Enterprise hits and misses - enterprise vendors face off against Wall Street, and Davos grapples with future of work contradictions

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed May 31, 2022
Summary:
This week - enterprise software vendors make their case versus Wall Street's tech blues. Retailers deal with inflationary-conscious consumers, and we attempt to extract future of work lessons from Davos' contradictions. As always, your weekly whiffs.

success-failure-road-for-businessman

Lead story - Davos and the contradictory future of work - lessons for the real world?

Every year, Davos flies in luminaries to discuss ambitious problems. Every year, Davos faces the same questions on its internal contradictions, including the "fly to Davos to take a stand on carbon emissions?" social media roastings invariably bestowed upon attendees.

Stuart dodged the omissions roast via his virtual coverage. Future of work took priority in Davos 2022 - the future of work is hybrid, but what does that mean in practice? For now, set aside the pressures of expensive (unused) office real estate and managers who conflate cubicle dwelling with brand loyalty oaths with control issues. What about those whose work isn't tied to physical locales like hospitals or restaurants? Stuart quotes Chano Fernandez, co-CEO Workday, who gets to the heart of our true hybrid work problem:

Clearly, we all as employers need to understand that we need to support employees wellbeing, but we also need to train our people. Leaders and people managers need to manage and coach and guide on this new world... Clearly some people feel fatigue from very long days, and maybe video conference calls. So it's kind of the question of, how do we bring the best of both worlds?

I'd like to think most people accept that framing. As Stuart argues, that still leaves us with a defining issue: how do we achieve that hybrid fluidity? Which leads us to Stuart's Davos 2022 - Earn my commute! Accenture CEO Julie Sweet on the 'omni-connected' employee factor in the return to the office debate, and the surprising Accenture research: those working at offices felt less connected than remote workers. Stuart quotes Accenture:

Unfortunately, too many conversations about organizational culture are still anchored to space and place. Omni-connected experiences that result in a heightened sense of personal—and measurable business—impact truly thrive though vibrant, human relationships.

Which begs the question: omni-what? And how do we omni our way there? Stuart:

The four key principles pitched by Accenture are:

  • Instill modern leadership - lead with empathy, transparency and trustworthiness.
  • Grow a thriving culture - nurture cultural norms that prioritize purpose, authenticity and psychological safety.
  • Enable the agile organization - take flexibility further and scale new ways of working.
  • Empower people through technology - provide access to a robust foundation and the ability to experiment.

After Accenture's cringe-worthy metaverse commercials, this research strikes me as much more grounded. Granted, it still leaves us with the problem of getting there, but, agile buzzwords aside, that's not a bad framework. Stuart: "Bringing omni-channel thinking to the question of work is a useful notion." Agreed, and Accenture's "earn my commute!" (with an explanation point) is one of the best return-to-work calls to action I've seen. Of course, there is still the pressing problem of automation, made urgent by human labor shortfalls. Chris covers that in Davos 2022 - involve workers for successful automation, says WEF. We've got more Davos 2022 missives if you want, including Davos 2022 - it's time for an environmental capitalist revolution, says Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff.

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

Vendor analysis, diginomica style - earnings reports set the tone this week:

Meanwhile, our event analysis and use cases rolled on:

A couple more vendor picks, without the quotables:

Jon's grab bag - Madeline shares a compelling return to work story in What I’d say to me back then - SAP SuccessFactors Maryann Abbajay on her "stinking hard" return to work after a 10-year gap. Finally, Derek easily nabs headline of the week honors with British Government has no idea if the hundreds of billions of pounds it spends are working.

Best of the enterprise web

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

My top seven

Overworked businessman

Whiffs

So Researchers Develop a Quantum-Teleportation Network to Achieve "Quantum Internet" - yeah, nevermind that this is just a baby step towards something that is 10+ years away. By the time the Quantum Internet rolls around, we'll be having too much fun in flying taxis to care. Question: is it fair to call this kind of premature hype techno-comfort food?

Oh, and if you think you're having a rough week, just remember that Without intervention, 'superpigs' could soon invade Alberta cities, researcher warns.

Anyone else want to stack their job interview chops up against my own?

Oh, and finally, nothing beats a clever class prank...

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.

 

Image credit - Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, Businessman Choosing Success or Failure Road © Creativa - all from Adobe Stock.

Disclosure - Workday, Zoho, Planful and Salesforce are diginomica premier partners as of this writing. Kinaxis is a diginomica event hub partner for its Kinexions 2022 event. SAP paid the bulk of my travel expenses to attend SAP Sapphire Orlando 2022.

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