People don’t know about the hottest trends. It’s not because they haven’t been told repeatedly. They just don’t know about them. This came through very clearly at a panel I moderated recently. The question given to the panelists was going to be about roles-based computing, and how important that development is or will be in their product lines. But first, it seemed wise to ask the small audience how many understood the term.

Not one hand went up.

A few more hands went up when they were asked if they understood the phrased Software as a Service—and can any topic be hotter than that?

This has nothing to do with the intelligence of the audience or the willingness of its members to keep up with current events. It’s just that they have other things on their mind, like running a firm, keeping the boss happy, meeting tomorrow’s deadline and learning to use the products they have now.

Those of us who work with technology news—or the technology itself—for a living tend to forget this as we parrot these phrases with the assumption that, well, we understand them, and so anyone else who is truly intelligent will. However, that’s not the case. And it never was.

The real key is education, although education takes time. And this is why it takes so long for so many hot topics to become the way things are done. Those of us who are exposed to them everyday have the chance to learn about their importance. But most people, who are not involved in our particular specialty, have the same amount of time any more than we are immersed in their daily business.

It takes time. But what it really takes is an understanding on our part, that it does take time and that the obvious isn’t obvious to someone else.

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