Top 10: IT jargon you just love to hate

IT jargon is flooding your mailbox, laced liberally in sales presentations from vendors and in meetings with your CIO. Some of the jargon you understand, some you don't have a clue about and the other terms mean just the opposite of what you think they should.

We spoke to a collection of IT managers, architects and network managers and asked them which IT jargon bugs them the most.

1. Value add

"Value add means I now have to pay more for product due to a feature I'll probably never use," says Steve Olson, infrastructure manager for the Las Vegas Review-Journal in Nevada. Others on Olson's list are: "Reduced TCO is supposed to explain why their product costs more. 'New product framework' means I'll have to use all of a vendor's product line in order to make any one product work."

2. Solutions-oriented

"Solutions-oriented equals pay us for the software, maintenance, support and implementation services, because our product is too poorly documented to install it yourself," says Eric Kuzmack, IT architect at Gannett. Another of Kuzmack's peeves is: "Large value proposition, which equals very expensive," says Kuzmack. "I could go on, but I'd probably start using words that you can't print."

3. Web 2.0

"The latest, hottest jargon term seems to be 'Web 2.0,' which most people seem to think means there's a new Internet soon to be released," says Thomas Dugan, CIO of Recovery Networks in Philadelphia.

Dugan often finds himself stopping technical people in mid-rant to explain to the executives in the room what they really meant in normal English. "It's rarely as complicated as it sounds," says Dugan. "I wonder if technical folk believe that somehow when they speak that there's an automatic hyperlink to a Wikipedia page that explains what they mean."

4. Cost/benefit analysis

"I hate cost/benefit analysis, and not because they are not valuable, but because vendors have no idea what the real costs are and they use that to sell the product," says Jeff Machols, systems integration manager for CitiStreet. "If I have an admin that spends half his day doing function X and a product will eliminate that need, the vendor says 'See, we saved you half an FTE [full time employee], but I can't really eliminate that cost, so it's all fake numbers."

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