Enterprise hits and misses - HR gets strategic, Amazon kicks return-to-office down the road, and hybrid events gain steam
- This week - More curveballs for the future of work, as office policies change and leaders get challenged. Can HR leaders get more strategic? Can event planners get hybrid events right? Cybersecurity issues also linger. Your whiffs include the usual snark - but with a surprise ending.
Lead story - Strategic HR - leaders face the HR tech challenge.
Remember when the hardest HR software decision was choosing your payroll provider? Well, today's HR tech decisions are a bog pit of competing agendas. Now, add the pandemic and all of its safety and remote work requirements.
How to cope? Start with Brian's Scoping today’s HR IT strategic planning environment:
HR leaders definitely have a prioritization problem today. For a function that is often starved for IT and capital (to upgrade their technology), there may not be enough budget, talent, time or bandwidth to do all that HR needs re: a major technology upgrade. So, how should HR proceed?
One thing Brian can guarantee: yesterday's HR plan isn't going to work. What's needed is an HR IT strategic plan - and it's "not a back of the napkin" effort. But not so fast. As Brian cautions, today's HR tech solutions don't stop with your employees. If your recruitment tools are
a UX slopfest substandard, you'll pay the talent price:
An HR IT strategic plan that exists only to make HR personnel more productive/less frustrated is insufficient. New solutions should boost productivity across the firm. New solutions should elate (not frustrate) non-employees, too. You can’t win the war for talent if your recruiting apps are archaic, ugly, time-consuming and painful for jobseekers to use.
Just one question, Brian: are HR leaders going to need chatbots? Actually, he's got that covered also... (Answer: yes, for employee self-service and the reduction of HR administrivia). Let's get crackin'.
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
- Social Commerce - shopping for e-commerce success at Facebook, Twitter et al as social platforms eye up a long term revenue opp - On a retail podcast, I just (reluctantly) conceded that social selling is going to be a factor in the west, as it is in APAC. Stuart seems to feel the same, but will Shopify gain from this trend, or get thrown under the social commerce bus?
- Monetizing stolen data has never been easier, fueling more expensive breaches - (Cyber) crime pays, explains Kurt: "We are overdue for an updated security model The sustained level of cyberattacks and their increasing sophistication and boldness come against the backdrop of more than a decade of continually increasing enterprise security budgets." Can zero-trust reduce exposure? The data implies yes, but as per the IBM report Kurt dissects here, adoption is low.
- Product-Led Summit - why you should adopt a product-led funnel when you can’t go true product-led - Barb shares lessons from this (virtual) event.
- The UK A-Level ‘COVID-19 algorithm fiasco’ and lessons for the enterprise - Derek breaks down one of the most notorious AI botch jobs of the last couple years: "Sometimes manual processes and human intervention have their place." Indeed.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:
- The future of work is distributed - and that works for Dropbox CEO Drew Houston - Stuart quotes a CEO on a (remote) roll: "We have this new mode of hybrid work and we need a new generation of tools to support it. I think it's a huge opportunity to re-think the fundamental nature of work."
- Jobcase builds a social platform for worker empowerment - is it working out? A Workday Ventures story - Putting people to work, data-driven worker advocacy, and the perils of algorithmic hiring. One of the better presentations I've heard this year.
- Five priorities to measure success - New Relic's new CEO sets out his 'to do' list as the firm continues to transition - Stuart: "Transitioning a company to a new business model is a long journey as various tech vendors have shown over the years. Doing so against a backdrop of a global pandemic is an added complication that no-one needs."
A couple more vendor picks, without the quotables:
- Unit4 targets $10 billion valuation as it gears up customers and partners for ERPx
- How Mozaic faced COVID and ransomware disruptions with cloud ERP - an Acumatica use case - Jon
Jon's grab bag - Gary keeps it real in his latest use case, Taking care of both life and IT essentials at Severn Trent. Derek isn't a fan of siloed approaches: The British Government’s approach to the economy’s productivity problem needs a rethink. He's also not a fan of a compulsive return-to-office (Leaders have lost control of the office - they need to realize choice is key): "I truly believe that the tide has turned and job hunters now have a certain amount of control over what terms will be dictated in the future."
I believe that is 100 percent right - when it comes to top performers and sought-after skill sets. I worry, however, about those who would blossom in remote settings, but may not get the opportunities if knee-jerk management habits hold sway. The debate is overdue.
Best of the enterprise web
My top seven
- Amazon's changing work policies, and the future of work as a moving target - As we adapt to life in the Delta-variant-Vaccine-Economy, the future of work shifts also. That's the context of Amazon’s office workers now won’t return until early 2022 (the previous plan had workers coming back in September). Also: Amazon reinstates mask requirement for all US warehouse workers. These short-term adaptations and office policy changes don't change the impact of flexible work. Essentially, they postpone it.
- Hybrid events - the key to preventing a ‘black hole’ of audience data - We're in dire need of hybrid events this fall. Alas, most vendors and event planners didn't get the memo, and think that a (bland) streaming keynote does the trick. This Enterprise Times piece, authored by The Live Group, has a fresh angle, based on the benefits of earning hybrid event data.
- Why Supply Chain Attacks Are Destined to Escalate - Dark Reading reports back from Black Hat USA: "What happens when these attacks get bigger and affect larger vendors and more of their customers?"
- SOW Assumptions Matter: Small Print Can Lead to Large Problems - care to wade into the nitty-gritty of SOWs? If you want to win the enterprise game, you better! UpperEdge has you covered.
- How and When to Use AI to Augment Traditional Analytics - Instead of lathering AI onto every possible
customer success upsell opportunityuse case in the known universe, why not evaluate each scenario? That's almost too sensible.
- SaaS and the Rule of 40: Keys to the critical value creation metric - Brian Sommer loves to turn up the room temperature on enterprise execs when the topic of venture capital comes up. Here's why his go-to "Rule of 40" question matters.
So I wanted to go with this story about a "Woman thinks she’s getting a free dog in Detroit, winds up with a hyena" - after all, hyenas make such adorable household pets. But turns out the pics were doctored, the story was fake and on we go.
Leave it to Facebook to use an FTC edict to justify behavior the FTC is trying to stop:
FTC slams Facebook for suspending researchers who were studying the social media giant's ad-targeting https://t.co/d1i402VJ9p
-> hmm, using an FTC decree to justify the decision when the FTC opposes what you did makes you look kinda... well, like Facebook
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) August 6, 2021
Proposed new adjective: "Facebooky," as in: that is pretty Facebooky, eh? And, this week in algorithms-r-us:
re: @netflix "It's time to say goodbye."
-> I agree. It's the height of algorithmic arrogance for you to think you know better how to structure "My List" than I do.
Been a good run and I'll move on when you make that change. #personalizationfail pic.twitter.com/McmPknWubl
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) August 7, 2021
The fantasy that machines know how to personalize better than we do is getting pretty tiresome... I'm still gnawing on the "It's time to say goodbye" part. Why, and why now? Because a machine told Netflix it was a good idea, that's why.
Snarking isn't always a dead-end, however:
Don't need any hand holding on Fleets but a "we're sorry" would be nice for buying and unnecessarily neutering @nuzzel when you surely could have maintained it until you finished your navel-gazing on what it could someday be. https://t.co/rpV54dsMEI
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) July 14, 2021
Which led to a nifty result, and a startup collaboration:
So after snarking @nuzzel for selling out to Twitter and (unnecessarily) shutting down, I heard from cool @murmel_social startup.
They are adding features- they added RSS on my request, improved daily/weekly curations. 30 day trial, I'm on paid plan. Recommend for curators.
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) August 3, 2021
Maybe venting Twitter spleen isn't as ephemeral as once thought... I'm out next week, so I'll see in two. Guest writer for hits and misses next week...
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.