Enterprise hits and misses - the fall event season kicks into high gear, but buyer uncertainty lingers

Profile picture for user jreed By Jon Reed September 16, 2019
This week - fall event season kicks into overdrive. But: the macro-economic picture leads us to where vendors don't want to go: buyer uncertainty. Hadoop dies and is reborn (kind of), I score a self-whiff, and apologize to Eddie Money.

King Checkmate

Lead story - Uncertainty, Brexit, and big tech privacy wars - welcome to the macro-economic enterprise

MyPOV: If there's one overriding theme of the 2019 enterprise, it's that Google and Facebook are going to keep exploiting data until digitally illiterate tech regulators intrude and ruin our collective lives macro-economic trends impact everything we're trying to get done on our projects, day-to-day.

With a no-deal Brexit looming, Den looks to capture buyer sentiment in Uncertainty and Brexit crimping technology demand? Probably.

As Den reports, issues such as the trade war with China and Brexit leave Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri taking a "wait and see" approach. That type of caution has implications across enterprise tech. Den also quotes Peter Coffee, Salesforce partner contributor to diginomica: 

It's not just Brexit: the brakes are being engaged on any investment that's affected by uncertainty as to supply chains and costs, cross-border talent mobility, and/or (what used to be considered) extreme weather events. So, *any* investment *anywhere*.

If that's not a definitive action plan, well - that's exactly Den's point. Yet buyers must make tech investment decisions regardless. Another question not answered: how far will regulators go with big tech? That uncertainty will last through the presidential election cycle in the U.S. Though as Stuart updates, U.S. (and UK) lawmakers aren't waiting: More data privacy incidents from Facebook, Google, YouTube spark a fight back for the high ground.

Meanwhile, Chris takes the EMEA temperature in Regulating digital markets - do we tame the big beasts or set them free? He quotes a deliciously edgy Philip Marsden, Professor of Law and Economics at the College of Europe in Bruges. Marsden co-authored the Furman Review, a UK digital policy document. Marsden:

Google is a giant baby. They’re in our house. We’re the daddy.

Great line - but I'm not convinced it's true, in the U.S. or the UK. Neither is Chris:

The real answer is that market regulation needs to be rethought in its entirety to suit the digital age.

Yep - uncertainty reigns. But: businesses that allow uncertainty to lead to inaction will find themselves with an even more uncertain future. Call it the uncertainty paradox, the title of my upcoming brain fart bestseller.

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:

A few more vendor picks, without the quips:

Jon's grab bag - I opened another can of whoop ass satirical howl in the wind to event organizers in How to do the blandest and most irrelevant press conference of the event season. There's still time to fix this folks!

Brian was accumulating spleen for his fall venting laid up in August, but that didn't stop him from issuing his diginomica special, Brian Sommer's Month in Brief - (flu-ridden) August. Finally, Phil ruminated on how customer success measurement is impacting companies across the industry - including diginomica (Customer success changes everything about how your business works).

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

Lead story - Hadoop lives on - even if we don't know what it is 

MyPOV: We've had a healthy debate on the future of Hadoop on these pages. It's a story of buyer disillusionment with overhyped solutions - one that left customers confused about how to make open source Hadoop work for them, and when to buy packaged Hadoop services.

Mix in: how to make sense of the need for real-time analytics - and cloud data migrations. Meanwhile, Hadoop vendors acquired each other, and spastically rewired their own narratives on the fly while preening for Wall Street, as MapR got sold for spare parts. Raise your hands if you're clear.

Cloudera CPO Arun C Murthy raised most of these issues in his interesting post Hadoop is Dead, Long Live Hadoop. Though you may be even more confused about what Hadoop actually is after you read it. Murthy articulates a set of "Hadoop Philosophies" that anyone with a forward-thinking view of the enterprise would agree with. How they relate directly to Hadoop as a data platform - I'll leave you to explain that to me.

Where Murthy's post resonates is in his conclusion: this is about solving customer data problems - "empowering people to turn data into insights." Whether we call it Hadoop or not is immaterial. Meanwhile, IBM's Vijay Vijayasankar went for the non-sensational blog title reply, Who killed Hadoop?. Pretty sure they both agree on this point from Vijayasankar:

Data is largely an unsolved problem in the large enterprise world.

Okay, so what's next? My read on Vijayasankar's thinking is that "Hadoop" is a way of thinking about managing vast amounts of data, in a flexible way that serves business users without draining IT. As such, "Hadoop" as we know it can both die and continue to evolve at the same time. But, for these big data projects to stick to the ROI wall, Vijayasankar says these four Hadoop project missteps of the past must get fixed: 

  • Too many options for clients to choose from
  • Unskilled people implementing it
  • Multiple changes in market positioning
  • High operational complexity

We better get to work.

Honorable mention


Overworked businessman


The Register teed off on Facebook's latest privacy gaffe: Facebook: Remember how we promised we weren't tracking your location? Psych! Can't believe you fell for that. I thought this was worse though: Period Tracker Apps Used By Millions Of Women Are Sharing Incredibly Sensitive Data With Facebook.

Couldn't resist this one:

So, scientists now think that the legendary Nessie of Loch Ness might have just been a giant eel. Is there no respect for superstition anymore? There is *no way* the ominous Nessie of my youth is a freaking eel on a testosterone kick. But you have to love this unflinching scientist on the PR trail:

I am unashamedly using the monster as a way to attract interest so I can talk about the science I want to talk about.

Go on sir, go right ahead and blind us with your science. Meanwhile, I could probably have a whole section in whiffs for diginomica typos; I'd be in there most weeks. This one was kind of a doozy though:

Infor CFO whiff

Hey, I was technically correct - Infor also changed CFOs when the CFO became CEO, but nah - that's a nice odorous whiff on my part.

I used to poke fun at Eddie Money for writing the worst two lines in the history of rock n' roll, the opening salvo of "Take Me Home Tonight"

I feel the hunger
It's a hunger

But now that he's finally cashed in his Two Tickets to Paradise, I wouldn't mind hearing Eddie getting a little nervous one more time when she took her coat off, via his best song, Shakin'. Anyone who could laugh at himself when the critics roasted him with the likes of "Eddie No Money" and "Freddy Foodstamps" is good by me. Shake on dude...

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.

Image credit - Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, King Checkmate © mystock88photo - all from Fotolia.com.

Disclosure - Oracle, Oracle NetSuite, Infor, Acumatica, IFS, Zoho, Workday and Salesforce are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.

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