diginomica hit: Why analytics and HR fail many good people, and the man/machine gap - by Brian and Den
quotage:"We’re entering some especially dangerous space right now as it pertains to HR decisions and the use of analytic, machine learning and algorithmic technology. Sadly, a lot of firms and people about to use these new HR Power Tools may be well-meaning but they’re wielding very powerful tools while having little or no training in them or knowing what these things can do." - Brian
myPOV: In a good ol' fashioned diginomica pile-on, Brian started things off with a caution on how big data power tools can result in bruised careers. Brian's concern? Correlation is NOT causation. Drawing on the example of retention prediction, Brian notes that large data sets create a field day for correlation
nuts fans, but might end up excluding the exceptional hires that don't fit the corporate mold: "For companies seriously wanting to expand the diversity of their workforce, these algorithms could trigger hiring managers to do just the opposite: hire more of the same kind of people that they’re already chock full of today. " Self-serving analytics = yuck.
Two days later in his Friday Roast, Den took Brian's piece and riffed it in Man, machines and the gaping void. Working in threads from conversations with Vishal Sikka of Infosys (who has a PhD in AI) as well as his brother, who handcrafts guitars, Den questions if predictive hype can ever get anywhere near the incomparable human ability to problem solve. Between the two pieces, there aren't many analytics buzzwords that survive. Marketers may have to dust off those boxes of Enterprise 2.0 mugs until we come up with some new ones...
- Juniper Networks refocuses spend management strategy - Phil on Juniper Network's global Coupa rollout, which has now been rolled out to 9,000 employees globally. Focusing on high value contracts and reducing purchasing administrivia smells like a win from here.
- Heidrick & Struggles uses Box.com to save high fliers from a paper chase - Another use case, this one from Jessica, who dishes on how an executive search firm got mind-numbing paperwork under control via cloud collaboration.
- IT spending to fall per Gartner. No it’s not per Computer Economics. US wins - Wherein Den explores some apparent contradictions from a recent downbeat IT spending report from Gartner, and a more upbeat take from Computer Economics.
- HR must think smarter about smartphones - Janine has found another sticky wicket on the HR side - a sluggish response to employee's voracious adoption of smart phones. Or, as she puts it, "The answer to the smartphone question is that HR is doing very little with the technology, and worse still, has few plans to do anything much in the near future." Uh-oh...
- Systems are changing and business continuity must keep up - Charlie makes the case that digital change also means re-assessing risk management, and provides risk management advice to the
- Barclays set to cut 30,000 jobs as it looks to increase automation and reduce costs - Just in case we were thinking that digital banking was a win-win, it's not a win-win for 30,000. Derek has the report.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style - We put a motherload of earnings news through the diginomica
grinder this week - here's the rundown:
- SAP - Den was on the SAP earnings beat, speaking with Executive Board Member Rob Enslin and parsing the cloud + HANA transitions by the numbers in SAP’s Q2 FY2015 looks good on top line but shows transitioning impact, and the follow-on, SAP’s Q2 FY2015 – more color on the results, S/4 is a’coming, HANA revived.
- Infor - Derek looks at the cloud ERP growth of what he terms the "dark horse amongst the traditional ERP players" in Infor boasts 300% growth in cloud bookings, hires new CFO. Net-net: Infor (a privately held company) reports that its SaaS revenue is up 60 percent in fiscal year 2015).
- NetSuite, Qlik, and Marketo - NetSuite beat the street; Stuart has the skinny (Retail omni-channel focus pays off for NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson). Want to overcome a reported loss of $32.3 million? Well, assuaging Wall Street with 30 consecutive quarters on year-on-year revenue growth is a good place to start. Den has a bit more color on NetSuite in Qlik, NetSuite and Marketo all post better than expected Q2 FY2015 results, with a stronger-than-expected #ensq quarter taking shape.
- Infosys - Not to be left out of the earnings party, Infosys also defied expectations. Den - who has been following the company closely - explains Vishal Sikka's earlier-than-expected success, and why operational profit is currently flat (Infosys blows past revenue Q1 2016 expectations, maintains guidance for full year).
- Amazon - Cloud infrastructure darling Amazon is starting to back it up with some serious numbers (Amazon’s cash cloud as AWS revenue soars 81%). Now posting a profit of $92 million on cloud revenues, Amazon's got a legit cloud business model. Before Amazon pops the bubbly, Stuart raises the question of Amazon's IaaS competitors, with Microsoft, Google, and IBM all in a position to potentially eat into Amazon's market share.
Best of the restMy quippy takes on the top five (or so) enterprise software pieces I clipped this week.
- Accenture cans stack reviews, HR steps into the light - Evidence that HR can (sometimes) push away from the tech buffet emerged as Accenture cans stack rankings and annual performance reviews (
while employees rejoice). The new approach? A "more fluid system, in which employees receive timely feedback from their managers on an ongoing basis following assignments." That sounds shockingly sane and practical. In a better, wider-ranging piece, The New Yorker looks at The Push Against Performance Reviews, raising questions about biases and appraisal effectiveness.
- Forget the sharing economy, we're in the uncaring economy - Phil Fersht of HfS punctures a few more sharing economy hype balloons in this articulation of what's really driving spending priorities. Shocker: it's not about the people, it's about the services. Offer good value, you get your service - e.g. Fersht's airport limo driver, who gets the business and the referral via the superior experience. Nice to see some sanity on the overhyped issue of "talent." Who needs talent when you can get what you need as a service? Jeff Nolan had an interesting take on Uber's political organizing savvy which fits in here also (Corporate Activism: the Uber Edition).
- The Implications of Cloud Native - it's about the apps - RedMonk's Stephen O'Grady defines the meaning of "cloud native" - think "Hadoop for apps." O'Grady is looking at "Cloud Native" as a way of thinking about a certain kind of portable apps development - and what it will mean if it "goes mainsteam." Enterprise Apps Today hits on a similar theme in Cloud Is All about Apps, Says Amazon's CTO. TBR adds to the Amazon AWS analysis with a dry-but-informative AWS is good at what it does, but it doesn’t do it all.
The Why (and Why Not) of Customer Journey Mapping - provocative/fashion-bucking/worthwhile.
Is Gamification the Fast Food of Community Engagement? - best post title of the week, and a field-tested view of gamification. I'm still not a fan of points and badges, but yeah, there's more to it.
Visualizing Vishal’s first year at Infy - A revealing view one year in. I wasn't sure this whole Vishal/Infy thing would work. Right now, looks like that win-win I was pining for earlier in this column.
SuccessFactors Training and Certification FAQ: 2015 Edition - Enough info here to quit your day job.
MOOCs Teach IT Lessons Before Summer Ends - Trying to make us feel guilty for summer binge-watching, this nifty collection of MOOCs includes some interesting free courses for those who want to turn their couch into an actual learning zone.
data "protection" moves, so I won't go there. I did find Google's self-congratulatory post about upcoming Google + changes equally comical, including a long-overdue ability to post on Google without setting up a Google + profile, which now evidently qualifies as innovation.Uncle Den has already put LinkedIn across his lap(top) for "la discipline" regarding their ill-considered
Let's not leave out Twitter, which ticked off its users by kiboshing custom backgrounds in favor of Facebook-style enforced generica. Oh, and remember last week when I went off on Windows 10's automatic updates? Well, the
failed downloads PR problems have already begun. Congrats folks!
Not sure if you've noticed, but things are going so good over at Gawker. It's hard to take a position on Gawker when the alternatives are: publish incredibly unethical stories (and then unpublish them, causing your editorial leadership to quit in a pompous defense of their right to publish muck), then resolve to somehow become 20 percent nicer, whatever that means, and then revising it down to "10 to 15 percent nicer," while more staff hand out their resignations. There must be a whiff in there somewhere...
Finally, sensationalist linkbait-that-mofo title of the week goes to a Forbes piece called, Frustration And Anger As Apple's Reputation Tumbles, which seems to escalate some testing issues around new products into a corporate crisis. Commenters ripped it so I don't have to, as in: "A good day with Microsoft is still worse than a bad day with Apple."
Granted, calling someone a small-minded drama queen is taking things too far, but as for this: "You should be embarrassed that you needed to use shock in your title to make me read it, and Forbes should be embarrassed that their name is on it." All I will say to the commenter is: welcome to Forbes.com., your page will load in three seconds, in the meantime, enjoy this
advertorial thought of the day.
On the darker tip, Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and other AI researchers joined forces to warn of the killer robot war - or, more, specifically, the danger that autonomous weapons pose to humanity. (Hawking also thinks that within 30 years, we might able to upload our brains to computers, thereby preserving immortality, of a sort).
Elsewhere in human ingenuity, the supersonic successor to The Concorde is now in the works. Honestly, I'm more excited about the Occupy Flash movement, determined to rid the world of this crudtastically buggy plug-in.
A phone conversation lead me to reading more about Jugaad as a management technique. Here's to creativity in the fray - which is one theme of a quirky new USA show I've been watching, Mr. Robot. Can't give it my highest recommendation, but for summer viewing, if The Matrix meets Veronica Mars sounds appealing to you, give it a go. :)
See you next time, just remember - your butt dials aren't private...
Which #ensw pieces of merit did I miss? Let us know in the comments.
Image credits: Cheerful Chubby Man © RA Studio, Happy Children © Anna Omelchenko, Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, Loser and Winner © ispstock - all from Fotolia.com
Disclosure: SAP, Workday, Infor, Infosys and Salesforce are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.