Enterprise hits and misses – diginomica on cybersecurity, SAP and Salesforce on tour


In this edition: diginomica does cybersecurity, while AI alarmists meet an optimist. Salesforce has a world tour and SAP had a big show – we’ve got your breezy roundup. Grappling with workplace diversity is one theme this week; pizza is another. Food-related whiffs abound, with Pizza Hut asking for – and receiving – viral shaming. Finally, can AI ever make better music than the Biebs?

Happy children eating applediginomica three – my top three picks on diginomica this week

Lead story – the Diginomica team hits on cybersecurity implications of WannaCry and beyond:

Also see: Cath’s two-fer on workplace diversity, Boy jobs and girl jobs – does ‘tech’ put women off a career choice? and Holding on to the best women in tech – some top tips from tech women.

Vendor analysis, diginomica style.

Salesforce World Tour London – diversity, earnings, and use cases – Salesforce doesn’t pause for wee events in Orlando. The diginomica team was on hand in London for some Benioffian updates:

SapphireNow 2017 roundup – how to get your fix – we published enough content from Sapphire Now to sap even the Sappiest of Saps. I won’t do the full tour; here’s how to get your info:

  • Diginomica’s SapphireNow video playlist – from use cases to bloviated brilliant punditry, we’ve got all your on-site views.
  • Diginomica’s Sapphire Now article commentary – our complete collection, from previews to wraps, from indirect access to Leonardo to customer profiles, it’s all here – with more to follow. The standout from videos and commentary is arguably our user group review; we brought the views of most major SAP user groups into our coverage.

A few more vendor picks, without the quips:

Jon’s grab bag – Not really a grab bag this time, more of a “hope you didn’t miss Brian’s opus” nudge. Brian just posted the fifth and final part of his epic cloud manufacturing ERP series, The State of Manufacturing ERP – part 5 – The Plex update. You can catch the whole series via Brian’s author page, and learn why manufacturing workloads are now shifting to the cloud at a (fairly) rapid rate. Brian came in low on slides, but not so low on insight – just the way I like it.

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer Lead story – the dark secrets of the AI cargo cult

That’s me mashing headlines courtesy Esteban Kolsky, whose AI reading binge is to our benefit with selections courtesy his ThinkJar blog. In The Myth of a Superhuman AI, Kevin Kelly picks a fight with – as he admits – the smartest people on earth, including Musk, Hawking, and Gates, by deconstructing what he calls the myths of superhuman AI.

I’m hanging on the dark side with Hawking, for example the inevitable rise of the robocop gives me the weebeejeebies (a very scientific term indeed). Kelly brings this back to the applied AI those of us with enterprise day jobs should be focused on anyhow:

To be useful, artificial intelligences have to be embodied in the world, and that world will often set their pace of innovations. Without conducting experiments, building prototypes, having failures, and engaging in reality, an intelligence can have thoughts but not results.

We get a dose of that practicality in a 2016 piece, Understanding the four types of AI, from reactive robots to self-aware beings. Even this April piece on the dark secret at the heart of AI is more of a warning that algorithms shouldn’t be trusted when we can’t fully understand how some of them get results. Fine – I don’t trust most of my Uber/Lyft drivers but they get me from A to B. Short-sighted or not, I think that’s how most people view algorithms.

More Sapphire Now gnoshing:

If you’re not done chewing the gristle from Sapphire Now perhaps these morsels will do the job:

Honorable mentions

After publishing a series of research agendas so foolhardy intimidating ambitious I had to take a Facebook break, the aforementioned Esteban Kolsky returns with fruits of concerted effort in Knowledge Summary: The Next Decade in Digital Transformation. Wish I had more time to ventilate pontificate expand on this one, but let’s just say it’s one of the better pieces on digital transformation I’ve seen this year.


Overworked businessmanFolks, I let you down. The exact same week I got crusty with Stuart for his series of pieces on pizza, Pizza Hut earned its rightful way into the whiffs column for its ill-advised viral foray into Middle Eastern  politics. Queue the social spank tunnel and hand-wrung, corporate-crafted apology: Pizza Hut Apologizes for Ad Mocking Palestinian Hunger Strike Leader. I hope they also cancelled their “leveraging droughts and famine” ad campaign.  Then there’s this lonely dude:

Alas he’s already dropped his nuts the case and settled, pun intended. Oh, and as for this from Could AI Algorithms One Day Make Better Art than Humans?

They don’t have to beat Beethoven, they just have to beat Justin Bieber.

Yeah, well, to get on my playlist AI will have to do a damn sight better than the Biebs. Keep dreamin’ dude – let me know when AI starts to catch up with a bad Bob Seger song, then I’ll sound the hundred year alarm.

Nudging closer to the enterprise, love The New Stack, but they nab linkbait title of the week “honor” with the absurdly-titled Corn-Tracking Robot May Save Us from Starving in the Future, which is a sonic distortion of the early stage innovations described in the article. Backtracking from the already tentative title begins immediately in the first two sentences.

We already know how to reduce world hunger: switch to insects as our protein source (and maybe some beans/grains for delicious variety, vegan style).  No fancy AI crop sniffers of the future – nothing more from tech is needed. Once again it’s our will – not our tech – that is lacking. And yep, I do include myself.

If that’s a downer, there’s comfort: reading this was easier than giving your cat a pill. Shall we let Chris Cornell, one of the finest singers in rock history, close it out this week? Yeah let’s. RIP man. Tough pick but I’ll go with his surprising acoustic cover of Billie Jean. See you next time. Over to you, Clive.

This is a truncated “Jon feels the road burn” version of hits and misses, which by definition excludes some worthy content – from diginomica and beyond. If you read an #ensw piece that qualifies, let me know in the comments as Clive always does.

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, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, Businessman Choosing Success or Failure Road © Creativa - all from Fotolia.com.

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

    Comments are closed.

    1. Jon,

      On Building Better Futures on the Blockchain. Video of the Foresight Salon on Blockchain as it pertains to multiple areas of Economy, Government, AI, its power as social force, source for truth, and its ecosystem as role model for security. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lS1p_iF7tEU

      Enterprise applications practitioners at the CTO level should know about Mark S Miller of Google from the panel above.

      Mark S. Miller is the main designer of the E and Dr. SES distributed object-capability programming languages, inventor of Miller Columns (also known as cascading lists) a pioneer of agoric (market-based secure distributed) computing (aka smart contracts). An architect of the Xanadu hypertext publishing system, a representative to the EcmaScript committee, and one of Yedalog’s creators.

      Miller’s work is influencing secure JavaScript in computer security. His work could allow a major break thru in CRM applications to aggregate untrusted external web sources with trusted back office ERP data in real-time. The same computer security facilitates blockchain application interop. Making far EnSW far less susceptible to cybersecurity implications of WannaCry and beyond.

    2. greg misiorek says:

      Hi Jon,

      once my email account gets sorted out on SCN, i’m all ready to get to the core of Leonardo now that’s open and ready for partnerships.

      thx for SAP marketing reporting,

      1. Jon Reed says:

        There is no reporting on SAP in this column, just a review of stories to check out from last week. I didn’t focus on Leonardo at the show, preferring to focus on what customers are actually using today which is what SAP helped us line up from an interview side. But obviously Leonardo is aspirational at this point and SAP’s success in this area is far from guaranteed. Arguably the most mature aspect are some IoT plays, some of which are interesting to look at though there is huge work ahead. I’ve been focusing there on the indirect access issue as well which must be overcome – nothing to do with SAP marketing we are talking to SAP leadership on this topic and user groups as well.

        Incidentally we took up issues of SCN and community with SAP as well during the show. I think your idea of what we do at these shows versus what actually happens is very different.

        – Jon

      2. Hi Greg,

        Interesting to learn what you find at the Leonardo core. My sense is you are (left) holding the brush. I my opinion missing is fundamental breakthrough in building nextgen enterprise apps (comes full circle to Mark S Miller’s work above). Scroll all the way down on Holger Muller’s SAP event recap for my comment http://enswmu.blogspot.com/2017/05/event-report-sap-sapphire-2017-all-in.html