Enterprise hits and misses – Davos vs the enterprise, PaaS vs security threats


This week: Why PaaS and infrastructure automation matter against threats like Spectre and Meltdown. Also: SEO for 2018, connected car dilemmas, and Davos versus the enterprise. Your whiffs include a slew of whiffy awards, and Facebook’s navel-gazing Newsfeed overhaul.

Cheerful Chubby Man
Lead story – The virtues of PaaS in the face of security threats like Spectre and Meltdown – articles by Kurt Marko

You may be wondering how the virtues of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) extend to protection against external security threats and malware? Well, Kurt’s got you covered – and it comes down to infrastructure automation. Ergo: modern architectures are a heck of lot easier to patch.

As Kurt argues in Meltdown and Spectre underscore the ongoing need for infrastructure automation:

While many will rightly tout the benefits of faster development cycles, as the Meltdown-Spectre incident demonstrates, the need for rapid, repeatable infrastructure updates is even more important in an era of escalating and more pervasive security threats.

For legacy environments, patches are the stuff of long weekends and hair loss. But not so with modern PaaS automation. And it’s not just geeky startups and Facebook/Google getting in on the action:

For example, patches can be applied within hours of availability, often, as Ford Motors does, during business hours.

Kurt acknowledges that for large enterprises with tons of technical debt/bloated systems complex IT environments such a transition would be gradual, starting with the edges, and the replacement of apps over time. But we can add better protection against security threats to the lengthy list of DevOps/cloudy-agile benefits for enterprises to consider. That’s why we sweat the technology around here.

If that’s not enough to build a PaaS business case, Kurt’s got more fodder for you in Building the convincing PaaS business case. Amongst the PaaS benefits, how does “Increased revenue via faster product development and delivery” and “Improved customer satisfaction and service” grab ya?

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

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

A few more vendor picks, without the quips:

Jon’s grab bag – I rarely give out a “cutest title of the week” award, but you’ve gotta admit,  Martin’s Sitting in The Dock of AI is pretty darn adorable. It’s about how The Dock in Dublin is testing the AI/ML/automation waters. Speaking of waters, Angelica wades into regulatory issues with authority in Preparing for PSD2, the technology issues (that’s the European Payment Services Directive).

Keeping on Eurothemes, Derek looks at the UK’s Brexit/digital governance crossroads in Government Digital Service on the hunt for Head of EU Exit. Finally, I invite you to peek further into my productivity fetish obsession in Productivity 2018 gut check – our employers won’t solve this problem. It’s on us. Bonus: trenchant reader comments from Twitter worked in.

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customerNot picking one story for special treatment this week, but here’s the picks of the litter:

Ray Wang’s Davos preview is a welcome reminder that political and macro-economic issues are absolutely connected to enterprise software. As in this wake-up call for the west:

Across the Western economies, few elected officials have science backgrounds. Meanwhile, scientists hold eight out of China’s top nine government posts. The lack of science and engineering fundamentals often hinders digital business discussions and the implications of technology policy are unclear to decision makers, who become timid and dependent on lobbyists and other influencers who peddle biased information.

I’d say “Amen!” but I think that contradicts Wang’s point about science.

  • Google Rankbrain SEO – Best SEO Strategy Insights in 2018 – If you read one SEO piece this year, make it Bob Warfield’s. Warfield doesn’t cover the impact of voice search, and he seems a bit more trusting of Google’s search wisdom than I am, having seen people run out of business by running afoul of Google’s questionable ideas on site authority, but: Warfield knows his stuff. When he talks about “intent” and “topic clusters” and how that impacts key word targeting and content planning, we should all be paying attention. (It’s Google Rankbrain or bust).
  • Next-Generation Mobility Stratifies OEMs – Re-Imagining Corporate Innovation with a Silicon Valley Perspective – Speaking of folks who know their stuff, Evangelos Simoudis knows connected vehicles. Here he looks at how auto OEMs must change – or lose out:”They must decide whether to remain exclusively vehicle designers and manufacturers, and if so what types of next-generation mobility vehicles to offer. They are also trying to determine whether to provide mobility services.”
  • SAP: When you come to a fork in the road, Take it! – Vinnie Mirchandani gives SAP some free (and worthwhile) advisory, based on SAP’s hotly-debated “HCM extended maintenance for on-premise as part of S/4HANA” decision.
  • Elbowing into a World Dominated by Amazon > Five Traits of Iconic Marketers – Sameer “Hey, I knew this guy when he was a pesky analyst, now he’s a startup rockstar” Patel on what sets world class marketers apart from hashtag hacks.
  • Speaking of India: Five Lessons on India-Based Product Development – Dave Kellogg takes his blog in enterprise directions others wouldn’t go. We need more of his kind.
  • Facebook Is Making Big Changes To Your News Feed – I’m gonna whiff on this one next week, but for now, just know that our navel-gazing hipdaddy and his super geeks are fixing your feed up for you. They feel bad about giving us so much digital crack, and are switching over to Internet opiates for a more natural high. They’ll keep selling creepy advertising leveraging our friends’ bizarre brand affinities on the backs of our fix however.


Overworked businessmanSome whiffy awards of dubious distinction:

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.

Postscript: in the almost-five-years I’ve been doing this column, this may be the first time I don’t have any picks from the astonishingly prolific Stuart Lauchlan, my diginomica colleague who is a tad under the weather. Feel better soon mate – I doubt your iron content streak will be broken.

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, Winter Sports © lassedesignen - all from Fotolia.com.

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