One of the funniest (well, not so funny to those of us who don’t understand Tech Speak) phrases to come along in a very long time is “in the Cloud.” It’s like some amorphous place where everything is foggy, floating above earth that moves about with various winds of change. This is where they say our data goes when working in the Cloud and so many of us laypeople think of it as a place separate from anything we’ve known or seen before, but in reality it’s somewhere we all visit each and every day – the Internet.
It’s really just that simple. This gives you cause to wonder how many other Tech Speak buzz words are out there that refer to something previously called something else but for marketing purposes, a totally new name was given to an age old concept.
Here is some confusing Tech Speak to ponder;
Unlocking vs. Unblocking
Here are two words in mobile technology that have become totally confusing to the average consumer. In reality, that cell phone you are trying to unlock may be blocked and if you try to unblock it you could land in some pretty hot water. However, a locked cell phone really is blocked because you can’t use it until you unlock it, so which is it? ‘Unlock cell phone’ is a legal process whereby a carrier releases their proprietary hold on the phone so that it can be used with other carriers. Unblocking a cell phone gets into dark and murky waters.
A cell phone is typically ‘blocked’ if it has been reported stolen by the original owner and if you get caught trying to unblock it you could be trying from behind bars. It’s a bit confusing because a locked phone, for all intents and purposes, is theoretically blocked because you can’t use it with any other service provider but you can’t call it blocked and vice versa. Lock, block, unlock, unblock – to the average person they are all the same but to the Feds, there is a very important difference. So then, be sure to understand what you are asking for or you might be getting more than you bargained for!
Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave
Then there are those acronyms that are not only confusing when trying to decipher, but then there is the deeper level confusion when the terms within the acronym are commonly misunderstood or misused as well. Take the most recent SaaS, IaaS and PaaS as a good example of utterly confusing buzz words that are most often misunderstood because there is an inherent confusion in the terms those acronyms stand for! SaaS is the acronym for ‘Software as a Service’ while PaaS is the acronym for ‘Platform as a Service.’
Unfortunately, it is altogether too often that the average layperson refers to software as a platform and a platform is commonly misrepresented as being the software that is only a part of the platform! Wow! Way too confusing. So then, taking a step backwards, a platform can be built around software that makes the platform work but there is more to a platform than the software, there is also hardware to consider that works because of the software operating it. That’s a tricky one.
Then when you add Infrastructure as a Service to the mix you have a totally confused audience that just wants to know how this software, platform and infrastructure will be of any benefit to them. Do they need the software? And if so, where is it? Oh, it’s in the platform? Well where is that? Yes, it’s in the infrastructure but where is that? In the Cloud you say? Totally too confusing so why not just forget the buzz and tell it like it is!
“We have a software program that is part of a bigger package, both of which you access on the Internet.” There, see, wasn’t that easy? It would be nice if someone could convince Google to add Tech Speak to their list of available translations. Since that’s highly unlikely, your best solution is to make friends with a techie. Then all your problems are solved – if you can understand him that is!