Industrial automation components supplier European Automation has produced a helpful buzzword guide on cloud computing for the automation industry. The concise directory is aimed at giving a relevant outline of some of the most popular, but occasionally mystifying terms used in cloud computing. The top ten is available for download here from the industry guides section of European Automation’s website.
Like many rapidly developing sectors, the automation industry is prone to using buzzwords to describe innovative and evolutionary processes. Terms like “Industry 4.0”, “disruptive technology” and the “Internet of Things (IoT)” are just a few examples that continue to appear time and again.
Although cloud computing has been around for a number of years, it is constantly improving and becoming more bespoke. Combine this with the fascination in industry for “big data” and you have a recipe for a specialised, cloud-based archiving language. And a particularly long list of confusing phrases.
Are Buzzwords Even Necessary or do they Only Create More Confusion?
In fact, the main reason for this post was spurred on by a Linkedin discussion we started around Reverse Logistics. That went something like this:
We asked in the Operations Manager LinkedIn Group: What is Reverse Logistics and How Is It Different than Traditional Logistics? (which was a discussion that linked to our post regarding the same subject.)
Here were some comments by members of the Group
Someone is just making up words. Why can’t we just say recycling? I vote we retire the terms “reverse logistics”, “scale-able” and “power lunch”. The whole thing is just silly-able.
Reverse logistics, in my opinion, is much more than recycling. It involves packaging, labels, sophisticated transportation, customer service. Terminology is important. How else would you say “Scaleable” and people know exactly what you mean in one word?
One of the grandest ideas to come from reverse logistics is the backhaul thus reducing “empty” trips back to the origin. This reduces freight costs of recycling projects, as well as, utilizing materials for reconstructive purposes or profitable recycling efforts. Anyone involved in trucking understands the ridiculousness of driving hundreds of miles with empty trailers.
Prakash Shilagani, MA, MA, CPIM, CSCP:
I work for a Re-manufacturing company. Without reverse logistics, my company would not exist. We promote Green, avoid equipment going to landfills, encourage domestic manufacturing, compete with overseas imports, and extend the life of US made equipment.
I certainly didn’t mean to diminish the efforts of anyone working in this field, rather, I was pointing out the fact that the term “reverse logistics” seems to have popped-up out of nowhere. Marketing survived for more than 5000 years without this phrase until a guy named William Zikmund, who is better know for writing books about marketing than actually working in the field, coined the phrase. Now it has become trendy enough to have its own trade association. The business world is rife with silly buzzword phrases. And that leads to conversations like this… Hello? I’d like to get some face time with one of your more forward thinking managers to discuss a reverse compatibility issue that’s trending in my space. I’m sorry, all of our managers are actively engaging right now. Can I put you through to an infomediary? The defense rests.
David, Arthur Andersen rides again! Eschew Obfuscation!
David, I tend to disagree with you, in general. Are there some buzzwords that are unneeded? Yes. But some, like Reverse Logistics, has helped bring light to a GROWING need that begs to be formalized. If something becomes a buzz word AND effects change for the better, I have no problem with it. Like, eCommerce. You could say that is a buzz word. It’s buying online. But, yet, it helps make things a lot more efficient when you start formalizing.
The Importance of Formalizing Buzzwords for the Maturation of Business and Industry
As we stated in our Ultimate Guide to Transportation Terminology, and why Wikipedia and dictionaries exist, getting on the same page with terms is vital for industries to mature and grow rapidly. If everyone is using words that are not further refined and agreed upon, then it is hard for a more and more distributed and global economy and industry to get on the same page and thrive. So, that is why we loved this simple guide from European Automation.
In its first industry buzzword guide, European Automation has explained ten popular cloud computing terms that are often referred to in technical documents without definition. The buzzword guide acts as a reference point for both customers and suppliers.
“Companies want to record information for two reasons: compliance and most importantly, power,” explains Darren Halford, group sales manager at European Automation. “Big data is the idea that storing masses of information can help identify patterns that allow companies to make more accurate market predictions. To store hundreds of terabytes (TB) of data effectively, many companies are turning to cloud-based storage.
“However, as with any specialised modern technology, cloud computing comes with a whole host of acronyms, buzzwords and technical phrases that describe some fairly basic ideas and services. To help less techy people out, we decided to compile a list of the top ten most commonly used terms and give a short definition for each one.”