New Year, New Enterprise Acronyms

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    Wearable Computing: Creativity from Head to Toe

    It’s a rule of thumb in IT circles that new technologies beget new acronyms, and with all the changes taking place in the enterprise these days it’s no surprise that 2013 saw its share of additions to the prevailing lexicon.

    Some of the obvious include SDN and any number of burgeoning as-a-service designations. One of my favorites is Service-as-a-Service, which may not be brand new this year, but seems to be gaining credibility as organizations across the board shift loads from legacy physical plant to more pliable virtual and cloud-based infrastructure.

    While BYOD was one of last year’s most popular acronyms, it is already branching out in numerous directions as users assume greater and greater responsibility for their work-related data infrastructure. But along with BYOA (Bring Your Own Applications), BYOP (Bring Your Own Platform) and the like, one of the more ominous is BYOS (Bring Your Own Security), which gains a little more popularity every time another revelation comes out regarding the government’s ability to pry into centrally managed security platforms. On one level, BYOS would allow enterprises to implement their own security on the cloud and other distributed platforms, but it also suggests that individuals could do so as well, leading to potential conflicts with the enterprise if security policies are not kept up to date.

    And with the enterprise taking up more real estate on the wide area, it’s probably wise to bone up on some of the short-hand that carrier networks have developed. In this world, SDN works hand-in-band with NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) to foster more agile software-based architectures. At the same time, however, you should know that both of these technologies will rely on the development of new SPIT (Service Provider Information Technology) tools, according to Light Reading’s Sarah Reedy. These include everything from deep packet inspection (DPI, a familiar acronym to the enterprise) to a wide range of policy management and analytics platforms.

    The new breed of wearable technology also has the potential to bring new acronyms to the enterprise. Wired, for one, expects wearables like Google Glass to become as popular as the smartphone, which means it won’t be long before we start talking about the HUD (Heads-Up Display) and the GUX (Glass User Experience). Still to come, I fear, are the WAD (Wearable Access Device) and the SCAB (Smart Clothes Application Bus).

    Those last two I made up out of whole cloth, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see similar acronyms hit the popular consciousness in the coming year. The Acronym Finder, in fact, has a new feature that allows anyone to submit acronyms for a wide variety of functions in order to gauge their popularity among the general public. The enterprise industry is more abbreviation-friendly than most, so this is a good place to start for anyone trying to corner the market for a particularly creative mnemonic.

    Of course, an acronym is only as good as the thought or concept it represents. The best ones, like LAN and USB, have been around for so long because their related technologies have proven so useful. So whether we’re talking about SDN or SPIT, it’s the utility that counts, not the moniker. HNY and TTFN.

    Arthur Cole
    Arthur Cole
    With more than 20 years of experience in technology journalism, Arthur has written on the rise of everything from the first digital video editing platforms to virtualization, advanced cloud architectures and the Internet of Things. He is a regular contributor to IT Business Edge and Enterprise Networking Planet and provides blog posts and other web content to numerous company web sites in the high-tech and data communications industries.

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