View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
May 19, 2014updated 22 Sep 2016 11:26am

The 5 worst tech jargon terms

An opportunity to drill down to the most challenging buzzwords in tech.

By Vinod

It’s an exciting time to be in the IT sector. The pace of investment in new technologies is growing fast and companies are doing more than simply reaching for the low-hanging fruit.

While we all know that big data is a real game changer, we also know how confusing it can be to talk about it with some ‘big data evangelist‘ or someone. Let’s face it, tech has developed its own language, and it’s harder to learn than Latin.

But it doesn’t need to be. Here’s a handy guide to the worst bits of tech jargon, so that next time you hear them, instead of nodding politely along you can react like a human being and scream ‘What does that meeeeeeeeean?’ while ripping tufts of your own hair out.

You’re welcome.


How did this one get invented? ‘It’s, like, being fat…with information.’ It basically means a data glut – too much for one person to digest. Not in a literal way, of course, like you’re eating too many newspapers. Typically you’ll find it in most press releases about big data.

Happily, the word has led to someone writing a book called The Information Diet, the website for which is adorned with such wonderful supporting quotes as: "I’ve decided to be much more selective about what information I feed my head."


Product what? Hey, who said nouns can’t be horribly morphed into verbs? This word is a convincing argument against the pretty sensible idea that English is defined through usage.

Content from our partners
Scan and deliver
GenAI cybersecurity: "A super-human analyst, with a brain the size of a planet."
Cloud, AI, and cyber security – highlights from DTX Manchester

Depressingly, Oxford Dictionaries actually has this word listed: it means ‘to make or develop a service or concept into a product’.

But just think how awful it is. Someone has just taken the word product and added -ise to bring it to life like some evil part-word part-nonsense Frankenstein verb. It reeks of laziness (how hard is it to say ‘we’re going to turn this into a product’?) but we can imagine it being part of entire conversations consisting of nothing but pronouns, conjunctions and jargon terms between two business people.


At least this is an actual word. It means to take part in social activities with others.

Erm, not in tech it doesn’t.

No, in tech it is the horrible thing that happens after something has been productised. A contact responsible for managing a CRM installation recently told me his CIO emailed him saying ‘Great, I’ll speak with the team and socialise this’.

We suppose they mean they have to show people the software, make sure it’s easy enough to use, test it for possible bugs…but maybe they don’t. Maybe they mean they will take it out for a pint of bitter and introduce it to their mates.


Just like God, the omnichannel is omnipresent: it can be found in emails everywhere. We were at a recent roundtable where an executive announced confidently: ‘We’re really focused on strategising the omnichannel’.

No-one knows what he meant. Ostensibly, omnichannel is a group term that collects all the ways a firm can target customers, for instance via mobile devices, through TV, using bus stop adverts and the radio. It expresses a company’s ambition to have identical, or at least similar, branding across all these different mediums to ensure its approach remains consistent.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t punch the next person to say it in the back of the head, though.


Ah, synergy. A word that looks so cool and yet simply is not. Like the French exchange kid at school who always had a cigarette tucked behind the ear, but who coughed whenever they actually tried to smoke.

Synergy basically means when two separate elements combine to produce an effect greater than the sum of their parts.

Nobody knows what it means in tech.

Nobody at all.


Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.