Besties - ten diginomica pieces that stood the test of time

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed September 5, 2013
Since we launched diginomica in May, we have published a healthy serving of enterprise content. Which posts have stood the test of time?

Awarding gold medal
Since we launched diginomica in May, we've published a healthy serving of enterprise content. Which posts have stood the test of time?

I'm sure most of you didn't miss a single piece. But for those who had the chance to frolic on the beach or unplug for a few, I've compiled my personal top ten of diginomica pieces that have value beyond a couple news cycles. It's too soon to call them classics, but I think 'besties' is a scientific enough term.

These selections are entirely, completely, and unfairly subjective but they should give new readers a flavor for what we do here. As for those of you who have been tracking us since launch, many thanks. With any luck, I have uncovered a couple gems you may have missed.

The top five

1. The problem with social media marketing – YOU by Dennis Howlett

highlight: ‘I maintain that culture eats everything. It’s a topic I come up against time and again in the professional and technical services world. It doesn’t matter how willing a management or its people are to hearing about new approaches to marketing, nothing will kill a project faster than the inherent human unwillingness to embrace real change.’

myPOV: Dennis set it off with this skewering of social business, social media, and social anything for the enterprise. His emphasis on the triumph of culture over social evangelism rings true from where I sit.

2. Model N exploits ERP giants’ blindspot by Kenny MacIver

highlight: ‘how come a little-known group of companies, led by Redwood Shores, CA-based Model N, has stolen a segment reckoned to have a $5 billion potential from under the noses of SAP and Oracle?’

myPOV: In one of the best articles posted on diginomica to date, Kenny digs into the issue of revenue management and how upstart companies are taking advantage of a major blind spot in the big ERP vendor offerings.

3. Is more G-Cloud needed to challenge the big SIs? by Stuart Lauchlin

highlight: 'It’s my belief that the Cabinet Office team of the likes of Minister Francis Maude, Chief Operating Officer Stephen Kelly and Chief Technology Officer Liam Maxwell are entirely sincere in their intentions to rein in the big SIs and push towards the agile commodity IT approach. But let’s not forget the paving of the road to hell and all that'

myPOV: IT services disruptions and challenges to the big SI model are two of my favorite themes of the site. I'm beyond biased, but I think Stuart's G-Cloud and Digital by Default coverage is the best in the industry.

4. Steelcase, furnishing the cloud by Phil Wainewright

highlight: ‘It’s not just the legacy on-premise technology infrastructure holding back progress; it seems that even the arrangement of furniture in the office conspires to get in the way of successful implementation of digital working.’

myPOV: Customer views inform most of our diginomica coverage in one way or the other. In this Steelcase customer profile, Phil digs into the cloud forays Steelcase has added to its legacy, err I mean on-premise stack.

5. The cost of IT outages: from the sell side by Stuart Lauchlan

highlight: ‘If you don’t plan something properly you’re to end up missing something. Servers don’t sit there and say ‘I’m not having a particularly good day’. They do what you ask them to do.' – Simon Alcott, Exponential-E

myPOV: In part two of an important three part series on IT outages, Stuart reports from the sell side view. (Part one covers the buy side, part three the legal side.) With all the hub-bub over cloud security and the PRISM aftermath, it’s easy to lose track of other pressing customer cloud and IT management issues. Outages clearly top the list.

The honorable 6-10

6. Banking for the unbanked with Standard Bank South Africa by Den Howlett

highlight: ‘One of the highlights of my trip to Johannesburg was meeting Audrey Moputhi, head of Inclusive Banking, Standard Bank South Africa. She says she has ‘the best job in the world,’ bringing banking services to the unbanked. 18 months into the program, the company has added more than three million new customers.

myPOV: You're not going to get the best stories staring at your social streams. Video is a vivid way of capturing 'insightful adventures', such as Den's recent trip to South Africa where he filmed stories that brought out Africa's challenges beyond a narrow IT focus. This discussion with Moputhi underscores what I think of as ‘innovation by necessity’. Also check out Den’s video and narratives for The future of cities: Cape Town’s CIO discusses and Understanding Africa, with Simon Griffiths.

7. Rentokil Initial: Lessons from a cloud ‘veteran’ by Kenny MacIver

highlight: 'In the three years since it took the plunge into the cloud with a 25,000-seat, company-wide Google Apps deployment, Rentokil Initial has seen a tide of technology and process innovation.'

myPOV: I made my case clear in the Forgotten art of the customer case study, but my view is that case studies provide the essential treatment for tech hype recovery. Kenny digs into a three year cloud deployment and comes out with lessons learned.

8. Fire your dev team and other SaaS success tips by Phil Wainewright

highlight: 'The morning opened with a stark message from John Paterson, who founded Really Simple Systems in 2004 after a career at conventional ISVs including the maker of SunAccounts. He was adamant that building for the cloud means starting over from scratch.'

myPOV: Phil touched more than a few nerves with his compilation of SaaS success tactics from four SaaS ISVs (along with his own bonus tip, ‘sell like there’s no tomorrow').

9. Digital marketing truths – sector by sector by Stuart Lauchlan

highlight: ‘Media firms are the bane of my life. I’m signed up to Netflix. So why does Netflix keep sending me emails offering me a free trial? We can’t get Sky television in our neck of the woods, so why do you keep sending me special sign-up offers? Ditto, Virgin Media. And when I ask you all to remove me from your mailing lists, why won’t you do it?’

myPOV: My favorite editorial coverage on diginomica might be the dissection of digital marketing. If there’s a weakness in our coverage to date, it’s the lack of industry-by-industry specifics. Stuart picks that up here with his review of digital marketing truths by sector. Stuart has tackled digital media and commerce from many angles, check his archives and get your fix.

10. Email is not dying by Dennis Howlett

highlight: “From my own experience and among the team here at diginomica, it is nigh on impossible to rid ourselves of email and little incentive to use digital tools.”

myPOV: launching diginomica has given our core team a chance to escape the shackles of email. At each point, there is an adoption fail. Yammer lasted about two days. Dennis has written some potent pieces on why marketing is broken - what I liked about this one is that advocating for email goes against the grain of what readers might expect, and it draws on some of our own hard knock lessons as an all-cloud media startup looking for ways to be highly productive and 'suck less each day.'

Bonus pick: Perspectives on a cloud bromance by 'The Team'. I avoided topical picks for these compilation, but I'm throwing this one in because it was the first time several of us (four to be exact) all offered our views on a major enterprise story. It's an approach we will certainly use again when the situation warrants.


The final verdict is there is no verdict. You, the readers, get to decide. You vote with your attention and more importantly, your comments - which we always welcome and try to respond to with immediacy. Without you reading and sharing our content, none of this happens. Yet here we are, off to a crackling start with the best (hopefully) yet to come.

Thanks for that. And yes, I did disqualify my own pieces from selection here - I'll add a couple of my own faves to the comment section later. But I'd like to thank those who have shared my work and those who have held my feet to the fire also. Onward.

Photo credit: Awarding gold medal © Brian Jackson -

Disclosure: Oracle and are diginomica premier partners at the time of this writing.


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