Was 2010 An (I.A.T.F) IT Acronym Too Far?

There’s that terrible moment as a technology journalist when you are in a meeting with a client, vendor, analyst or even a PR person — and somebody starts using an acronym that you’re not familiar with.

Suddenly your palms start to sweat and you jostle with the fact that a) they’re being assumptive and using industry marketing-speak or b) god forbid, you yourself are not up to speed with the latest lingo.


When I was “much” younger I sat though a whole Red Hat presentation listing to the PR person (who was, by no coincidence, wearing a jaunty red Fedora) blither on about RHEL like it was some sort of miracle antacid guaranteed to rid me of acid reflex for all eternity. At no point did she use the term Red Hat Enterprise Linux, so I went away none the wiser and sallied forth straight to Superdrug to ask for a packet.

So in 2010 has the situation got worse? Or have we all started to speak the same language?

Every time I’m in a software change management briefing (note that’s SCM folks) I start to wonder whether I should be adding in an extra C and going the whole hog towards Software Change AND CONFIGURATION Management.

When we talk Open Source Software (OSS) there is thankfully a clearer distinction between that which is open contribution-enriched code and that which is indeed free or (FOSS) free open source software to name it in full.

Should it be agile development? Or should it be Agile? Or are we too sluggish to care anyway?

Sybase is already talking volubly about IMDBA (in memory database analytics) – but is the company steering to close to the well known Internet Movie Database website IMDb?

So what’s going to happen when we finally run out of IT acronyms? Will we have to pop a 2011 at the start of new terms that we coin next year? Will my IT Acronym Too Far IATF stick? Or will it have to be 2011IATF just to clarify and specify the year of its origination?

kthxbai – right?