Enterprise hits and misses - autonomous vehicles get a green light, customer success gets a warning, and tech-for-good gets a gut check

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed March 14, 2022
This week - autonomous vehicles speed past a premature(?) milestone. Customer success, however, gets stopped at the traffic light. Tech-for-good idealism faces reality, and FinOps gets the buzzword bingo treatment. Your whiffs include cheap shots - and Web 3.0 candy canes.


Lead story - There are seven different ways to define customer success. Only one counts

At diginomica, we aren't ready to toss out the "customer success" buzzword and self-congratulatory connotations. But, as Phil asserts, it needs reclaiming:

We often find ourselves at cross-purposes in conversations with vendors. We've come to realize that their understanding of the concept is different from what we have in mind. Despite all their assertions of customer centricity, the metrics by which many vendors measure customer success remain staunchly vendor-centric.

Phil defines each (flawed) metric, including the important, but still vendor-centric, user adoption stats:

[Adoption success] is in the vendor's interest, because when the customer comes round to renew their subscription, that renewal is much more likely if any issues have already been ironed out and the customer is making full use of the offering.

But Phil - spoiler alert! - which definition of customer success is the right one? If you guessed "Outcome success," you get Phil's door prize. Phil cites a couple of rare examples of this, via Coupa and Zuora. But why are the examples so rare? Phil:

It requires an advanced degree of engagement with customers and insight about what matters to them. Most vendors are not even formally gathering data about their customers' business goals when deploying their offerings, let alone measuring their contribution towards achieving those goals.

Phil believes we'll get there, as more companies truly adopt XaaS models. Yes, perhaps, in time. But it won't happen until we view tired metrics (like NPS) with a more critical eye.

Diginomica picks - my top 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 quotables:

Jon's grab bag - Chris assesses a sluggish approach to crypto in US finally moves on crypto - but it’s a hug, not a punch. He also looks at public sector transformation the right way (in theory) Government digital transformation - put citizens first, not tech. And the wrong way (in practice, ugh): Why has UK Government digital transformation just created a giant bureaucracy?  Finally, Martin's series from a recent CAST event yielded a keeper quote on how the role of enterprise tech is changing - one for all forward-thinking projects to bear in mind:

When you start talking about modernization, the first thing that comes to mind is cost savings. But in general, when we, as a large firm, are looking for modernizing our applications, we’re driven from a different need. We are driven from the need to deliver the capabilities very quickly to the market so that we can capture the market, capture customers with the features we want to deliver. We also are driven by the fact that that competitive edge and advantage is quite important for banks like us. (from Lift and shift is easy to say, but the cloud reality can be different - intelligent learnings from Wells Fargo Bank)

Best of the enterprise web

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

My top seven

Overworked businessman


Via diginomica's Alex Lee, we have a doozy of an NFT whiff:

As I was saying, rock > paper -> scissors... Meanwhile, I took another gratuitous (but well-earned) shot at Windows 11:

We can always use some techno-optimism these days. Even so, this VentureBeat piece is awfully fluffy:

I remember the same gushy things being opined about "decentralized ride share networks," where peers would form economic networks with peers. Then we got another mega-digital-duopoly, of the Ray Wang variety. Finally, one for the "choose your battles" file:

See you next time...

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. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed.


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