Lead story - The fractured employee experience - where does the future of work go from here?
A couple days ago, I took one of my typical shots at Amazon for their
Orwellian attitude to their own employees wacky approach to career opportunities, where delivery drivers are literally peeing in bottles to make their quotas:
14-hour days, no bathroom breaks: Amazon's overworked delivery drivers https://t.co/F3vmeZeIlN
"I would personally get called by a dispatcher every time I stopped to go to the bathroom."
-> still waiting on the "Employee Experience" crowd to explain Amazon's cynical $$$! model
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) March 11, 2021
Well, Brian was already no the case with The incredible, fractured Employee Experience - is EX ready for primetime? He writes:
The one word that shouldn’t be present in describing employee experience is friction. Friction occurs when your jobseekers, alumni and employees are struggling to get answers, get something accomplished or be respected as a human being. Friction can be caused by obtuse leaders, confusing technology, a lack of access to subject matter experts, indifferent colleagues, a bad culture and more. You can’t be having a great employee experience if your work experience is full of those things.
One thing we know: throwing sexy tech and EX happy talk at this problem isn't going to cut it (see: Amazon). So is Brian hopeful about EX? For now, he's playing wait-and-see, given that ERP and HR vendors aren't ready to deliver on a well-thought EX solution:
Niche vendors will continue to offer up pieces of the solution and large vendors will try to duct-tape a number of application enhancements together and market it as an EX solution. These efforts will likely not be as robust as employers need. Worse, vendors won’t take on the psycho-boss problem as that boss could be the software buyer. Bottom line - you should expect no clear leaders for now, but let’s remain hopeful.
Meanwhile, if EX vendors get this done, they'll have to accommodate a range of workforce deployments, something Derek calls out in Mixed response from global companies on work from home opportunity Though some companies are vocal in their determination to head-back-to-office, Derek raises the caution flag:
If you've got the opportunity to work for a firm that offers you flexible working versus one that requires you in the office full time, which would you pick? And these companies are nothing without their talented people. There will be more of this in the months to come and the decision to embrace WFH is just the first step. Then comes the challenge of adopting and embedding collaborative digital frameworks that are sustainable over the long term.
What will those tools will look like? Hopefully better than the collaboration-by-desperation suite we've cobbled together today. Martin gets strategic in Planning for the Future of Work - how remote thinking is helped by a wrestle with Pestle. However enterprises choose to respond, Martin cautions:
Companies will, however, also need to take full account of the fact they are off-loading some of the responsibility for meeting such goals onto remote workers of all types, who should not then be left to carry the burden unsupported.
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
- 'Modern American optimism' in action? Gap's retail digital transformation journey remains a deeply divided story - Stuart sinks into one of the most confounding retail stories: "Gap is a frustrating transformation tale of highs and lows." Also see: Stuart's Hudson's Bay Company's retail transformation update - Saks Fifth Avenue moves from digital fundamentals to SFA!
- Who's 'the most dangerous person in the room'? - how to lead a business in a post-COVID world - Madeline on why the "visionary" leader has suddenly become problematic, when trust/purpose/diversity are at a premium.
- Happy (not so) little clouds - taking stock of a vintage year - Kurt reviews the year when cloud became a pandemic imperative. No surprise: the hyperscalers and collaboration platforms came out ahead. But where do organizations go from here?
- Virtual healthcare app Vida - a standout in the Workday Ventures portfolio - Phil on a nifty industry app that just might live up to "disruptive innovation."
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:
- Be more Zoom! COVID's 'wake-up call' to business will fuel Subscription Economy growth, says Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo - Stuart updates on a vendor that always has withstood some COVID-19 tailwinds, but the future of the Subscription Economy looks pretty good from where I sit.
- Don't think 'lift and shift' when it comes to cloud migration; it needs to be 'lift and transform', says MongoDB CEO Dev Ittycheria - Stuart's MongoDB piece brings out a stump speech I'm partial to: lift-and-shift is for laggards.
- The IFS Cloud Launch event - what is a "moment of service," and why does it matter to customers? - My interview with IFS CTO Christian Pedersen - and why ERP, EAM, and FSM
alphabet soupproduct talk is becoming less important by the day.
A few more vendor picks, without the quips:
- SAP gets the 'full Ellison' as the Oracle CTO names 100 ERP 'defectors' from his oldest adversary - Stuart (bonus: vigorous "vendor wars" comment thread).
- ZohoDay 2021 - post-pandemic business success depends on transnational localism, says Zoho CEO - Phil
- ServiceNow targets low-code developers to rethink enterprise workflows - Derek
- Experience counts - public Qualtrics gets off to a strong start as customers re-shape for a post-COVID world - Stuart
Jon's grab bag - Simulations, data crunching, audio and video analytics? Yep, that's the cutting edge of car racing today, as in Jaguar Racing super-charges its data analytics strategy in a race to the finish. That leads Jess to write: "You don’t have to be a massive petrolhead to find Formula E pretty interesting."
Meanwhile, Derek urges a post-COVID-19 management philosophy shakeup in People need to be at the centre of your post-COVID-19 digital strategy. Key point on "modern learning and development" - not easy to accomplish with a more distributed workforce.
wrote another love letter to event producers continued with my vinegar-laced virtual event series in Virtual event highs and lows - with hybrid events on deck, enterprise events remain a baffling failure of imagination. But I did work in the secrets of a high point, courtesy the ZohoDay analyst event.
Best of the enterprise web
My top seven picks
- More on the Chinese Zero-Day Microsoft Exchange Hack - I know, you're glazed over when it comes to security breach analysis. I am too - but this breach is loaded with enterprise lessons. Schneier on Security weighs in.
- 10 Ways Cybersecurity Can Protect COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Chains - It's not easy to write an optimistic security piece that's practically useful, but Louis Columbus can.
- My Failure In Using Design Thinking To Drive Supply Chain Innovation - How many analysts would have the fortitude to call their own methods out? That's why Lora Cecere is as good as they come.
- Software Renewals and the Art of Negotiation - It's almost impossible to summon a good project from a bad deal. Third Stage has advice: "Did you know that the actual software licensing fees themselves are made-up as well?"
- AWS, GCP, and Azure Hyperscaler Comparison: Be Aware of Key Commercial Terms - Upper Edge has some timely negotiation tips for you, this time with the hyperscalers' contract behavior revealed.
- Is Digital Proof of Vaccination Really an Identity Problem? There are choppy waters ahead for navigating identity, privacy, and digital passports. And: tech marketers'
cotton candy blockhains, decentralized ledgers, and shiny new identity tech are always offered up. For an unflinching view, Constellation Research's Steve Wilson is your guy.
- Better Buying Teams Rely More on Internal Experts - Gartner's Hank Barnes shares some important data points: "For buyers, I think the message is clear - look for experts with deeper knowledge."
Tough setbacks this week: a Man in Cork court accepts that bicycle with leaf-blower attached is no longer a bike. Oh, and: Fugitive comes out of hiding to buy new 'Call of Duty' video game, police say. No word from the fugitive on whether the game was worth it.
As someone who is all done with "our self-driving future" hand waivers, I relished this one a little bit:
Tesla admits its Full Self-Driving technology is a Level 2 system https://t.co/7eHvsiufMp
"Crucially, the driver needs to remain behind the wheel and aware at all times."
-> more deflating autonomous vehicle hype....
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) March 14, 2021
Oh, and Sue Keohan passes along this case of misplaced ambition:
— skeohan 🌊 🇺🇲 peaceful transition of power (@skeohan) March 12, 2021
And yeah, more fun with Gmail filters (and PRs):
I might have to set up a Gmail filter for "revolutionizing." Granted, I would miss the 1 in 10,000 emails where a company is actually revolutionizing something instead of more modest improvements, but it might well be worth it...
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) March 10, 2021
Finally, I was all set to call out the purchase of a $69 million jpeg as a whiff (as well as the blockchain undertones). But, to be fair, this is a good blockchain use case, and, I can't believe I'm typing this, perhaps the best news for visual/digital media artists in a long time.
The $69 Million JPEG https://t.co/f3AMmTQxMO
-> despite the absurdity of $69M tech bubble price, this Planet Money podcast on NFTs does give me a bit of optimism for digital art/image creators where before it's been very grim for image-based digital biz models. cc: @briansolis
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) March 14, 2021
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.