MyPOV: So Derek peeled himself off his not-so-accommodating airplane seat, and scoured for patterns across a motherload of enterprise events. His top four:
- reducing friction
- multi-cloud goes mainstream
- infrastructure vendors move up the stack
- productivity and the future of work
I was struck by an underlying theme: both customers and vendors realize that a narrow technical upgrade doesn't get it done. Take Derek on the problem of stagnant productivity, and how throwing our wondermuss technology at the problem doesn't seem to be translating:
It’s not enough to implement the tools, you’ve got to change the way you operate and work too.
Most of these are fueled by customers exerting more choice, and pushing back against lock-in. As Derek wrote on infrastructure vendors moving up the stack:
There's not a huge amount of value add for a buyer if the technology they're procuring is a commodity... This is why we are beginning to see the likes of MongoDB, DataStax and Google Cloud Platform all think about what additional services that they can bring to the table - moving up the stack - to ensure that they remain strategic for an enterprise buyer, not just a small piece of the puzzle.
Agreed: these trends provoke buyers to think more strategically prior to moving ahead with tech du jour, or following the agenda of their prime SI. But as I look back on my spring events, I see a few troubling issues that vendors aren't solving:
- "Customer data platforms" are being pushed as the way to solve customer experience - but vendors still aren't doing nearly enough to help customers with their arduous data plumbing.
- Security is still an afterthought at events, with insufficient attention to identity management and securing vulnerable devices.
- SaaS vendors aren't doing enough to reduce perceptions of lock-in, often using the same heavy-handed, multi-year contract negotiations buyers were fed up with from their "legacy" vendors.
- Too many celebrity keynotes. Customers want to network and learn, not sit on their tailbones for hours.
That gives vendors plenty to work on when the fall event season rolls around.
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
- 3 big trends join up: XaaS + digital teamwork + frictionless enterprise - Phil adds gristle to a think piece kind of week on diginomica, with his latest views on three converging themes of import.
- Whatever happened to the CIO? Cath delves into some disconcerting numbers on the decreasing presence of CIOs at the board level. Nutshell: be strategic or be gone.
- Upping enterprise security with continuous authentication - Kurt continues his security tactics and wake up calls diginomica series. If we relax into two factor authentication, we're gonna lose.
- Hovis CIO bakes in cloud for efficiency - hard to resist the bakery puns as Mark breaks bread on another use case.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:
- Box - the one source of truth for content in the SaaS enterprise? - Derek on Box CEO Aaron Levie's "Convincing pitch to a room full of CIOs in London this week," well beyond file sharing - into the collaboration that the frictionless enterprise depends on.
- Optimizing plant maintenance at Fonterra - real ROI by the numbers - Den filed an exceptional use case via Neptune Software's annual user event: "A manager who travels for 25 hours to deliver a 20-minute presentation has got skin in the game."
Meanwhile, I was experiencing
the cultural enlightenment of the Las Vegas strip getting the lowdown on why "there is no back office" at Coupa Inspire:
- Customers get real about spend management transformation
- World Vision Canada on the art of modernizing procurement - and their views on Coupa Pay
A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:
- Accenture CEO David Rowland - why technology is the engine of growth in 'The New' - Stuart
- Aera raises $80m to speed demand planning for the Unilevers of the world - Phil
Jon's grab bag - Stuart reports on Europe's attempts to distance itself from the
namby pamby inaction of the U.S. and the Minority Report dystopia of China in Action now! European Commission group calls for AI policies to differentiate from the US and China. Barb explains why we can't get content marketing progams right.
Den found another
guinea pig mark foil expert to don a headset for a fruitful conversation in A conversation with G2's Mike Fauscette - how data-driven analysis bridges the gap between IDC and Gartner. Speaking of fruitful convos, I apply spring lessons to an ongoing debate in Business as usual is overhyped - revisiting my digital transformation debate with Brian Solis.
Best of the rest
MyPOV: Scavo's advisory firm Strativa has long advised clients to standardize on vendor software and stay out of the software business. But now this advice is shifting. In this meaty post, Scavo explains why:
- Packaged software has become expensive.
- It is difficult to replace.
- It is inflexible.
No, packaged software isn't going away. Scavo:
None of this means the death of packaged software. In all of these examples, these organizations are still implementing and maintaining ISV packages for things like general ledger and payroll. But we are increasingly seeing buy-vs.-build decisions at the edge coming down in favor of build-your-own-system.
I'd argue digital
darlings bullies natives Facebook, Google, Netflix and so on have been employing this approach for years. But as Scavo points out, development tools are democratizing the build option. From low code to web APIs to open source, the cost of custom build has gone down.
It's becoming rare to find companies with sizable IT investments who view IT only as a cost center/efficiency driver. As IT is perceived as strategic, app-building comes along with it. However, it may be the "middle edge" is the sweet spot. Customers don't just look to vendors for payroll.
For example, I find many customers looking to vendors for AI-enabled capabilities out of the box, where their own data science skills/talent are lacking. When those skills become more mainstream, it's now "middle edge" and accessible for custom builds.
I think where Scavo is headed here is that customers are asserting choice by taking more IT ownership. Outsourcing isn't over, but the outsourcing era is. Build is an appealing option. We're all in the software business now.
Packaged vendors should heed the wake up call: customers don't just want cloud delivery, they want flexible pricing and ease of integration with their own cloud/mobile apps, or whatever competitor's product they feel like implementing. The more vendors cling to an increasingly stale SaaS pricing/contract model, the more customers will build.
- DOJ expands its Boeing 737 Max probe to the Dreamliner, report says - as this Boeing story continues to unravel, with nothing less than our confidence in the airline industry at stake, tired lessons about IT failures and poor design that Boeing should know by heart keep surfacing. Also see: Boeing’s 737 Max Software Outsourced to $9-an-Hour Engineers.
- Hertz Piles on Accenture with Updated Lawsuit - UpperEdge's John Belden updates on a disconcerting lawsuit: ""Hertz took aim at Accenture talent and trashed the team that was working on the Hertz program." Yikes.
- What Does an AI Ethicist Do? - Unsuccessfully repressing the snarky urge to say "Gets ignored a lot."
- Defining a public-cloud strategy: An interview with Michael Orno of Denmark's Statens IT - Staying out of the public cloud is "not a realistic option."
- Who Is Paying for the Value - Dial down the "value chain" hyperbole, advises Hank Barnes. "If you can’t connect to the compelling reason for the budget holders to act, then it doesn’t matter."
- These Seven Emotions Aren't Deadly - They're Your Secret Career Superpowers - an alternative to heads-down "work martrydom."
- Security Metrics that Actually Matter in a DevOps World - Reluctantly including this post due to the
abuseuse of the buzzard buzzphrase DevSecOps.
- Facebook, Libra, and the Long Game - Ben Thompson shifts from "I was right" posts to "I was wrong." And the reason he was wrong is worth noting.
This week in "the end times are here" - Taco Bell's pop-up hotel sold out in two minutes. Oh, and speaking of AI ethicists, I guess their input doesn't extend to the DeepNude app, fueled by a malevolent algorithm? More AI ethicists needed:
Police cameras to be augmented with junk-science "microexpression" AI lie-detectors https://t.co/rLYhqNl2dX
-> "micro-expressions," the cutting edge of invasive facial recognition tech
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) June 30, 2019
I was lucky not to be a part of this one:
Dozens of drivers get stuck in mud after Google Maps reroutes them into empty field https://t.co/XaCVPMklm7
-> that could have been me :)
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) June 26, 2019
Finally, in the social media absurdity file, LinkedIn is evidently tweaking its algorithm to be more in line with user interests. Which caused me to tweet:
LinkedIn Tweaks Its Algorithms to Skew Feeds to User Interests https://t.co/1FXTZCDQwB
-> it needs more than a tweak. Don't think anyone has ever said to me, "Sorry I didn't call you back, but I got distracted by the fascinating and exciting things in my LinkedIn feed."
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) June 28, 2019
LinkedIn is quoted as saying:
"The criteria for posts showing up in members' feeds can be summed up as "people you know, talking about things you care about," said LinkedIn Senior Director of Product Management Pete Davies."
Oh, you mean, like this one?
Yeah, this is going well. I think the real problem is LinkedIn doesn't know me. Hey, at least they have a big ol' data lake with my interest map in it. Where they got Apple bag carrier I'd love to know... Maybe for 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.