CIOs ring on tech buzzwords that must go


Some are simply overused. Others signal something, but don’t mean anything specific. Others wink at a bright virtual future, which they may or may not offer. Some are just irritating.

As the year draws to a close, the CIO Journal asked tech leaders what technical words and phrases they’d like to see disrupted in 2022. Here’s what they said:

IOC as a gymnast?

Carman Wenkoff, Chief Information Officer at Dollar General Corp.

, names the 2021 favorite “agile”.

“Too many meanings, and it’s seen as the hammer that can solve it all,” he said.

The buzzword that launched 10,000 books

It’s time to let go of “innovation”.

“I think ‘innovation’ has to go in the context of what we use these days because everything we do is integrated with innovation,” said Anil Bhatt, CIO at Anthem. Inc.

“We want to make sure we’re more realistic as we go along. “

Are we not men?

Citigroup Inc. CIO of its Global Consumer Bank Shadman Zafar asks that everyone deprogram language best suited to machines, such as “sync up”.

“Let’s use more human terms to describe human interactions,” he said.

Another element that he would not miss is “actionable insights”.

“Any other type would be useless, so we don’t need to waste time on these other ideas, and we can drop the adjective ‘actionable’!” ” he said.

The most buzzing of all

Cardinal Health CIO Brian Rice questions the meaning of ‘digital transformation’.

“We ourselves struggled with this one, like, what does ‘digital’ mean?” What does “transformation” mean? What does “digital transformation” mean? So I think trying to find a better way to describe it would be beneficial for all of us. “

The opposite of analog

Paul von Autenried, CIO of Bristol Myers Squibb Co.

, has problems with “digital”. Not the word itself, but its use as a noun, like in “Are you going digital?” “

“I constantly try to ask people when they use the word ‘digital’ to follow it with a name like digital strategy, digital capabilities, digital innovation,” he said.

The future is obscured

AmerisourceBergen Corp.

CIO Mark Spykerman suggests that everyone remove “cloud first” from their vocabulary.

“There are so many more ways to solve problems than just the cloud,” he said.

Automatic unlearning

It would be the ubiquitous “AI”.

Not that anyone is against the use of artificial intelligence. AI will “bring tremendous value over the next few decades,” says Dave Williams, chief information officer and digital director at Merck & Co. Inc., although the word itself is “so overrated and overused.”

Zendesk Inc.

CIO Colleen Berube agrees.

“It’s overused, misunderstood and presumed to always be good,” she said.

Title change

Francesco Tinto, CIO of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.,

said it drives him crazy when people use ‘product manager’.

“Everything is a product. Everyone is a product manager, ”he said.

Pro tip

For those who have developed an unhealthy addiction to lingo, Edward Wagoner, CIO at Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., offers an antidote.

“I started trying to challenge myself that if I’m using a tech buzzword that I should explain to my 80-plus-year-old mom (that’s it) then I have to use a more accessible word. , descriptive and inclusive language, ”he said.

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