Letter: TLAs and other buzz words

I was amused by a recent letter to the editor, complaining about the use of the terms CAO and CPSO, and suggesting that they were new terms for something that was not new, which she indicated was Enterprise Architecture (EA) and said that EA had "been bringing IT and the business together through analytics for the last 10 years" and that we should cease making up new names for existing disciplines and stop confusing clients. She then goes on to accuse consulting organizations of pushing these services "under new, supposedly trendy, banners."

My amusement was that exactly the same comment could be made to Ms Weiss about the use of the term EA.

EA is just as much a wanky term as CAO or CPSO, and just as daft.

What on earth does Ms Weiss think IT professionals were doing for the previous 40 years of IT in this country - other than "bringing IT and the business together", - and what does she think her employer has been doing - along with a number of others, for the past 10-plus years, "under new, supposedly trendy, banners" (such as EA)?

For those of us old enough to remember, over 20 years ago there used to be a fabulous tool called the "Honeywell buzz-word generator" which could construct meaningless, three-letter algorithms (TLAs) on demand, that could be scattered through proposals or reports to confuse the uninitiated.

What IT professionals still do is systems analysis and design, which includes all of the elements Ms Weiss mentions, the only real difference is that we have some more useful tools to hand these days. What consultants still do is market their services as effectively as they can - even if this does lead to a plethora of different, trendy acronyms for the same skill-set, still calculated to confuse the poor old customer!

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose! (The more things change, the more they stay the same.)

Ian Dennis
Managing director
Whitehorse Strategic Group
Melbourne VIC

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