Managed data services outfit Six Degrees has lent its voice to calls for the IT industry to ditch the buzzwords and refrain from blinding end users with baffling terminology.
According to Six Degrees' own research, more than half of business and IT decision makers believe tech firms are guilty of using too much jargon. Just 24, 16 and nine per cent thought this true of government officials, bankers and lawyers, respectively.
More than a fifth (22 per cent) of the 100 respondents, who all worked for UK firms with more than 1,000 employees, thought platform-as-a-service (PaaS) was a new philosophy in railway management.
Group strategy director Campbell Williams fingered cloud computing as the worst offender, calling on all vendors to stick to marketing their cloud propositions under the widely accepted terms of PaaS, software-as-a-service (SaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).
"The flip side is cloudwashing," Williams (pictured below with Six Degrees chief executive Alastair Mills) told CRN.
"People are taking hosted telephony technology and calling it cloud telephony, for example. It is basically taking technologies that have been around for 10 or 20 years and putting cloud in front of them to make them sound new and exciting. It's bandwagon jumping of the worst kind. Hosted telephony cannot be turned up and down – it's not an elastic service – and has none of the classical features of the cloud.
"If everything is called cloud, then nothing is cloud."
Almost half (45 per cent) of the survey respondents cited cloudwashing by marketing departments at technology brands as a rising issue.
Some 83 per cent felt that cloud service providers could do more to demystify the cloud.
Six Degrees, which provides a range of data networking, hosting and voice services, has launched a website designed to give customers simple, high-level guidance on which cloud options best suit their business. Williams stressed that Up the Cloud is not designed to be entirely self-serving and will promote technology choices, such as public cloud, that Six Degrees does not offer itself.
"This is not a flagrant sales tool," he said. "If customers are making an informed choice, they will have a good experience of cloud and will keep using it and recommend it to a friend. The whole market will grow and we will get our fair share."
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