John Y’s Musings from the Middle: What’s in a Name?

What’s in a name? In the business world, more than we usually think….

Award for worst named new technology in the past decade?

“The Cloud” A remote point for storing massive amounts of sensitive data

Nothing says security like “I’m moving my data from the server in IT to a place where it will be more secure and accessible. Something called “a cloud”

It’s like calling a sturdy new product for storing dangerous liquids “The Sieve.”

I know that were naming the new technology based on its physical (or rather non-physical) characteristics.

But it’s important to remember when naming a new product or service–especially one that is supposed to change the world— to think not only of the “appearance” but also of the benefit it produces for future users.

jyb_musingsAnd surely the name “The Cloud” has given pause to IT directors who might otherwise be eager to take the leap (worth billions for a truly superior product)but resist because they have to explain to their boss how “The Cloud” isn’t anything like a cloud but just the opposite.

Of course in naming some things, like boys and girls, neither appearance nor functionality are helpful. But even painful names like Helga and Norbert would have been better for remote data storage than “The Cloud.”

I would feel secure with all my sensitive data stored in “The Norbert” or “Helga”

Then again maybe the person who came up with the name “The Cloud” was named Norbert or Helga —and was just trying to get even. That might explain it.


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