Diginomica picks - my top three stories on diginomica this week
- Is content experience the evolution of content marketing? - I've got some issues with the phrase "content experience" - what exactly is a content experience for starters? Quibbles aside, Barb does a good job of explaining why traditional content marketing has fallen short, even when the content is solid - and why an "experiences" framework can help you reach the right folks.
- Taking price-cutting too far - how Hudson's Bay Company's bargains undermined omni-channel transformation progress - Hudson's Bay sales might be down, but how is that omni-channel? Stuart's jury is still out: "2019 is the year when there needs to be much more tangible evidence than has been on show to date that the omni-channel transformation efforts are paying off."
- Equiniti - exposing the unknown unknowns that cause customers problems - Yep, more unknown unknowns on diginomica. This time via Gary, who has a nifty speech analytics use case via the tough proving ground of the Equinti customer call center.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style.
Diginomica SuiteWorld coverage - dynamic-diginomica-duo Phil and Madeline were on hand for SuiteWorld 2019. Here's some highlights:
- SuiteWorld19 - Oracle CEO Mark Hurd on moving NetSuite to the Oracle Cloud - Phil on why Oracle is doubling down on NetSuite, not putting it through the corporate acquisitions grinder. This one from Hurd jumps out: "I think that the data is irrefutable that the market is going to move to the cloud … Last year, 15% of US data centers closed. We’re up to now where almost 50% of dev/test is in the cloud. 30-35% of applications have now moved to the cloud."
- SuiteWorld19 - Williams Sonoma cooks up a better way to manage 10 global sites - Madeline on why one of the biggest e-commerce retailers in the U.S. made the NetSuite move to drive international expansion - and moved from a customizations to a SaaS extensions approach.
- SuiteWorld19 - build diverse teams and show the benefits for your organization - Madeline gets into use cases that tie diversity to business results.
Here's my three top choices from the rest of our vendor coverage:
- Infor 3.0 is all about people and the future of work - An interview with CEO, Charles Phillips - Derek on his 1:1 with Phillips, which brings us into work futures. One key theme: SaaS visibility pushing change. Phillips: "We can see how you’re actually benefiting or not benefiting from a system, where you likely need training. We know if someone who has the same job as you is doing it 50% better, we know what that looks like as well."
- Huawei eyes targeting cloud services to help exploit 5G in business applications - Martin keeps the 5G
hype circustheme rolling, though thankfully Martin is a prober, not a flogger.
- Intel - putting substance behind its strategy slideware - Kurt puts Intel through his patented analytical grinder and decides... they are on the right track. "Consider this week’s data-centric innovation day Intel’s first midterm, where it certainly gets an 'A' for effort by announcing a slew of new products spanning computing, application acceleration, storage and networking designed for both large data centers and remote edge locations."
A few more vendor picks, without the quips:
- Real-time for the win - how Donnelly Custom Manufacturing excels at short-run manufacturing with IQMS - Jon
- Oktane19 - Okta sets out its stall as an identity platform - Phil
- Putting Adobe's partnership strategy to the test - Workfront's view from the Adobe Summit - Jon
Jon's grab bag - Den takes an
intellectual thwack studied look at Brian Sommer's straight talking book, Digital with Impact. Digital transformation is not for the faint of heart, but via Brian, we have a methodology of sorts, and useful exercises to spur us on. Den nails down the fence sitters: "The greatest risk though is for those firms that see opportunity but ultimately only make incremental changes in the mistaken belief that a few small projects are enough to satisfy the board."
Neil Raden has an idea for the future of edge computing - let the gorillas write the script. And, Neil argues, open source the edge: "The edge is too important to be hindered by a proprietary platform or one or two owning the space."
Finally, Stuart gives Facebook a fresh dose of his editorial spleen in Facebook wins on BS points as TV interview with "very idealistic" Zuckerberg fails to land a blow. Stuart: "Well done to Mr. Clegg or whoever it was that teed this BS up."
Best of the rest
Lead story -'Bias deep inside the code': the problem with AI 'ethics' in Silicon Valley - by Sam Levin
Tackling bias in AI isn't just a human problem, it's a political problem. Google learned that
the Facebook way this week in Google pulls plug on AI ethics group only a few weeks after inception. The Guardian's piece on bias-inside-the-code gives the context:
Major tech corporations have launched AI “ethics” boards that not only lack diversity, but sometimes include powerful people with interests that don’t align with the ethics mission. The result is what some see as a systemic failure to take AI ethics concerns seriously, despite widespread evidence that algorithms, facial recognition, machine learning and other automated systems replicate and amplify biases and discriminatory practices.
Google's AI ethics board appointments didn't survive political scrutiny, thus their sheepish de-boarding. Algorithmic bias isn't just a matter of generating flawed search results. The human impact is potentially serious. The Guardian:
"Algorithms determine who gets housing loans and who doesn’t, who goes to jail and who doesn’t, who gets to go to what school," said Malkia Devich Cyril, the executive director of the Center for Media Justice. There is a real risk and real danger to people’s lives and people’s freedom."
Making fun of Google is
appropriate easy, but there are serious problems here: how can we hope to eliminate bias from AI if we are deeply divided on what type of bias is harmful?
Google's own employee petition was impactful here, but another reminder that the clean separation of politics, work and high tech is no longer possible. That's a very blurry line we all have to walk now. The tougher ask is to have the hard conversations early - before the algorithms are released into the wild.
- The Trojan Horse Approach to Organizational Change Management - Brian Solis and I were just debating whether digital transformation was different than change management. This post by Eric Kimberling adds a sharp angle: "Organizational change consultants can’t be effective if all they do is put together some training, a few newsletters, and wipe their hands clean of overall accountability for the overarching transformation."
- Head in the Clouds: Week 1 - Over at UpperEdge, Adam Mansfield launches a promising weekly enterprise cloud roundup. Not sure if Microsoft would ever buy Slack though...
- The Evolving Role of the Modern Developer - Terrific piece by Marcus Merrell on how developers need to, and are, changing: "The idea that 'developers own the code, and QA owns the quality' is a legacy mindset."
- In the Race Toward Mobile Banking, Don't Forget Risk Management - The rush to mobile banking can backfire. Here's a mobile finance sobriety test from Dark Reading.
- Oracle Modern CX Spotlights Customer Data Platform, AI Accelerator - Constellation's Doug Henschen
survivedattended Oracle's CX/MBX Vegas extravaganza. Here's his take on the CX/data implications, including Oracle's DataFox acquisition.
- These 4 Terms Will Kill Your SaaS Business - Sameer Patel scores the line of the week: "I run for the hills when I hear the word synergy." As do I, Mr. Patel. See you on the slopes.
So The Weather Channel formally apologized to Manitoba for years of "blocking" the country while doing forecasts. A 58 story (new) residential skyscraper in Manhattan is tilting to the side, and the legal screws are tightening. I'm in no hurry to move in...
Google and Facebook neck-and-neck on whiffery again. Google inserted ads on $4,000 TVs, but Facebook's PR team got another "why do I work here again?" spin challenge with millions of records exposed on Amazon servers due to Facebook partner
business-as-usual data greed.
It was a fun week for PR email mishaps also. Stuart got this one:
ladies and gentleman the delicacies of PR https://t.co/qXUVpGP2bt
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) April 4, 2019
I had a cynical romp with this doozy:
love this pitch as well: "Expert Available: Protecting the integrity of the gig economy workforce"
-> err - integrity? Isn't it really about maintaining the precarious balance between flexible employment, desperate career measures and technical exploitation of demand?
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) April 4, 2019
Meanwhile, Gartner's Hank Barnes has a whiffy, but not funny, edition of Friday Fails, where he exposes a hospital with terrible bedside CX manner.
Finally, Google Plus officially closed all personal accounts last week. Jules Wang paid snarky tribute to Google Plus over on Android Police. Then he gets caught up in a very dangerous pastime - social media nostalgia.
Android Police played a role in bringing more than 7,800 people onto Google+ in the first few days of early access. The masses jumped in to experience another take on digital society which, even in 2011, had already matured into a pig's trough of commercial content, political trolling, and unvarnished angst. Many who joined hoped things would be better over the fence and that they could share their lives on the internet with the focus and attention that every disparate part of them so deserved.
Oh well. The grass isn't greener anymore - the only fence left sits between Facebook and Instagram, and your personal data passes freely between the railings. See you on Reddit perhaps, Mr. Wang?