Enterprise hits and misses - cyberwarfare gets a wake up call and automation forces a skills review

Profile picture for user jreed By Jon Reed February 28, 2018
This week: why cyberwarfare needs a truce, and an automation career session from someone who gets it. Plus: AI-driven "coaching networks" and five emerging trends. The whiffs are plentiful - are you ready to get cognified?

Cheerful Chubby Man

Lead story - The world badly needs a cyber-warfare truce - what are the chances? by Denis Pombriant

We’re in uncharted waters here.

That's how Denis sums up the state of cyberwarfare - and the need for a truce. Key nation states aren't inclined to agree. Denis warns:

By mid-century there could be half a trillion Internet-connected devices, many running vital infrastructure without direct human control and open to the possibility of hacking. The threat of people or nations acting with malevolent intent to control these devices, especially moving or flying devices, poses an unacceptable risk to global society and the time to prevent that scenario is right now.

Reader Clive Boulton took issue with Denis' argument. Clive:

About zero chance for a cyber-warfare truce.


I do hope industry analysts can continue to help translate catastrophic cyber-risk and the crypto-commerce solutions into awareness.

Yep. Whether that leads to awareness I couldn't tell you. But even if a truce is an idealistic goal, Denis' next step is hard to argue with:

We should consider developing international organizations and protocols that stem the proliferation of hostile acts of information terrorism.

It's a challenge Pombriant should extend to software vendors and concerned CIOs of all stripes. Otherwise we're stuck in security-breach-reactive-mode.

Happy children eating apple
Diginomica picks - my top four stories on diginomica this week:

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

A couple more vendor picks, without the quips:

Jon's grab bag - The misuse intimate exploitation leveraging of personal data by social media companies has reaching a boiling point of scrutiny. Derek weighs in with Why we need a single point of trust to calm nerves over social media data misuse. Meanwhile, Den's got a use case on savvier use of social data in Headhuntr.io finds the ideal candidate in Nimble CRM.

Janine examines the problem of AI and bots covering over the sins-of-HR-past with Jason Averbrook in How ready is HR for AI? Here's the bad news.... Mark Samuels wraps my diginomica picks with Great content means great customer experiences - some expert tips. "Make content the lifeblood of an organization"? We're not quite there yet folks.

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer
Lead story - Looking ahead – what jobs will technology take away? by Vijay Vijayasankar

myPOV: IBM's Vijay Vijayasankar bravely wades into robots-and-jobs, but, happily, he's not trolling us. He's got his coaching whistle on, advising folks in automation's path what the heck to do. He starts with context:

The world is sharply divided between people who believe AI and Robots (or automation in general) will take more jobs away than it creates.

Vijayasankar thinks automation will take away some jobs, but "there won’t be any net job losses." I don't agree; I believe swaths of automation will have broad/uneven impact and humans will be forced, not onto creative islands, but in survival-of-the-most-talented human/machine "coaching networks," to lift a buzzword from above. But we've flogged that argument plenty. What matters is Vijayasankar's tips to those in the fray. He issues cautions/advice for four types of jobs:

  • If most of what you know is public knowledge
  • If your work is all about short tail questions from a customer
  • If you are in a job where process trumps thinking
  • If your job is only about answering questions, and not about asking questions

In other words, if you are acting like a robot at work, or doing things machines can do much more quickly (like scour reams of legal documents - check this news story), your job is at risk. Agreed. A modern career is about pro-actively automating your job before your company does it for you, freeing up focus on that which can never be automated, at least not until the singularity. As Vijayansankar says:

If you have skills that can make [your employer] earn more revenue directly or indirectly, you get to stay employed.

Whistle blown. For most of our careers, that means 50 more push ups.

Honorable mention


Overworked businessman

So Apple just confirmed that it uses Google Cloud for iCloud. Not a whiff, really, but - kinda awkward. I wonder what Siri thinks about getting two-timed like this...

As Josh Bernoff assessed, KFC handled their chicken shortage with some finesse, at least on the PR side (though he cautions that humor isn't always a good way to go. In this case, self-mockery worked). More buffoonery:

A Twitter app without notifications? That's kind of like a bull without.... nevermind. Hootsuite will be emailing me about this. Can't wait for that. And no, Google didn't escape with their iCloud coup:

We're all rats in an algorithmic maze, a science experiment executed to mass perfection. There's no other rational explanation. I'm not going to politicize the column this week, but all tech readers can appreciate a scandalous "paper trail" tied to the inability to convert a Microsoft Word file to PDF.

Speaking of Microsoft, they're getting sued for $600 million after a forced Windows upgrade "destroyed" a PC. I'm not sure how the plaintiff settled on $600 million, but Microsoft's we automated the living hell of out of your improved-your-operating-system mantra sure carves deep into technoworker angst. Apple's Mac line is down for the count, but Microsoft can't issue the body blow because Cortana wants to sell you something while your system upgrades "in the background."

Closer to the enterprise, I've got some rough news via Brian Sommer. We're all about to get a crash course in cognification:

As in:

London got snowed under bigtime this week; I get the feeling we're all going to get snowed from the keynote stage this spring...

* Enterprise folklore tracing back to SAP's John Appleby suggests than any time the phrase "game changing" is used, somewhere, a small, helpless, buzzword-innocent kitten dies - an event that rings true - though none alive can bear witness.

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.