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Cloud Expo Blog: Acronym as a Service

Choose Your Own Device

We have the be dead honest for a minute. As a company, we attend a good amount of IT/Cloud based conferences. From Interop to Affiliate Summit to Cloud Expo, as a company we enjoy being part of the internal industry conference circuit. However, we have something we need to get off our chests. No matter what conference we go to, no matter what speech we take in and no matter who we chat with, there is always a new IT/Cloud acronym someone is throwing around. Remember when BYOD was a big thing? Forget about it, now it’s CYOD. This happens all the time. Regardless of where we go, someone always has a new IT acronym for another IT based solution which, according to them, is the next big thing.

The Dual Problem with Cloud and IT Acronyms

The problem with the constant creation of new Cloud acronyms comes in the form of both the reasoning behind acronym creation and the reasoning behind why that new acronym is the nest best thing. Take CYOD. For those of you who have never heard of CYOD, it stands for Choose Your Own Device. While BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is being talked about wide and far here at Cloud Expo 2013 in Silicon Valley, if you go ahead and read some case studies on BYOD, data is showing that companies are adopting CYOD at twice the rate of BYOD. Why is this? The answer is simple: BYOD, for many small to medium sized companies is simply too much of a security concern. Sure, it cuts down on device IT spend but it also ups the need to understand and maintain company firewalls via a mix of Cloud based platforms.

The major issue with CYOD vs. BYOD is the concept of the next best thing. Sure, everyone is currently chatting about bring your own device and how it impacts financial and security needs however in the next few months, everyone will start chatting about CYOD and how it impacts financial and security needs. The issue with this is lurching from the next best thing to the next best thing without ever taking the time to fully understand the next best things’ impact on both companies and consumers. All of these new IT solutions are being created yet no one is asking why or what for? It’s always, “Hey, BYOD is new! Let’s run with it for a while!”

The first major problem with new IT and Cloud solutions come in form of not understanding their full meaning or use on the market.

The second major issue with brand spanking new Cloud acronyms comes in the form of creating a solution before the market is asking for it. Don’t get us wrong here, every company is responsible for both providing the market with solutions needed for by the market and to innovate solutions which the market doesn’t yet know it needs. The best example of this is Apple. When Apple introduced the world to the iPod, the market wasn’t fully looking for it and yet, Apple changed the game through innovation. But here is the thing, not every company – 99% of companies – is Apple.

The second major issue within new Cloud solutions served to the public as punchy acronyms is that the majority of new solutions doesn’t help to fulfill a need of the market. Sure, it’s cool that you have a new service with a great four letter acronym, yet does that service answer a core market need or is it a solution that is trying to change the game like Apple? More often than not, the simple fixes work the best. The innovations without market demand fail.

The second major issue with brand new Cloud solutions situated as acronyms is that they push innovation without listening to their customers.

Getting Back to Basics

So please, we love attending industry events but we are begging our Cloud and IT friends, stop jumping from one new acronym to the next. Instead learn the market, find the questions which need to be answered and build solutions based on need. BYOD is great and CYOD is great but is there a real market question to fill both needs? That is always up in the air.

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