Enterprise hits & misses – January 20

SUMMARY:

Jon’s cheeky weekly review of which articles hit (or didn’t) on diginomica and beyond – for the week ending January 19, 2014.

A cheeky weekly review of which articles hit (or didn’t) on diginomica and beyond.

This is a quick hit ‘Jon on the road’ edition, live from Alcaudete, Spain.

Cheerful Chubby Mandiginomica hit: Who’d pay $3.2 billion for a smoke alarm? Google would! by Stuart Lauchlan

quotage: ‘It’s the Internet of Things where the real action could be found – and for a company like Google, the appeal goes beyond the devices themselves and into the data that’s associated with them. This of course could be the interesting rogue factor.’

myPOV: You can’t accuse Stuart of taking a snarky headline for its own sake. He opens with a point about a friend outside of tech circles who just can’t fathom these kinds of valuations. It’s a very fair point, one I struggle with also. But Stuart didn’t lose the plot – as he points out from several vantage points, 2014 is going to be heavy on the Internet of Things (IoT).

Yup – we’ll be plastered with the IoT monicker from here on out – especially when you consider jazzed-up predictions like Cicso’s, cited by Stuart, that the ‘Internet of Everything’ will account for $19 trillion in new revenues by 2020. Though I’m personally squeamish about ‘conscious homes’ and Google ‘hanging out’ in my living room and gathering my data, I do expect to see plenty of enterprise IoT use cases that are worth an evaluation.

Valuation note: on Twitter, RedMonk’s Donnie Berkholz clarified that ‘1/3 to 1/2 of the [acquisition price] is being returned right back to Google Ventures, which led B and C rounds.’

Happy children eating applediginomica pick: Jessica Twentyman meets: Palo Alto’s open data evangelist by Jessica Twentyman

quotage: ‘The one asset that government IT has in abundance is data – data about local residents and the communities in which they live. In the right hands, says Jonathan Reichental, CIO of the City of Palo Alto, California, that data can be powerful.’

myPOV: For the second of her weekly digital executive profiles, Jessica tells the story of the CIO of Palo Alto, Jonathan Reichental. What jumped out at me? How cash-strapped cities can still foster meaningful change by sharing data on an open platform. Having been to civic hackathons, I’m impressed by how quickly developers can team with public officials to build necessary apps – if the data and APIs are there. It’s a potent narrative, and you can look forward to many more from Jessica on diginomica.

Also recommended: Phil continues a definitive series on cloud with The cloudy future of enterprise applications. Meantime, Den picks up these themes with a skeptical eye in Time to reboot the accounting profession.

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer Big Trends in BI for 2014 by Cindy Howson

quotage: ‘In some respects, 2014 echoes some of the same themes as 2013, but faster and louder when it comes to visual data discovery, cloud, and mobile. Big data will also continue to garner attention, but with a more pragmatic view. Simplicity, meanwhile, experiences a second coming.’

myPOV: Cindy Howson gets the prize with a smart BI post that manages the tricky combo of detailed content/breezy reading. Howson assesses the agile upstarts and the challenge they pose to the bigger suites. She also has sensible views on big data, mobile and cloud BI that are worth a look. She’s right about simplicity too – especially for the casual user who doesn’t have a longstanding infatuation with spreadsheets.

Other standouts

  • Information Week’s Doug Henschen had a good run, applying the right mix of reportage and skepticism to Oracle Adds Cloud Adapter For Salesforce.com (cloud integration stands as one of the big unwieldy topics of 2014). Henschen also brought a needed industry lens to the CIO topic in Top 10 Retail CIO Priorities for 2014.
  • Chris Kanaracus digs into the unsavory prospect of surviving an IBM software audit – which, as he reports, has some distinctions from other vendor audits that customers should bear in mind.
  • Right after the last hits and misses, Paul Greenberg came out with his – cue the drumrolls – CRM Watchlist 2014 winners. This annual exercise is no small production, though I’ll confess that I enjoy Greenberg’s uniquely detailed explanation of the award criteria as much as anything.
  • Greenberg was also a winner in his own right – finishing number one in CRM Buyer’s The Top 20 CRM Blogs of 2013, by Christopher J. Bucholtz.
  • The foundation components for digital transformation by Esteban Kolsky is not an easy piece, and checking in at 4,500 words it officially lands in the heavyweight brain dump division. But if you’re like me, you’ll tag it up and return to it the next time you have a piping hot coffee and a burning desire to understand where all this digital disruption is headed.

Very honorable mention: Jason Busch of Spend Matters catches the 2014 predictions train before it leaves the station with his 2014 Predictions: The Return (and Supply Chain Evolution) of the Private B2B Marketplace. Constellation’s Holger Mueller deciphers one of the week’s biggest stories in IBM kicks off the cloud data center race for 2014.

Lora Cecere gives her prescription for supply chain management skills issues, Naomi Bloom has a strongly-worded wish list for HRM and HR technology, and the intrepid Dick Hirsch walks us through developing hybrid HANA/JVM apps on the HANA Cloud Platform – something SAP needs to excel at to achieve its platform vision.

Whiffs

Overworked businessmanLast week I was in London for our diginomica annual kickoff meetings. I also attended a EuroCloud event debating the role of cloud regulation versus innovation, where two of our diginomica founders took positions (for the record, it was Stuart and Phil, who took opposing arguments, not for the first time).

Being the only American at the event, I found myself thinking about how American companies considered models of innovation (e.g. Google, Uber), are also contending with very real world problems, such as Google being accused of exacerbating gentrification in San Francisco, with angry protesters on hand.

Taxi drivers fearful of Uber’s presence are proving to be a serious issue, such as in the violent attack on an Uber car in Paris, which could have been a lot worse. These companies are without doubt innovating, in ways that improve our productivity and lifestyle. But unless such innovations have broader cultural impact, we might end up getting punched, as Tom Foremski was this week.

Foremski’s rant is worth a look, but here’s the gist: ‘My complaint is that I’m impatient for our local tech companies to show up and start making a difference. If you can’t change the world here, on your street corner, (I’m looking at you Twitter) you should shut up about making a difference anywhere else.’

I’m not big on the blame game when it comes to cultural issues, so I’ll apply this one to myself as well – as a collective whiff. If making smarter devices preoccupies us, we might find ourselves facing problems we can’t tech our way out of. A better approach would be to apply our largesse to tougher problems while we can. Otherwise we might all find ourselves watching the sunrise on TV like the citizens of Beijing.

Officially off-topic

One of the more amusing big data riffs came this week, with Paul Revere could have been caught if the British crown collected metadata. (more context on this research here.) For sheer readability, it’s going to be hard to top The Seven Habits of Highly Overrated People. (I’m a fan of number 4, ‘Distract with Arguments about Minutia’).

Oh, and statistics (seem) to show that trade show Booth Babes Don’t Work, which I am (mostly) happy to learn – honest! I loved this story of a young autistic man who has trouble communicating, but can build anything. We all have a place, or so I like to think. Finding it is the thing…

SAP’s Vijay Vijayasankar got one of the biggest laughs of my reading week with frank musings on leadership that included a terrific rant about useless meetings (and what a good meeting is all about). I was going to rant about my upcoming travel this week, but reading about this digital nomad who has lived (happily?) out of suitcase for the last four years has stolen that thunder. See you on the other side.

Which #ensw pieces of merit did I miss? Let us know in the comments.

Most of these articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed. “myPOV” is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.

Image credits: Cheerful Chubby Man © RA Studio, Happy Children © Anna Omelchenko, Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, Businessman Choosing Success or Failure Road © Creativa – all from Fotolia.com

Disclosure: SAP and Oracle are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.