metrics you give it and extracts meaningful patterns and conclusions.

Don’t get us wrong—in many ways, business intelligence can in fact boost your business’ efficiency and success by providing insights that simply weren’t practical to measure beforehand. However, like any of the other tools we’ve described, using it doesn’t guarantee success. It is simply a tool that you can use to help optimize your business’ decisions moving forward. It won’t give you a glimpse into the future.

Don’t Pretend Technology is More Than It Actually Is

While the right IT solutions can undoubtedly benefit a business, it takes a real understanding of their capabilities to see optimal returns on it. COMPANYNAME is here to help you make the most of your tools. For assistance and advice, give us a call at PHONENUMBER today.


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