quotage: “The wide scope that the IoT covers is also generating problems of its own. Not only is there a general lack of skills in both a technical and commercial sense, but the complexity involved means that it takes on average 18 months to three years to build a product compared with a tech industry average of three to six months – another factor that tends to put VCs, and developers, off.” Cath Everett, Driving IoT adoption – standards thinking and commercial considerations.
myPOV: Fresh back from an IoT forum in London, Cath brings a look at the barriers to IoT adoption in the UK – barriers that prove to be darn near “universal.” The biggest culprit? A lack of agreed-upon standards. Why do standards matter? Without them, you can’t just plug an IoT device into the Internet. Standards are also needed for privacy and security. Adding another adoption twist: a shortage of IoT developers. Cath reports groups in the UK are pushing to address these issues, including a new initiative called IoTUK.
On our diginomica/gov site, Cath turns here attention to public sector in The IoT – chasing a public sector happy hunting-ground? With a big public sector market in the UK, the issue of open standards again looms large. Another issue: Cath cites IoT adoption rates of 13 percent over the last four years, far outpacing economic growth rates of 2-3 percent. But the research director of Analysys Mason is quoted as saying so far the use cases for the technology have been neither “radical nor transformational.”
That should give IoT champions, marketers and evangelists some pause. It’s hard to imagine AI taking off either – not unless the IoT standards issues holding machine communications back are addressed. Moral of the story: if you hear a happy tale of IoT at your trade show this spring, make sure to ask the pesky “open standards” question.
- To H-1B or not to H-1B – CEO outsourcing perspectives from India and the US – Trump’s immigration/travel ban has tech companies in a tizzy over the future of the H-!B Visa, and rightly so. Stuart gives a roundup of CEO views and weighs in. Some companies aren’t waiting, as Stuart reports in Cognizant plans to grow US headcount “significantly” as H-1B uncertainty continues. I see the need for some reform/change in the H-1B program, but I question whether the right combination of forward thinkers and cool heads are at the decision table. The big tech players likely agree, as Stuart notes in Tech v Trump – 97 technology firms take to the courts over Trump’s travel ban.
- Design for learning at Foster + Partners – Janine with a nifty Cornerstone Learning and Development use case. The skills rundown for L&D pros was interesting – I liked “data journalism” – the ability to break down data, and condense it into “a pithy sentence or headline that’s easy for people to digest.”
- To get content right, you must enable sales – Barb riffs on the always-complicated
love/hate power-grabrelationship between marketing and sales. Short version: sales needs content, but most marketing teams are not serving that content up in a way that sales can use.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here’s my three top choices from our vendor coverage:
- After Walmart, Workday signs its retail arch-rival Amazon – Phil with an early take on another provocative feather in Workday’s cap: “Would Walmart have signed with Workday if it had known its digital nemesis Amazon was also a customer? There was a time when Walmart preferred to build all its own applications to maintain a unique competitive edge. Today, the need to move fast trumps any advantage that custom back-office software brings.”
- One year on for Tableau and the analysis is not so gruesome – Last year, Tableau went through the Wall Street spank tunnel. Stuart assesses a turnaround, spurred by increased subscription sales: “Baby steps, but in the right direction, although there has clearly been a benefit accrued in Q4 from some big deals that didn’t close in Q3 coming in and boosting the numbers. Selipsky is only one quarter into the CEO role, so it will be 2017 that demonstrates his ability to execute on both the corporate mission and his personal vision.”
- DevOps on the mainframe? It’s about time, says Compuware CEO – Don’t even try to shovel dirt on mainframes. Phil’s got a fresh angle on mainframe redemption via Compuware: “What if today’s conventional wisdom has got it wrong? What if it were possible, given the right tools, to treat the mainframe just like any other modern platform in an agile, devops environment? Compuware believes the mainframe can indeed take its place in such an environment — not least because, as CEO Chris O’Malley explains, there’s still no viable alternative for the reliable, high-throughput transaction volumes at which it excels.”
A couple more vendor picks, without the quotables:
- New Relic stakes claim as the enterprise standard in digital intelligence – Stuart
- Jive quickens its step with quarterly profit – Stuart
Jon’s grab bag – Speaking of cooler heads, I really liked the way Chris sliced and diced this one: The Uberbot will replace 250,000 public sector jobs, claims report. And this Middleton keeper: “The problem in all applications of these technologies is that the first things that organisations automate aren’t routine functions, but their assumptions about the world.”
Brian continues his
personal trough of disillusionment analysis of so-called smart homes in Is 2017 the year to make your home smart? I don’t think so. Hey, at least the “smart doorball” is working out. Makes me want to show up at Brian’s doorstep to see what his smarty-pantsy doorbell would make of me… Finally, back in his youthful stomping grounds in Bradford, Den puts Uber to the ultimate test, in a town where taxis have reigned supreme (If Uber can make it in Bradford, its future is assured).
Best of the rest
quotage: “None of these tables (even if you show shortcomings) will (or probably should) show every imaginable feature or capability. But if you highlight things that others do that you don’t focus on, you are not only being more open, you could be effectively qualifying the opportunity. If a buyer wants (and truly needs) something you don’t do (and don’t plan to do), then they won’t be a great customer. Better to qualify them out.” – Hank Barnes
myPOV: This is easily the shortest post I’ve ever picked as the week’s best. But it’s long enough – the point is made. Gartner’s Hank Barnes deconstructs the so-called “feature comparison” table that undermines trust by portraying one product as perfect (coincidentally, the same vendor that made the feature comparison chart in question).
Barnes asks: what if vendors took the risk of indicating the areas where their own product lacks functionality? “How do you think a customer would react to that? My guess is fairly positively.” I think so too – enterprise folks are weary of the perfect chart, the perfect position in the vendor survey or ranking, the perfect ranking in the ambiguously-funded white paper. There’s no better way to earn trust than to tell the prospects when you’re NOT a fit.
Granted, there are nuances to being that transparent, an issue brought out in the article comments. I’ve encountered some customers this year who intentionally bought a product with less functionality, because, surprise surprise, they trusted the firm and the transparency of the relationship. Along with that trust came fruitful discussions on the product roadmap, and how that can be influenced. Keep pitching the perfect product and watch prospects opt for imperfect solutions from competitors.
- AI alarmism and the future of the middle class – Wired decided for a low key headline on AI, The AI Threat Isn’t Skynet. It’s the End of the Middle Class. Despite some alarmist themes, the article counterweights with sensible views. It’s really about how we cope with the pace of change. For enterprises, it’s about how we retrain rather than discard. That brings us to the thoughtful How being replaced by a machine turned this graphic artist into an activist – a reminder that responding to adversity with courage/creativity is the best human trait of all.
- SAP beefs up S/4HANA play with AI, and doubles down on S/4HANA cloud – SAP’s “Capital Markets” day has become something of a preview of the big themes of their May Sapphire Now show. This year, attendees got a big does of the S/4HANA cloud edition, and – shocker – some AI and machine learning previews. Larry Dignan gave his take in SAP aims to step up its artificial intelligence, machine learning game as S/4HANA hits public cloud. Holger Mueller’s take includes his usual car-to-airport video
triumph escapeanalysis (Event Report – SAP Capital Markets and S/4HANA Update). That’s only half of Mueller’s blog title, the better half IMO…
- Intel will invest $7 billion to finish a factory it started in 2011 – Beats worrying about whether an orange-haired man will take your H-1Bs away.
- Twitter Tackles Trolls With Three New Anti-Harassment Features – No, Twitter, you don’t get a cookie for features you should have issued years ago. This will test the “better late than never” hypothesis.
- Three Things to Like about Acumatica – Smart analysis of an upstart cloud ERP player with a different set of pros/cons than most.
- Why the hottest technology job this year may be scrum master – Not sure about hottest, guessing data scientist crushes scrummer. Still, I like the list of scrum master skills – though most apply to any technologist that gets it.
This was a baffling/awkward mistake: USTA aplogizes for playing German anthem from WWII at Fed Cup. Another audio baffler: Grammys accidentally play Metallica during Megadeth’s speech. That’s as cruel as sending Pete Best a copy of Ringo Starr’s total music royalties. The Grammies blow – maybe they were going for a Metalilca make-up call from that year where the metal award went to Jethro Tull’s flutework instead. Oh, and I keep forgetting to post Former DirecTV Spokesman Rob Lowe Calls Out DirecTV for Being Shitty. Welcome to the cheap seats, Mr. Lowe.
This one’s not funny but it’s a whiff we should all inhale and make note of: University attacked by its own vending machines, smart light bulbs & 5,000 IoT devices. “This botnet spread from device to device by brute forcing default and weak passwords.” Yikes. Note: this is not an immediate news story, but an item from a Verizon IoT report. Still….
Last week while traveling I got this unusual notification from TripIt:
It was not a concern as I’d already been kiboshed from my entire flight. But isn’t this a golden opportunity for some levity? As in, “You will not make your connection – but don’t blame us, we’re just the messenger/we don’t fly the planes” and so on. Instead we get the straight-faced “you will not make your connection.” The tone of this is not unlike if someone said to you, “The salad bar is out of spinach.” I would have much preferred: “You will not make your connection; you’re f@!cked dude!” And yet those corporate communications job offers never come through… Let’s do as Chris Middleton suggests and automate with humanity – not indifference.
Over to you, Clive.
Which #ensw pieces of merit did I miss? Let us know in the comments.
Image credit - Cheerful Chubby Man © RA Studio, Happy Children © Anna Omelchenko, Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, Snowboarder Crashing © dismagwi - all from Fotolia.com.
Disclosure - SAP, Oracle, Workday, New Relic and Salesforce are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.