Enterprise hits and misses - headless meets serverless, and Microsoft is on the clock with TikTok

Profile picture for user jreed By Jon Reed August 10, 2020
This week - headless meets serverless, in search of frictionless - is it more than buzzword bingo? Microsoft and Twitter kick tires on TikTok, but the Trump administration has them on the clock. In your whiffs, nudists chase wild boars, while AI fails a Minority Report test.


Lead story - Headless meets serverless - a frictionless future, or buzzwords run amock?

MyPOV: Prior to smartly escaping the satirical wrath of hits and misses taking a well-earned vacation, Phil threw a bone to buzzword bingo players everywhere with his latest, Headless meets serverless - a tierless architecture for frictionless enterprise.

As the prime instigator of diginomica's frictionless enterprise model, there's no one better to tell us: why should we care about this buzzword fusion? Phil:

Today's emergent systems are headless because the presentation layer isn't fixed and therefore the user experience can take many different forms.

But are these really "headless"? Phil anticipates that objection:

Rather than headless, they are many-headed, with unlimited choice as to how to present the user experience.

And what about that techno cotton candy somewhat misleading term we call "serverless"?

The underlying systems are serverless because the servers on which all of the computing runs are hidden away behind a layer of application programming interfaces (APIs).

Can't we more accurately call this: manipulating servers on-demand, well beyond your own data center? (Granted, that's not as sexy as "serverless"). Phil:

Instead of being limited to what you are able to build and provision from your own servers, there is a global network of on-demand services at your disposal.

But why go into these technical weeds, as we do from time to time on diginomica? Phil again:

While this article is mainly focused on emerging technology patterns, these are important only because they enable a new, more connected, agile and composable approach to business operations and customer engagement.

Serve customers better, with a more fluid approach to IT operations. That works. Phil concedes we're closer to the beginning of this ambition than the end. But as for his argument that the tech is much better than the underwhelming approaches of the past (e.g. SOA), I'll buy that.

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 quotables:

Jon's grab bag - Neil was vintage this week, firing off a very meaty supply chain post, Wrangling complex supply chains with Chaos Theory, before ripping through AI hyperbole in AI in healthcare - will it help or just make things worse?.

Chris went for a rant but wound up far too thoughtful/erudite for true rant status: Friday Rant - Rise of the Rogue-Bots? Good read regardless. Barb added to the mix with a terrific piece on false distinctions: Buyer enablement vs. sales enablement - are they different strategies?

Finally, Brian kept HR managers close to the hot coals of his enterprise grill in Brian Sommer's Month in Brief - July - complete with strikethroughs to tide readers over while I was out. Speaking of which, if you missed Derek's first-ever fill-in for me on hits/misses, check it here.

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

Lead story - The clock ticks on TikTok in the U.S. as rumors swirl

MyPOV: It's rare for a consumer tech story to get top billing in hits/misses, but this one has loads of reverberations: Trump signs orders banning US business with TikTok owner ByteDance and Tencent’s WeChat. As TechCrunch reports, it's about as clear as mud:

Both orders will take effect in 45 days, but (and this is a key point) the executive orders are vague and confusing because they say Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross will not identify what transactions are covered until then. It's also still uncertain how the executive orders will affect the apps' operations in the U.S. or Tencent's other holdings.

As for TikTok, rumors about Twitter's interest abound: Twitter 'looking' at a possible TikTok tie-up. But acquisition interest from Microsoft has been stronger, which makes this piece from Windows Central interesting: Bill Gates calls potential Microsoft-TikTok deal 'poison chalice' . (Gates is wary of the Trump administration's role, as well as the challenges of running a social media company).

And why should Microsoft care? Here's one take on that: 3 reasons why it makes sense for Microsoft to take over TikTok in the U.S. I don't care much about TikTok one way or the other, perhaps I should. But with all the focus on the problem of Big Tech, it looks like U.S./China tech tensions - and their potential economic fallout - may wind up the bigger 2020 story.

On cybersecurity

Honorable mention

Overworked businessman


There was no contest in headline-of-the-week honors this time around: Nudist chases wild boar who snatched his laptop.

Meanwhile, Pink Floyd lyrics come in handy:

And for those who worry Minority Report is coming true, maybe not so fast: A British AI Tool to Predict Violent Crime Is Too Flawed to Use. Turns out the training data had a "flaw."  

A coding error was found in the definition of the training data set which has rendered the current problem statement of MSV unviable

No problem, then, just fix the code. Err, not so fast:

We cannot say, with certainty, what the final model will look like, if indeed we are able to create a suitable model.

Forget Minority Report. For AI and Tom Cruise movies, we haven't even gotten to Eyes Wide Shut yet - I think we're still in Risky Business. 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.