MyPOV: Nothing gets a
(cow)chip on my shoulder stick in my craw quite like companies claiming they can't find qualified tech workers, while overlooking diverse talent pools, apparently beyond their imagination or resolve. So I read Kurt's latest missive with interest. He quotes a recent report by Janco Associates:
The rate of increase in the number of new IT positions is slowing down due to the difficulty in finding qualified candidates.
But Kurt wants to know: is this a genuine shortage, or a mismatch between the tech skills needed and the available supply? Multiple employment reports lead Kurt to this conclusion:
The BLS figures suggest that employers are having trouble finding suitable candidates for new jobs and are building up an inventory of unfilled positions.
Kurt's asserts that unfilled positions hinder economic growth.
It's tough to bemoan a job market that's too robust, but when the hiring process for tech positions stretches out to a quarter or more, it becomes a constraint on growth and the execution of strategic projects.
I'd add that skills shortages actually put projects in peril, particularly those of the next-gen/digital variety, where in-house staff can't quickly compensate. Kurt points out that boosting salaries only works to a point. At some point, scarcity kicks in. Salaries may not lure the top consultants at any rate.
What to do? Kurt sings my tune here:
Business leaders should redouble any existing training programs and actively recruit those within their organizations with solid technical backgrounds that could be adapted to address today's IT problems.
Exactly. With all the lip service to talent, companies seem to think you can throw money at it. Once you've tried that, you throw up your hands and bemoan the shortage. But the real talent differentiators are those who find creative ways to solve their own talent pipeline, whether it's talent marketplaces, apprenticeships, letting go of obsessions with on-site workers in favor of virtual teams, or perhaps the Zoho extreme of creating your own university (all of which have been documented on diginomica).
Talent shortages are real, but the excuses for not solving them remain incredibly weak - and exclude too many.
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
- Digital transformation in banking - did we just decide not to talk about it? - Stuart on a sector that somehow went digital (sorta), but without transforming: "The burden is now on the traditional banks to deliver the digital capabilities that customers clearly want in order to strengthen their hold on their captive base."
- CCE 2019 - 3M, Shell, Halliburton and Unibap weigh in on their AI results to date - It's hardly unique to hear about the game changing virtues of AI or IoT from the keynote stage. But to hear companies talk about their results to date, warts and all - that's considerably more rare. I give my take from Constellation Research Connected Enterprise 2019. Give me a COE (Center of Excellence) over a POC (proof of concept) anyday...
- The maturity rise of content marketing - our survey says…slowly - even the true believers in content marketing must admit that the ROI of such ventures has been hard to nail down. According to the latest data from CMI, that's finally starting to change. Barb has the story.
- Agile transformation at Vodafone - not swallowing 'The Bible' - Agile-resistant
waterfall addictsdefenders of the norm should get a load of this use case from Jess: "Today, the Vodafone team deploys software every day with zero downtime, in a ‘release on demand’ model."
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage
- VMworld Barcelona - a lock-in myth debunked as cloud management moves up the layers of abstraction - Does the future of infrastructure resemble a new form of cloudy lock-in, or multi-cloud flexibility? VMware makes the case for the latter, with the aid of Kubernetes adoption - Martin gives his take from Barcelona.
- Questions for next week's SAP's special Capital Markets Day - What will the two freshly-minted co-CEOs have to say in their financial markets debut? Den breaks out the issues, as we gear up for this
ebitda festivalWall Street Bacchanalia. This particular event also has big implications from the SAP customer side - Den explains why. Also check John Appleby's trenchant guest post, Practical advice for SAP Business Suite customers facing 2025 end of life.
- Workday gets serious about spend, acquires source-to-pay vendor Scout RFP - Phil on a SaaS powerhouse flexing its acquisition chops (again): " I've highlighted the focus on automating spend processes at Rising because my sense is that part of the thinking behind this acquisition comes out of Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri's belief that enterprises must harness the power of machine learning to survive."
A few more vendor picks, without the quips:
- Zoho zips up digital teamwork with WorkDrive document sharing - Phil
- Looker JOIN 2019 - Namely's Alexander Jia shares the new rules of modern BI projects - Jon
- New Relic CEO Lew Cirne - programmability will be a competitive differentiator, but it will take time - Stuart
- Fall event highlights - DB Schenker in pursuit of the predictive supply chain, with Infor Nexus - Jon
Jon's grab bag - Jerry parses data that confirms what many of us have felt (with dread/chagrin) for a while: Social media is a threat to freedom and democracy, human rights group warns. Government surveillance and election manipulations are a toxic social media cocktail... On the happier side, technology-for-good gets an unexpected boost via Derek in Using the power of open data in New York City to take on dodgy landlords.
Retail food behemoths aren't done fiddling with technology yet, as Stuart reports in When AI meets the burger and the bean - Starbucks and McDonald's pursuit of personalization. But Stuart, when Starbucks has to grill me my name every time I place my order, that's the
fragilistic power of AI cheating on personalization right? I guess I should be chuffed that "Deep Brew" is coming, to free up associates to be my pals. Make that a triple shot please...
Best of the rest
MyPOV: It's extremely rare to get an enterprise blog post so
brilliant absurd provocative and imagination-jolting that I'm forced to stop what I'm doing and rethink my fundamental views. In one of the most original posts of the year, Josh Greenbaum accomplished all that and more. Josh does several things in one piece:
- Connects a bunch of dots in an uncanny way, falling just short of
Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theoryasserting these multi-company executives movements were all orchestrated.
- Argues that the recent moves, particularly the new closeness of Microsoft, SAP and, arguably, ServiceNow, create alliances we should be watching closely.
- Greenbaum draws bold conclusions/speculations based on those alliances, as in, SAP/Microsoft/ServiceNow "become a formidable force in enterprise software, positioned to sweep aside the likes of Amazon's AWS, Google's GCP, Salesforce.com, and Oracle."
You can debate points one and three till a
blockchain project goes live the last mainframe is unplugged. What's important to customers is the second point. We need to understand these alliances because they potentially impact customer choices, platform lock-in, and integration/app compatibility. Kudos to Josh for bringing to bear a narrative that brings all this to a head.
After a point, the "vendor wars" theme becomes tiring and irrelevant to the customers we are trying to serve. But as long as Greenbaum has the popcorn popped, a few points from this Vegas couch:
- I reject a "Game of Thrones" model for enterprise software. There will be multiple "winners," and if there aren't, customers will lose.
- The needs of verticals and micro-verticals will ensure the enterprise software market of the future will have many successful players, rather than a couple of giants pushing other vendors into submission.
- SAP also has a lot of pals at Google; I'm not sure SAP's leadership wants to "sweep" those aside. And I'm not sure the AWS elephant can be swept. Elephants are heavy.
- I believe Salesforce and Oracle, while imperfect, have a lot of enterprise apps momentum right now and aren't particularly vulnerable to being pushed aside. Why are the supposed victors in Josh's scenario the ones being hounded, err, empowered by activist investors?
- Workday will have something to say about all this. So will many "best-of-breed" SaaS solutions that make all these vendors look long in the tooth.
- I don't believe Bob Stutz left Salesforce to build a landing runway at SAP for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. I don't believe SAP is anywhere near ready to surrender their goal of redefining and claiming customer experience via C/4HANA. Offloading a big chunk of that to Microsoft Dynamics CRM might be a fallback, but I'd be shocked to learn it's the current plan.
- If SAP has planned all of this, I'll be really impressed. To me they are on the defensive, reeling from a series of questionable moves that leave them trailing in the construction of truly next-gen, large enterprise SaaS ERP (Oracle and Workday have integrated FI/HR SaaS, SAP doesn't. Salesforce and Oracle have (mostly) integrated CX clouds, SAP doesn't - thus Greenbaum's Dynamics CRM + SAP CX scenario). That said I would not underestimate SAP's ability to rebound, or their leadership youth infusion - or their SAP ERP customer base loyalty for that matter. But if this is planned, I owe Mr. Greenbaum a cocktail of his choosing.
And if Microsoft acquires SAP, well, that would make Greenbaum's post look prophetic indeed. Ready for Dreamforce, anyone?
- Improving Endpoint Security Needs To Be A Top Goal In 2020 - Companies holding off on endpoint security investments have run out of time, and Louis Columbus has the data to prove it.
- Most automation strategies are failing because they aren't impacting customer experiences. We must broaden beyond the back office - Phil Fersht has been down this rhetorical road before, but it's always a treat when he opens up a can of whoop ass on RPA vendors.
- Will robots take your job before you even graduate? Sensational headline from McKinsey but definitely a real problem - what happens when the entry level roles graduates used to climb ladders from get removed?
- DevOps now most sought-after skill, and with good reason - Joe "DevOps" McKendrick crunches new data with DevOps on the top of the skills heap, above data science.
- 5 New Significant Developments in the Hertz vs. Accenture Case - You know that Facebook relationship status "it's complicated?" Well, that applies to this legal battle also. UpperEdge's John Belden is on the case.
- We have the tools and technology to work less and live better - but why don't we? Aeon.co has some ideas to ponder.
So there was this:
S. Carolina Man: McDonald’s Sweet Tea Came with Weed Inside https://t.co/VRDQDTYiFb
-> and the problem is? :)
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) November 9, 2019
Purely coincidentally, Greenbaum was on the case here too:
He had never had marijuana, and was high as a kite.....yeh, right. And how much did he pay for the “extra lemon” that he couldn’t taste? #blowingsmoke
— Josh Greenbaum (@josheac) November 10, 2019
Another installment in our intelligent algorithmic futures: Twitter's Current Top Trending Hashtags: #forcedanal and #creampie. More "smart" innovations for our legal system to unravel:
Driverless Tesla coasting along mall parking lot raises questions, causes confusion | CBC News https://t.co/mcw3VoknNs
"Lawyer says there are no laws against what he saw in the video and doesn't know what charges would apply if the driverless car ran over someone."
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) November 8, 2019
Then again, humans don't need much help from smart tech to whiff:
Woman Drives Into Open Landscaping Trailer In Northampton, Blames Foggy Windshield https://t.co/xR5LijA93C
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) November 8, 2019
A bonehead alerts authority weighed in:
So much to love about this #BoneheadAlert. A rare double bonehead alert: the auto driver (a rare female bonehead), who ran into the trailer, and the driver of the trailer who hid in the swamp.
— Frank Scavo (@fscavo) November 8, 2019
And the hits keep on coming:
Another whiff candidate for @jonerp's collection - could end up a real bonus week at this rate.
— ⒹⒺⓃ•Ⓗ ㋡ (@dahowlett) November 8, 2019
Den is referring to this dandy, via Maggie Fox:
That’s Hyatt. A hymen is the clear substance produced by the degeneration of epithelial or connective tissues. https://t.co/vyB8I0dknm
— Maggie Fox (@maggiefox) November 7, 2019
I could do this all day, but I don't want to keep you from your espresso... Happy Veterans Day to our US readers. 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.