Enterprise hits and misses - contactless payments on the rise, equality on the corporate agenda, and Zoom and Slack in review

Profile picture for user jreed By Jon Reed June 8, 2020
Summary:
This week - will health demands of COVID-19 push the U.S. into hands-free payments? Zoom, Slack and Zuora all face the earnings music - we analyze. And: equality is on the corporate agenda - but is it platitudes or action? Your whiffs include fun-with-AI, and angry cockatoos.

King Checkmate

Lead story - The future of hands-free commerce - is COVID-19 the catalyst?

MyPOV: Overseas travelers to the U.S. have noted that the U.S. is taking its sweet @ss time not exactly out in front on contactless commerce. But is that finally changing? As Chris notes in Is COVID-19 the catalyst for tapping into a contactless payment revolution in the US?:

In contrast, figures out this week in the U.K. from U.K. Finance... revealed that 80% of people made a contactless purchase in 2019, up from 69% the year before. That is, of course, pre COVID-19, which is likely to prompt a further uptick.

Industry giants see an opening. Stuart picks the story up in Tracking contactless - how Visa and Mastercard are planning for a COVID-19 bump for hands-free digital commerce. Health needs and CX converge:

Leaving the public health implications to one side, a shift to contactless tech also provides financial services providers and retail merchants with a better customer experience.

But a so-called "contactless revolution" can widen the digital divide - not exactly the type of tension we need in the U.S. right now.  Chris puts it well:

The challenge remains the extent to which digitally-excluded customers and the unbanked may find themselves living in a cashless society by default, perhaps locked out from being able to pay for some goods and services.

There are potential solutions to these problems, e.g. contactless payment cards bought with cash. As with most things tech, a good rollout calls for a thoughtful design.

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. It was a news blowout from collaboration economy darlings, each with their dilemmas and upsides:

Meanwhile, Derek's ServiceNow Knowledge 2020 coverage caravan rolls out, with the fun of a sit-down with quote machine and CEO Bill McDermott:

A couple more vendor picks, without the quotables:

Jon's grab bag - Neil examines the regulatory resistance to telemedicine in Telemedicine adoption amidst a pandemic - can we overcome the barriers?. Sooraj documents how a company avoided ransomeware by taking a wake-up call to heart in Aston Martin CIO - WannaCry pushed us into a cyber security refresh.

Guest contributor Simon Griffiths shares How to re-engineer business processes in uncertain times. Uncle Den opens up the digi-kimono, and details how (not) to make your core team nuts to deliver platform upgrades in record time in How not to drive users and developers crazy.

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

Genuine change is about action, not platitudes or P.R. festivals. Ergo, I enjoyed Jason Corsello's Diversity & The Future of Work — We Can No Longer Sit on the Sidelines! Corsello has a similar ax to grind, and wants to see companies push for corporate change as well:

As leaders of people and organizations, those same executives can stand up to racism by the examples they create in their own companies.

Where to get started? That can be an excuse or a legit area of question. To counter this, Corsello runs through ten action steps, from addressing pay inequity to rolling out mentoring programs, a la Slack's "Rising Tides" for diverse, emerging leaders. I doubt any organization could give themselves a solid grade on all ten - including diginomica. We all have work to do, but it's the right work.

Honorable mention

  • Zoom's Commitment to User Security Depends on Whether you Pay It or Not - Did Zoom step in it again? From a P.R. standpoint, definitely. From a policy standpoint, well, that's a debate worth having. Security ace Bruce Schneier frames it well, but check the updates and reader comments for a rounded view.
  • Google DeepMind buzz dissipates after AlphaGo highs - Funny thing about hype? Sometimes when the buzz goes away, the good work gets done. This from the DeepMind team: "We have created a unique environment where ambitious A.I. research can flourish." Doesn't sound like they are giving up because the page views went down, does it?
  • How To Build A Business Case For Endpoint Security - Beef up security? Not without a business case. Louis Columbus lays it out. "A financial services company recently calculated their annual benefits of E.S. initiative will be $475,000, and the costs, $65,000, will yield a net return of $6.30 for every $1 invested."
  • Could Automation Kill the Security Analyst? - The author denounces her own headline about three paragraphs in (automation goes hand-in-hand with the human side of security), but the piece remains useful.
  • Emotions at Work - We aren't getting away from an emotionally-charged workplace anytime soon. One of the best managers I know, Vijay Vijayasankar, dishes out tips and lessons.
  • Enterprise Software Communities - audio podcast with Jon Reed. Yep, I took a turn on the podcast hot seat, with Tim "sharp questions" Rodman of AUG, Acumatica's independent online user group. Gotta love this pitch: "An AUG Blog Audio Post is basically an Acumatica Podcast Episode without the fancy background music. Our two rules: 1. No Editing. 2. Publish Immediately." And so it was.

Overworked businessman

Whiffs

Speaking of incredibly exciting developments in A.I. respect for the bruising lessons of tech history, I got a kick out of this weekend's discovery:

But hey, there's good news: A.I. has come a long way from 1972, making our workplaces so much better:

Speaking of the future, McKinsey got way ahead of themselves with this extravagant headline:

Without doubt, the most concerning whiff of the week: The May jobs report had 'misclassification error' that made the unemployment rate look lower than it is. Here's what happened. Thankfully, even after the three percentage point error, the news was still better than expected, but that's a market whopper nonetheless.

I need to leave you with a lighter headline than that. How about Bill Would Prevent the President from Nuking Hurricanes.

Not quite light enough? Okay, I'll revert to animals. How about this video of a pet cockatoo strenuously objecting, in many languages known and unknown, about a pending trip to the vet? See if that doesn't put a smile on your Monday. Catch 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. 'myPOV' is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.