Lead story – Machine washing, data bigging and the DIY money pit of AI – by Phil Wainewright
Move over cloud washing, make room for machine washing, where vendors
spit polish over-promise their AI offerings. Yes, every vendor wants to have an AI story, but as Phil reports from HR Tech Europe, some of those vendor AI stories have plotholes that make Fast and Furious 8 look like The Godfather.
So what, you may be asking, is “data bigging”? That’s where vendors try to impress you with… yeah, the size of their data store. Who knew learning could be so deep? Don’t say Phil didn’t warn you: “vendors are ‘bigging up’ the volume of data they have available to feed into their machine learning models.” I’m with Phil: the immaturity of AI means HR pros – and other lines of business for that matter – have more immediate threat/opportunities to contend with.
Even without the aid of AI, much of the routine administrative work traditionally performed by HR teams is being eliminated by the roll-out of self-service automation along with standardized processes and datasets. At the same time, all this digital transformation is augmenting their ability to take up more value-added advisory and analytics roles.
To that extent, the robots are already taking over HR, replacing some jobs but enabling others. It is a disruptive shift that requires retraining and careful change management for those displaced.
- Industry 4.0 – Huawei lets the partners, customers speak –
Martin on how a giant Chinese tech player sees the 4.0 era. Nice contrast of the cynical (Industry 4.0 is really a marketing term) with the practical: “think of Industry 4.0 meaning an environment in which everything is connected – including people.”
- BMJ takes a trip inside the ‘Great Firewall of China’ – a nifty use case from Jessica on the use of Alibaba to share health documentation on China’s public cloud.
- Automated risks – secrets of DevOps security exposed – Automation, hailed as a key to securing systems, can also be a bugaboo. Chris is on the case.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style – wall-to-wall Dreamforce coverage begins:
Diginomica’s intrepid Dreamforce team is
partying their buttz off filing non-stop Dreamforce stories and analysis. I’ll save the full rundown for next week, but as of this writing, we have 20+ Dreamforce 2017 stories and counting. Here’s my four picks to get you started:
- Dreamforce 2017 – Salesforce prefers a new BFF in Google – Stuart on one of the biggest Dreamforce news stories from day one, as Google joins AWS as Salesforce cloud BFFs. But wait – can you have two BFFs?
- Dreamforce 2017 – Using Einstein Analytics to get leadership off of PowerPoint – Derek shares customer lessons as Salesforce’s once-beleaguered analytics product (Wave) seems to be gathering momentum now as Einstein Analytics.
- Dreamforce 2017 – Getting rid of bias in AI – Madeline with a Dreamforce angle on one of the central ethical – and business – issues of our time.
- Dreamforce 2017 – More than met the eye on Day One – Denis found more meat on the bone than the casual keynote observers.
A few more vendor picks:
- Tom Eck, CTO industry platforms IBM, sweet talks fintech – Angelica on IBM’s push to become a service broker between fintech and the financial services market.
- Wellesley College modernizes with Workday HR and finance suite – Den with a public sector use case that sheds light on change management in a university setting. One big winner? self-service HR functionality.
- Don’t get too sweet on AI, warns SugarCRM CEO – Chris assesses SugarCRM’s skeptical-yet-commercial take on AI.
Jon’s grab bag – U.S. tech companies went kicking and screaming into the halls of Congress; Stuart’s got the analytical poker burning as well (Social media giants need to up their game as US Senate grills them). Stuart easily nabs headline of the week dap for this doozey: NFL blame games and Nazi pizzas put a sour topping on Papa John’s digital plans (as long as we don’t start getting search visits for Nazi pizzas that is).
Speaking of SEO, Barb is on top of the verbal twist in How is voice search changing your SEO strategy? Jessica filed another laudable use case in Age UK combats loneliness epidemic among older people with Twilio. And if you haven’t had your fill of snarky take downs, you may want to check round two of my Ludicrous press release awards – “have you leveraged your blockchain?” edition.
Best of the rest
Lead story – The State of Automation and AI Study 2017: 400 operations leaders air the real deal – by Phil Fersht of HfS Research
myPOV: Yeah, this came out last week, but it needed more ventilation than I had space. Gist: Phil Fersht and the snarky resourceful crew at HfS decided to puncture a few AI hype ballooons with – get this, actual enterprise data on adoption. True AI may be futuristic, but automation is now. Fersht:
What’s clear is that enterprises are frantically evaluating their talent (81%) and looking to collapse these silos in the middle/back offices to improve their customer experiences. And they see AI, Machine Learning, and process automation as the levers to achieve this.
Yep, a whopping 81 percent of operations leaders are feeling the proverbial heat to cut their dependence on mid/higher skilled labor:
[They view] AI and Machine Learning as increasingly important or even mission-critical directives to drive this.
The full report is for subscribers only, but there is some meat in the blog post, including:
- Satisfaction of initial automation deployments is mixed – Only a little over half the enterprises (58%) that have gone down the RPA path are satisfied with the level of business value and cost savings from their implementations thus far.
- Despite the growing pains, RPA is starting to be used effectively in this era of innovation and the current satisfaction results reflect this.
Companies should not allow themselves to be paralyzed by the AI/automation hype deluge. Data like this helps. If you’re impatient about the
half-assed self-serving loose AI definitions being tossed around, you’ll dig this week’s HfS follow-up, Enterprise Automation and AI will reach $10 billion in 2018 to engineer the OneOffice.
- ‘Tis the Season for Maintenance Renewals – Yes, it’s way too early for holiday blog post titles, but I’ll cut slack for this eminently practical advisory from UpperEdge. Maintenance fee hikes make a lousy stocking stuffer. Bonus: another winner from UpperEdge, despite its SEO overdose: Costs Count but Talent Wins: 3 Vendor Talent Management Strategies that Improve Outcomes and Lower Costs.
- Raising the Bar – for clouds, renewables and digital – Part 1 – Vinnie Mirchandani applies his prodigious research efforts to one of his best blog posts of the year. “You don’t get a pass because you’re SaaS” – hat tip hits/misses reader Frank Scavo.
- Australia’s war on encryption potentially ‘reckless’: Former US cyber advisor – I’m thinking of a warhorse of a protest song from the sixties, which had that line of plaintive despair – “When will they ever learn?”
- Tech Goes to Washington – Ben Thompson takes all of his consumer tech savvy and applies it to something that really matters – democracy as somebody else’s algorithm. Fine job, sir.
- Facebook’s plan to throw humans at security, manipulation issue won’t work, equates to indictment on AI progress – ZDNet’s Larry Dignan takes a swing and when he writes a longer post like this, he never misses. If ony ZDNet wasn’t video auto-play and pop-up purgatory…
- Humans Hate Being Spun: How to Practice Radical Honesty — from the Woman Who Defined Netflix’s Culture – Here’s an odd one. An informative piece marred by the dumbest opening sentence I’ve read this year: “Netflix is a place where people win.” Err – win what exactly? The right to dwell on the irony of House of Cards imploding over the indiscretions and powerlust of its leading actor? The right for a fawning lead sentence? Well, yeah. Which brings us to…
So as Stuart alluded to, it’s kind of a bummer when neo-Nazis dig your anchovies (Papa John’s condemns white supremacy after praise from neo-Nazi site).
As for Boing Boing’s Why you should drop Dropbox in favor of SpiderOak, someday I hope to write my rebuttal, why you shouldn’t rush to drop a file storing service you trust because Boing Boing has a tag sale going on in their freaking store.
Oh, and remember how I gave Ray Wang a wee roasting last week for trotting out the fireside chat fumigator “Infinite Ambient Orchestration”? Well, he was good enough to define Infinite Ambient Orchestration this week, in case you want to trot it out at your next enterprise social.
And did anyone else notice LinkedIn’s new forkload networking option?
Think of it as “1:1 with scale” 🙂
— Chirag Mehta (@chirag_mehta) November 7, 2017
Chirag, I look forward to connecting with you and 1,000+ of your closest associates shortly.
And to think it was only last April that The founder of LinkedIn says too many of us are using the site all wrong. As per Mr. Reid Hoffman:
LinkedIn is a closed network, and for a very simple reason: For the network to have value as an introduction tool, the connections need to have meaning. It’s up to you to vet each and every request so that if someone comes to you and says, ‘Would you introduce me?’ you’re in a position to evaluate whether the connection would be of mutual benefit.”
Sorry, Mr. Hoffman, but it’s my sardonic pleasure to break the news to you: you’re using the site you created all wrong. Next time, try the forklift button. C’mon in Mr. Hoffman, the water’s warm, the spammers have a way of heating it up.
If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses – in a good or bad way – let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does.
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.
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