Lead story - The future of work in a COVID era - will diversity and inclusion be an unintentional winner?
MyPOV: We put the future of work in the spotlight again, anchored by Madeline's Diversity and inclusion will be an unintentional winner from Covid-19.
Good pandemic outcomes are few and far between. But when you add activist organizing to the mix, maybe you have something? Madeline quotes Christina Shareef, Head of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at Reddit, speaking at Black Tech Fest:
We're actually having vulnerable, open conversations, and without the language that perhaps we were using before to sugar-coat what folks were going through in the workplace. To be really frank, white people are listening now, white CEOs are listening now, white folks in the C-suite are listening now in a way that wasn't happening before.
Real listening, not the corporate lip service too often passed off as empathy - that's a good place to start. But as Madeline quotes Shareef, there is more:
There's no way to really affect systemic change until we understand that fixing the fruit on the tree will never sustainably yield results if you don't fix the root of the tree, the systemic things that have gotten us here. Now folks are starting to pay attention to what has gone wrong systemically to get us here. That's a fantastic opportunity.
Madeline acknowledges: we're not there yet. If anything, we're still in the pressure cooker. But - we'll take the positives where we find them, especially this week:
It's difficult to focus on silver linings from the coronavirus pandemic and racial injustice while we're still very much in the middle of the fight. But hearing these three D&I leaders share their positive experiences of the changes they're witnessing indicates something important is happening.
Stuart picks up on more critical workplace themes in How will the world of work post-COVID? Three expert perspectives. Can we seize a better work future from this adversity? I agree with Stuart - casting a wider virtual net for talent could be one win here: Apprenticeships, reskilling, distributing opportunities - that's the happier side of the digital divide concern.
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
- Gartner makes a case for internal talent marketplaces to get skills where they're needed - Speaking of creative approaches to talent, Janine is fresh off a Gartner shindig where these issues took center stage.
- Does small data provide sharper insights than big data? Keeping an eye open, and an open mind - Neil punctures big data stereotypes and makes a different case: "By using small data, which is so specific and detailed, as preliminary research to find the hypotheses behind our subconscious behavior, you can find the imbalances in people's lives that represent a need and ultimately a gap in the market for a new brand."
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:
- ServiceNow beats Wall Street expectations, raises guidance and CEO Bill McDermott declares “we are just getting started” - How do you keep investors happy amidst a pandemic? How about signing your biggest customer deal ever? Derek updates on ServiceNow's workflow automation plans. Also see: ServiceNow’s Chief Innovation Officer on the role of ‘innovation’ in the COVID-19 economy.
- Cisco updates AppDynamics for observability as enterprises move to the cloud - Don't look now, but "observability" is threatening to become a breakout buzzword for 2021. Phil decided
to tweak me with it nowinvestigate how Cisco is applying observability, via AppDynamics.
- Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report - Expedite your digital projects, but don’t forget about your values - Derek on Salesforce's fourth annual connected customer survey. Customer experience remains the priority, but: meeting customers' COVID-era omni-expectations isn't going to be easy.
SAP's earnings report caused a
sell side conniption fit stock price drop, raising questions that may implicate other vendors. Den broke it all out in Four problems SAP has to address as it navigates headwinds. The four issues? Cloud, talent, pricing, and geographies.
A few more vendor picks, without the quips:
- Sage Intacct Advantage 2020 in review - how partner AcctTwo helps customers track mission-critical metrics with SaaS Intelligence - Jon
- Patch Plants harvests insight from a bumper crop of business data - Jess (Snowflake/Zendesk use case)
- Appian CEO issues a call-to-arms for users to jump out of the silos - Martin
- Facebook Workplace continues enterprise push with 80,000-seat rollout at BT - Phil
Jon's grab bag - Jerry issued a pair of good 'uns in Microsoft/MITRE group declares war on machine learning vulnerabilities with Adversarial ML Threat Matrix, and How the U.S. leading suicide and crisis hotline for LGBTQ youth is surviving the pandemic with a little help from its Big Tech friends
In her diginomica debut, Toni Sekinah posted a dandy, How Wefarm is using NLP and SMS powered by the cloud to help farmers share knowledge. More tech-for-good via Gary: How PagerDuty’s incident response helps global food aid charity Mary’s Meals feed hungry kids. And, if you want to go a tad further down my curation rabbit hole, this one may whet your whistle: The enterprise professional's guide to Alexa Flash Briefings - why personalizing your news content pays off.
Best of the enterprise web
My top six
- The path to a new normal in 2021 demands increased cybersecurity resilience - IYes, the title states the obvious, but we can roll with it. Good line: "Toxic security team culture harms employee retention and hinders recruiting."
- Rising Ransomware Breaches Underscore Cybersecurity Failures - "We are doing all the things that we have always done for malware, but they are just not sufficient." Yikes.
- Where Data Streaming and Analytics Miss the Mark - "Due to barriers related to coding, computer language, security and general accessibility, vast troves of data from these systems may be missing from the data streams being used in real-time analytics."
- The best artificial intelligence intentions are hitting corporate walls - Joe McKendrick riffs on a notable AI report. Despite AI advancements in the real world, project obstacles still loom large: "AI managers and specialists are still grappling with seemingly insurmountable organizational and ethical issues that are hamstringing their efforts, or even sending things down the wrong path."
- Companies Are Rushing to Use AI—but Few See a Payoff - Wired on another timely report on AI project realities. Yes, only a fraction (11 percent) of AI projects are deemed successful by this sizeable study, but - there are plenty of clues for those who want to be a part of that successful minority.
- 5 Costly Mistakes in Infrastructure Outsourcing - UpperEdge keeping it real on the project side again. My fave? mistake #5: "Letting MSPs Control the Narrative Throughout the Evaluation Process."
A couple keeper headlines this week:
- Creators of dystopian sci-fi are as shocked by the events of 2020 as you are - indeed, you can't make this stuff up.
- Motorola says “new” Moto Razrs shouldn’t arrive in used condition anymore - that's reassuring...
All 5G'ed up and nowhere to go...
This one speaks for itself:
NYC’s most socially distanced office is this desk in the East River https://t.co/zjRsqV9g6T
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) November 1, 2020
Who says social tech support can't be fun?
.@Canonhelpdesk just FYI, my Canon TS9120 won't power up after only 15 months of very light use... now it's just a huge paperweight. Perhaps a bit more attention to durability would be helpful...
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) October 28, 2020
Folks, as you know, I'm not in the predictions business - or the optimism business for that matter. But if we can get through this week with our sanity intact, I like our chances from there. 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. 'myPOV' is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.