“Categories” are supposed to help. But sometimes they hurt. When they help, they reduce confusion. When they hurt, they cause confusion. Helpful categories is one of those “Marketing Best Practices” that is high on my list of important things.
When properly applied, categories help us, um, categorize otherwise difficult, unfamiliar, new, abstract and sometimes seemingly arbitrary things into various discrete buckets in a way that “makes sense”.
When applied to similarly functioning software, a category – like Business Intelligence or Relational Database software helps us make sense out of things. Good categories do. But some categories just confuse things.
Gartner’s latest category – iPaaS is the confusing kind.
For more detail on this, take a look at three articles I’ve written for ebizQ’s Integration Edge: