Behind The Buzzword: Bleeding Edge

Is Bleeding Edge Technology Buzzworthy Or Just A Buzzword?

Add bookmark

Steven Lerner

Digital Transformation professionals are often inundated with a barrage of new business buzzwords. Does a particular buzzword refer to meaningful technology, or is it just another example of meaningless terminology? Each week, Enterprise Mobility Exchange publishes Behind The Buzzword, a quick overview of new technology jargon and how professionals view it.

When some people hear the phrase ‘bleeding edge,’ they might cringe or gag. It could be the closest thing to hearing nails on a chalkboard for senior IT professionals. Regardless of how this phrase makes you feel, there is some debate over the practicality behind bleeding edge. Some professionals see it as a useful way to describe new technology, and other professionals see it as pointless tech jargon.

Diving into the controversy behind this buzzword, let’s first examine the definition of it. Merriam Webster defines bleeding edge as the, “the newest and most advanced part or position especially in technology: the extreme cutting edge.”

Bleeding edge technology often refers to computer software, especially open source software during a beta testing period where users can review and provide valuable feedback. Some organizations are willing to test out new software in order to gain a potential advantage over competitors by becoming an early adopter of the technology. ‘Bleeding edge’ is also used to describe new technologies that were once considered fringe before being widely accepted by users. In an interview with Enterprise Mobility Exchange, KONY CEO Tom Hogan described how emerging technologies, such as chatbots and augmented reality, were moving from bleeding edge to leading edge to mainstream.

Bleeding edge technology also carries a higher risk of failure. An organization that takes a chance by adopting a bleeding edge solution could be stuck with a dud. Some of the potential risks of testing bleeding edge technology include unforeseen glitches, compatibility concerns, and limited support. Some software companies market their products as ‘cutting edge’ to avoid the negative connotation that is associated with bleeding edge.

Although some business leaders see value in describing technology as ‘bleeding edge,’ others don’t see it that way. Bleeding edge is considered one of the silliest marketing buzzwords, and one of the worst business buzzwords. In fact, Divyang Bhatt, the IT director for IQVIA, told Enterprise Mobility Exchange that bleeding edge is one buzzword that he is most tired of hearing.

To summarize, even if you recognize the practicality behind bleeding edge, you might not want to say that phrase in front of others. As an alternative, just say leading edge or cutting edge.

Are there any technology buzzwords or phrases that you are tired of hearing? Share them with Editor Steven Lerner by emailing