Enterprise hits and misses – Brexit tech and enterprise coverage in review


In this edition – wall-to-wall Brexit, pulling sharp insights and sage advice from the fray. Also: what happens when your algorighm is a bigot? Robotics sales are surging, while online grocery is flailing. Your whiffs include Led Zeppelin (sorta), and… Lionel Messi? Plus: be careful not to break the space/time continuum with “thank you for attending” emails for future events.

Cheerful Chubby Man
diginomica hit:
Brexit – the tech and enterprise implications, by Chris, Phil, Stuart and Den

quotage: “Bottom line – unless you have a clear line of sight through to the cost of EU operations then the current volatility must be avoided. The only sensible thing to do right now is defer any decision until there is more clarity and stability.” – Den – digibyte – post-Brexit buyer advice

myPOV: Oh boy. Leave it to Yankee doodle over here to try to make sense of Brexit when I can’t even explain domestic politics in the U.S. I’ll skip over the cultural meanings of Brexit to focus on the tech/enterprise clues we have to date, with the disclaimer that these are early volatile days.

Den got the tech view going with Brexit – an interesting tech perspective from the US, a riff on a thoughtful piece from fellow Yank Denis Pombriant, who posits that technology could solve problems Brexit raises (such as biometric validation of border crossings, mobile purchasing, basically, “there’s an app for that.” A tad optimistic methinks, but we’re in dire need of that right about now.

Chris wades into thornier tech waters with Brexit and data governance – where to now?. Chris’ killer quote goes well beyond Brexit: “People are waking up and recognising the sovereign reality: that ‘the cloud’ is about data centers, built on land under national laws, not castles in the air. This is partly because of incoming European data regulations and the ongoing war of words between the EU and the US over data governance.” As for doing digital business in the UK, Chris warns “The very best we can say is that there is no clarity and no roadmap.” Ouch.

Stuart raised a slew of new issues today in Brexit – random jottings through the maelstrom, including a blast at the “social media echo chamber” that accomplished nothing useful. He also cites early reactions from diginomica partners Salesforce and NetSuite, who are clearly not fazed in the long view with their investment in Europe and in the UK specifically. In times of crisis, Phil is a good one to turn to; he gives things a good head scratch instead of pouring gasoline. I like his sentiments in In due diligence on big decisions, go with your gut, though I’m almost as wary of gut feel as I am of predictive tech infatuation.

Happy children eating applediginomica four: my top four stories on diginomica this week:

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here’s my three top choices from our vendor coverage:

  • DataStax is shifting from selling databases to data-driven software – Derek on his latest sit down with DataStax co-founder Matt Pfeil in London this week, and how Datastax is addressing an ultra-competitive NoSQL market by pushing up the stack. I expect these themes to ratchet up as Derek and I hit MongoDB World in New York City this week. (“Most people don’t want to work on databases, they want to work on the core business.”
  • Changing the CERN lightbulbs with ServiceNow – Martin with an intriguing ServiceNow use case, expanding markets by taking IT tools and setting them loose in new contexts. Particle physics anyone?
  • IBM wants to have its cloud native and hybrid too – Vendors: don’t try to charm Phil into liking your cloud with slick “hybrid” marketing. It won’t fly. low-value out Phil sees some merit/seriousness in IBM’s cloud pursuits, while warning of the “cognitive dissonance” sparked by balancing pure cloud services and hybrid approaches.

A few more vendor picks, without my running banter:

Jon’s grab bag – So Robotics sales hit record high and market shows no sign of slowing, meaning the sales figures for industrial robots have increased by nearly four times since 2009. Derek breaks down the numbers by geography. No alarmists here, but he warns we are far beyond automotive and manufacturing now. Thinking out loud: could we train robots to vote?

Yeah, robots are writing (some) articles now, but that’s the least of our media issues, as Den notes in The dangers of machine driven content publishing, where stats and algos have a lovely way of encouraging (human) writers to produce celebrity-preening crap, serving up a homogeneous cow patty on our Facebook feed. We haven’t solved grocery delivery either, as Den notes in this takedown, Online US retail grocery: a smorgasbord of mediocrity.

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer Post-Brexit Analysis, by Ray Wang and several other scribes of note

quotage: “While the power vacuum among the UK parliament adds to instability over the next three months, organizational leaders can expect the UK to lay out a longer term plan and time line much needed to calm markets. However, the BREXIT referendum has emboldened non-incumbent EU political leaders to push back on globalization and immigration.” – Ray Wang

myPOV: My own fatalistic tendencies about Brexit were challenged by smart pieces that refuse to be defined by the irrevocable. Wang provides analysis for enterprises while warning that “Moving forward, global leaders must rethink the social contract in creating a playing field that equalizes the opportunity and access to the gains in digital disruption.”

Phil Fersht of HfS Research wades through the services impact in The broader issues behind Brexit send a frightening message to the services industry. HfS Research says they have “precisely pinpointed” that 30 percent of routine, low value positions will be phased out by automation in the next five years. In other words, we take action or Brexit is just the beginning: “This means we need to ensure our businesses and colleges alike are actively involved in reorienting this 30 percent to avoid their exit from working society. This is serious stuff which needs to be urgently addressed by our politicians, if they genuinely want to get back in touch with their increasing base of disenfranchised voters.”

And yes, Buzzfeed makes a key point that Apple, Amazon, And Google Are Silent On Brexit Vote. But from an enterprise standpoint, shouldn’t we dismantle of the myth of “predictive” analytics? Forget the egg-on-face pollsters. We can predict when a vending machine five thousand miles away will run out of Snickers bars, but we can’t get an advance window on events that shake our markets? Sure, technology can help us, but progress isn’t inevitable either. We can start by facing up to the limitations of our tools and, by contrast, all that be accomplished when we decide business shouldn’t wait on the sidelines for a better world to invest in.

Honorable mention


Overworked businessmanI’m not sure which was more shocking: Brexit or Lionel Messi over the goalposts in penalty kicks. As someone who botched a penalty kick in a tourney myself, and tasted the bitter tang of post-game orange slices, not sure I will tag Messi with a whiff. It was simply a missed chance to cap off an all-time legacy. He’ll have others; whether he retires from the team as he vows, or not.

The jury that found in favor of Led Zeppelin in the copyright suit over “Stairway to Heaven” might have whiffed though – that opening riff is eerily similar. And just think: if you worked for Buzzfeed, you’d already be done with your cheesy sub-linkbait blog post by now and sipping on a cold one, daring the robots to replace you.

The hands-down whiff of the week came via email that began: “Thanks for stopping by the our booth at MongoDB World!” The only problem being: the show hasn’t actually happened yet. The final line read: “P.S. We hope you enjoy and proudly display your K. Eights lego minifig!” I won’t reveal the name of the company as that would be kick-while-down. In the wild west, having a quick trigger finger helped you survive. Not so much in email marketing.

So I replied to the CEO with an email that pretty much said “nice try.” I got a sheepish response, which made me wish I had asked, “How did you know I was going to stop by your booth?” That is some Minority Report marketing technology, eh? The question is, do I swing by their booth to ensure timeline retroactivity, or risk breaking the space/time continuum? I guess you’ll know my decision by next week…

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

Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed. ‘myPOV’ is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.

Image credit - Cheerful Chubby Man © RA Studio, Happy Children © Anna Omelchenko, Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Man © Dudarev Mikhail - all from Fotolia.com.

Disclosure - SAP, Oracle, Workday and Salesforce are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.

    Comments are closed.

    1. says:

      ya this blog is really super and it is very implementive to know about the new things thus it is very goos and easy to understand the concept very well

    2. Jon — you missed the Nutanix booth babes (or did Kurt miss)… https://www.linkedin.com/hp/update/6151491321564585984

      1. Jon Reed says:

        Clive yes there were some big whiffs in the comment thread also to that piece. Booth babes at enterprise shows are a bad idea, and what’s more, there is no evidence they actually work, despite the delusions of some of the commenters. Or, to put it another way, I think this type of tactic hurts more sales than it helps to generate, and it’s not close.

        And yeah, I will always miss whiffs here and there, just too many of them and unlike great articles there is no systematic way to catch whiffs in my newsfeed algo 🙂 Thanks for the sharp eyes as always.

        – Jon