Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The IT Toolbox #001 - Definitions


It is vital that IT people communicate with the same lexicon.  This helps to establish definition which provides the specificity necessary to discuss complex topics.

The marketing engine, not to mention the general media, does little to correct ambiguity.  It can be argued that ambiguity in the marketing engine suffers ignorance in the hopes of capturing the next big headline.

This isn’t new.  Key terms do matter.  They are refined over time.

What makes matters worse, we often don’t know ~exactly~ what these terms mean until they are ingrained in a pattern that everyone comes to accept.

One of the best examples is Cloud Computing, “The Cloud” or just simply ‘Cloud.’

The problem with ‘Cloud’ is it doesn’t fit the definition of what everyone believes it to be.

The various definitions I’ve come across include:

Cloud is hosting on the internet.  (True-ish, but not very meaningful.)
Cloud is Infrastructure as a Service.  (It’s not only, but that’s OK.)
Cloud is Platform as a Service.  (A better definition, but also incomplete.)
Cloud is Cloud Native applications.  (This is about as ill fitting as Infrastructure as a Service.)
Cloud is Serverless.  (No, it’s not.  Never was, never will be.)
Cloud is where I’m moving all of our Enterprise Applications.  (That’ll be fun)
            Cloud is Digital.  (as in Digital Transformation, everyone talks about it, but few know how to                                           do it.)

If you’d like to read a thoughtful description of Cloud, have a look at this Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing  (16 pages and 125 references, 7 deployment models and 6 service models AND 23 disambiguation references)

What I’m getting at is that calling anything ‘Cloud’ lacks definition, its meaning has no precision what-so-ever.

Please make sure others know what you mean, when you say Cloud.

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