10 tech buzzwords CIOs are tired of hearing

As 2021 came to a close, The Wall Street Journal asked CIOs to share the words and phrases they wish would disappear from the tech industry's growing bank of jargon and buzzwords. Below are 10 terms CIOs named in the Dec. 31 report.

  1. Agile. "Too many meanings, and it's seen as the hammer that can solve everything," Dollar General CIO Carman Wenkoff told the Journal.

  2. Innovation. CIOs said the term was vague and overused.

  3. Sync up. Shadman Zafar, CIO and global head of consumer technology at Citigroup, said tech professionals should "use more human terms to describe human interactions."

  4. Actionable insights. Mr. Zafar told the Journal that tech professionals should stop using "actionable" as an adjective because "any other kind would be useless."

  5. Digital transformation. Cardinal Health CIO Brian Rice said the meaning of this term is unclear.

  6. The use of "digital" as a noun. "I'm constantly trying to ask people when they use the word 'digital,' follow it with a noun like digital strategy, digital capabilities, digital innovation," Bristol Myers Squibb CIO Paul von Autenried told the Journal.

  7. Cloud first. AmerisourceBergen CIO Mark Spykerman said there are "so many more ways to solve problems than just simply cloud."

  8. Artificial intelligence. CIOs said the term is often misunderstood and overused.

  9. Product manager. "Everything is a product. Everybody's a product manager," Walgreens Boots Alliance CIO Francesco Tinto told the Journal.

  10. Pro tip. Jones Lang LaSalle CIO Edward Wagoner said he tries not to use tech buzzwords he would have to explain to his mother.

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