Lead story - Enterprises reveal their coronavirus lessons - and struggles
MyPOV: It's way too early to define the economic scope of what awaits us, but this week brought us forward - into more specific reactions. Start with Stuart's Accenture CEO Julie Sweet - how we're dealing with Coronavirus and how it's impacting our clients needs. Accenture's Q2 numbers were strong; but guidance is lowered. That's a story we'll hear a lot.
Sweet's got five reasons why Accenture is built to weather this pandemic. But what about their clients? Sweet says some are ramping up - one customer plans to go from zero Microsoft Teams users to 61,000 in a week. Each industry sector has its own corona-riddle to solve, and the takes can't be higher. Stuart cites one key factor: help your clients keep mission-critical services up and running.
Tech spending is an area we're keenly watching; changes are (obviously) expected. Derek weighs in on one: Williams Sonoma defers non-critical tech spend in the short term due to Coronavirus uncertainty. He quotes Williams Sonoma CFO Julie Whalen:
We are preparing all aspects of our business for a number of macro scenarios. We are cutting all nonessential operating expenses for example, in advertising. We are focusing only on high ROI initiatives that drive e-commerce traffic and conversion. In technology, we are prioritizing business-critical projects and deferring all other spend in the short term.
Den has seen his share of enterprise
false promises and tech infatuation bubbles boom-and-bust. He's got advice for us now in Your business is about to be stress-tested like never before - here's what you need to consider. Our professional/industry situations are all different, but we have this in common:
Getting reliable and actionable information has to be the first priority. We are doing our bit and we know from talking with partners that all of them are working hard to provide customers with the best set of answers they have to hand.
Yes, that fuels our mission here at diginomica; we will bear down on context and try to keep the viral preening out. Den warns that our inboxes might not be so lucky:
Some 'advice' is barking mad. It isn't hard to spot the difference. Pick what works best for you and keep safe.
Indeed. A bit more coronacontext:
- Security tips for remote workers as Coronavirus crisis brings out the scammers and hackers - Kurt
- Remote work when it matters most - how AvePoint's APAC teams kept morale and productivity high across four Chinese cities - Jon
- Remote work at enterprise scale - overcoming the productivity obstacles - Jon
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
- Hachette CIO writes a new leadership story - Mark filed this one - now we find out what leaders are really made of.
- The role of leaders in the ‘learning era’ - Janine gets a timely window into the new rules of leadership, "where managers act as an ‘invisible support system’ rather than task masters."
- The corona-retail review - In a matter of weeks, Stuart's retail beat has fundamentally
borkedchanged. Yet as he notes in GAP's new CEO faces major omni-channel challenges - and that's before Coronavirus shut the offline stores, the same omni-struggles remain. And yes, the retail supply chain tests are getting real: The view from customer 6023 in the virtual queue - the omni-channel supply chain buckles under the weight of Coronavirus.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style.
Cloudy team tools are in the stress test cooker right now. Our collaboration maven, aka Phil Wainewright, broke down two of them:
- As Microsoft Teams stutters, a look at the risk factors for remote work platforms
- Risky! As millions start working from home, Slack changes its UX. Here's why
Here's three more vendor coverage picks:
- MongoDB brings in strong Q4 revenues - but anticipates up to $25m Coronavirus hit in 2021 - Derek
- Coupa CEO Rob Bernshteyn - business spend agility is all the more important in volatile economic times - Stuart
- Ariba Live - SAP talks up intelligent spend and risk management in an uncertain world - Phil
Jon's grab bag - Chris delves into the (optimistic) views of an AI practitioner in ThoughtSpot Co-Founder Ajeet Singh - we need trust in AI, but what kind of trust is just as important. Meanwhile, Neil took a quirky but well-researched dive into quantum (Quantum computing is right around the corner, but cooling is a problem. What are the options?).
Oh, and I vented spleen again: Your virtual events are legacy - and so are your webinars. Let's get crackin'. There's still time to save your next webinar from
slide festival mediocrity itself... Derek tackled the crux of the remote work issue in Coronavirus, working from home and mental health - some advice:
I don't want to churn out the same old 'be kind' mantra as everyone else, but please try to be patient with each other, listen to what each of your friends and colleagues needs, and support them where possible with a degree of flexibility.
Best of the rest
My top three non-corona stories:
- Are Your Cloud Subscription Prices Really Protected? - Over at UpperEdge, Adam Mansfield has some warnings for us, as we sign and re-up our cloud deals.
- Enterprise agility: Measuring the business impact - McKinsey wants us to know you can't become agile overnight - but the data for an enterprise-wide "agile" approach is piling up.
- Why Your Biometrics Are Your Best Password - The security beat goes on for Louis Columbus: "These additional factors based on 'something you have' or 'something you are' are both much stronger than 'something you know,' such as a password or PIN."
Top picks for thriving/surviving in coronaville, where we all currently live:
- Coronavirus: Amazon suspends all nonessential shipments to warehouses - a just-in-case-you-missed news pick.
- The New Realities of HCM and ERP Implementations in a Changing World - It's too soon to define a new reality for both HCM and ERP, but give Eric Kimberling of Third Stage credit for giving it a whirl: "Each and every organization in the world is being forced into a business or digital transformation of some sort – whether they like it or not."
- How will the IT services world look post-Corona pandemic? Vijay Vijayasankar applies a similar line of questioning to IT services: "If and when work becomes remote, I think we'll have to switch to a different set of measures than billable utilization." About time!
- AWS, IBM launch programs to encourage developers solving COVID-19 problems - Good to see so many vendors stepping up, though we'll all have to do more. Give till it hurts, and give more.
- Revisiting How to Cultivate Connected Organizations in an Age of Coronavirus - His title might be a bit lofty, but what Constellation's Dion Hinchcliffe is saying here is a gut punch: we didn't act on the promise of enterprise social networks when we had a golden chance, and now we're paying a steep price, or eating a big learning curve, take your pick.
- Workplace learning during coronavirus - Workplace training is on the hot seat, and virtual learning is today's only game. McKinsey has your primer.
This isn't really a whiff, but I got a kick out of NASA fixes Mars lander by hitting it with a shovel - that's the kind of old school innovation I can get behind. And Conan O'Brien announced he'll be hosting his show at home via iPhone - what could go wrong? "'The quality of my work will not go down because technically that's not possible,' said O'Brien."
Marketwatch screwed their headline up with Pentagon to block YouTube, curb other streaming services as at-home workers stress network (This only applies to the Pentagon's own employees); Marketwatch ignored my question re: "why not clarify your headline." Their sleazy-easy page views must have trumped my advice.
Alas, I played my own part in propagating fake news/faux outrage this week. A few days ago on Twitter, I mocked a medical company based on this headline from the Verge: "Medical company threatens to sue volunteers that 3D-printed valves for life-saving coronavirus treatments." The Verge has since updated the story, with a totally different headline: Volunteers produce 3D-printed valves for life-saving coronavirus treatments.
How did I get into my own doo-doo? Well, it seems the original story was sourced from Business Insider, which is not exactly the gold standard of journalistic excellence.
The Verge also cited Techdirt, but again, much of the erroneous reporting traced back to one Business Insider article. Credit to The Verge for the detailed follow up - and leaving the original up for comparison.
As for me, well, it's egg-on-face time. Techdirt wrote off their misreporting with "Whatever the details..." That's the wrong attitude entirely. The details are everything, and when we get it wrong, we have to correct, accept our suckiness, and apply more rigor. I'm sure I'll find something legit to put through the spank tunnel soon...
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.