MyPOV: During the same week we launched dyslexia mode on all diginomica articles, Cath took on the broader issues of dyslexia in tech. Tools to aid neurodiverse workers have come a long way, but tools alone won't solve this. Everett cites one study that found:
73% of job-seekers fail to disclose that they are neurodivergent at the interview stage, due to fear of discrimination - and not everyone feels comfortable enough to do so once they have been taken on either.
If the tools can help bridge that gap, they should be invested in. Cath quotes the CTO of Texthelp:
People can feel uncomfortable in being singled out for support. So it’s generally in the organisation’s best interest to ensure everyone has access to appropriate tools and that they don’t interfere with people’s life and work. Many tools ask you to use a special interface, but it can be a real productivity killer if you’re moving in and out of applications, so there needs to be as little friction as possible.
That's a big part of the motivation behind our dyslexia mode enhancements. But if we don't press on, it will be the industry's loss - as Mark Chillingworth wrote in It's time to concentrate on neurodiversity:
Autism is just one form of neurodiversity, and alongside gender and racial diversity, CIOs need to ensure neurodiversity receives the same level of attention as gender and race in their recruitment and leadership. But this isn't just about being representative, with CIOs and CTOs struggling to find recruits, many believe the neurodiverse community offers a gold mine of talent potential.
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
The Empire Strikes Back - Pentagon slays JEDI with the 'Force' of multi-cloud - The unraveling of the JEDI contract raised one central question: "What the
actual f heck happened?" No one better to dissect than Kurt. He explains:
A charitable interpretation of the Pentagon's JEDI decision takes it at face value as a legitimate attempt to improve the DoD's cloud capabilities, flexibility and cost-efficiency. However, we're talking about the Pentagon here; an organization known for cost overruns, budget gimmicks and backroom dealing.
Scratch further, and there is the whiff of multi-cloud
fever dreaming hype in here as well. So can the Pentagon (and others) achieve that multi-cloud pursuit, versus the ginormous single vendor contract? Kurt has a mixed answer, with the ultimatel goal of automating workload migration between clouds "based on dynamic performance parameters, cost and client location (i.e. cloud bursting, brokering)" still a vision, not a viable reality at this time.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:
- Microsoft Inspire 2021 - Windows 365 from the cloud, Teams adds a free pass to Dynamics 365, sustainability in focus - Phil on a show jammed to the gills with updates. But which ones were meaningful? "Teams is providing new ways of accessing Dynamics 365 data without even having to install the underlying app. In my view, this will prove in hindsight to have been a much more significant move than the 'Cloud PC', given how reluctant many other ERP vendors are to give up the right to charge for access to the data held in their applications."
- ServiceMax finds the path to its next phase with its Salesforce relationship along for the ride - So ServiceMax is going public, but there are some twists to detwist. Stuart on the case: "While there’s long been speculation that Salesforce, whose Ventures arm has a stake in ServiceMax, would be a logical buyer, the immediate direction of travel has now been revealed as a listing on NASDAQ following a 'business combination' with Pathfinder. Upon closing of the transaction in Q4, ServiceMax will become a publicly-traded company, listed under the symbol 'SMAX.' Barua, who will continue to lead the business post-transaction, says it’s taken 'an immense amount of work to get here.'"
- Zoho's new BI platform launches - a customer view on the analytics journey, via the Premo Group - Typically, when a vendor has significant product news, they reach out with embargoed press releases. Zoho reached out to me with a customer. I'll take that any day.
- Welcome to Tercera and the 'third wave' of cloud consultancies - Phil welcomes a new diginomica partner - one that brings some interesting twists of its own.
Oracle Live - My quarterly catchup with Steve Miranda caught him in a spicy/confident mood about customer wins, and AI futures (Oracle Live in review - Steve Miranda on how customers get from legacy to agile, and the potential of voice UI for the enterprise). Madeline posted on one of those customer wins - TTX. I also got a surprising take from Oracle's Maz Songerwala, on support as a competitive advantage.
Salesforce Live - more use cases and inclusive language pursuits. Salesforce Live was content-loaded, and so were we:
- Salesforce Live - rebranding for a Netflix-style data-driven customer experience at Abrdn - Stuart
- Salesforce Live - ensuring customer transparency at insurance claims firm Sedgewick Repair Solutions - Stuart
- Making technical language more inclusive at Salesforce - it matters - Derek
A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:
- Kinaxis to supply chain professionals - 'You're the last person before the customer gets the widget' - Phil
- Coupa will use its platform to drive ESG change amongst customer base - Derek
- Fresh thinking on D&I - how Freshworks first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer plans to strike a positive balance - Madeline
Jon's grab bag - Neil asks, Why is AI harder than we think? A recent paper poses the question
you won't hear in the next exuberant enterprise keynote - is another AI Winter on the horizon? Neil says no - and explains why. Finally, Derek sews up the "tell us how you really feel" award this week, via this unsparing headline: ID verification for social media as a solution to online abuse is a terrible idea.
Best of the enterprise web
My top seven
- Google wants people in office, despite productivity gains at home - Doesn't this headline perfectly sum up the herky-jerky state of our return-to-work policies?
- The Five Fundamental Changes that have Reset how we Work - Over at HfS, Phil Fersht puts it through the contextual grinder: "Locations have become irrelevant, as access to talent takes center stage." Are we headed to the "office culture wars," where those who believe talent should thrive from anywhere dig in their heels - even as (some) corporations rip out cubes and try to turn their offices into (enforced) collaborative hangs?
- Google herds FLoC back to the lab for undisclosed post-third-party-cookie ad tech modifications - "La Reg" makes a rare appearance in hits/misses for this peek under the hood of Google's
half-baked 'nobody appreciates our monopolistic commitment to hoarding our user data' retreatsurprise about-face. I guess third party cookies are going to be around for a while longer...
- AI has become a design problem - "[Create] tools that make the development of AI systems less of a raw engineering chore and more of a creative and operational task for the business itself. This is where design is critical." I'll go with that - if it's achievable. Err, not so fast:
- Experts Doubt Ethical AI Design Will Be Broadly Adopted as the Norm Within the Next Decade
- How to Become an Effective Business and Digital Transformation Leader - Eric Kimberling on what makes a good (and not-so-special) transformation leader: "You need to be leery of buzzwords like agile, best practices, or off-the-shelf capabilities. Those generally don’t exist." Can we get an "Amen"?
- How to Handle Security Incidents and Data Breaches - Easier said than done, but we'll take the pointers anyhow...
Before the goofier whiffs, I have a nit to pick with HBR's Don’t Let Employees Pick Their WFH Days. This is the kind of thing that is spasmodically shared on social channels without objections. Well, I object:
Don’t Let Employees Pick Their WFH Days https://t.co/iiT6JUlBp1
-> good points on coordinating team schedules BUT if you don't promote remote employees as a pattern then you have a culture/mgt problem, no excuses for that are acceptable. Why aren't you promoting remote workers?
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) July 14, 2021
Yeah, if you hang around the office currying favor, you'll have a better career - for a mediocre organization. And who says teams are geographically condensed? A Redditor said it better than I did:
The company I work for admitted we were more productive at home and we had a record year in 2020. The CEO still forced everyone back to the office because he wants us to collaborate more. We are now sitting at our desks with masks on webex’ing into meetings.
Is that the return-to-office quote of the year?
Meanwhile, the hardcore, enterprise-scale blockchain use cases are really piling up:
Christiano Ronaldo Wins AntChain's 'Blockchain-Trophy' at Euro 2020 - https://t.co/AKjlUhKRYS
"We have used blockchain technology to permanently preserve the wonderful scoring moments of the top scorers like him"
-> no other technology could have done it, incredible. #lolz
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) July 12, 2021
Oh, and remember how robots were getting so sophisticated as well? Well, they're good at some things. I mean, some really important things, like grabbing the yellow ping pong balls out of a bin at trade shows. Over to you, Kurt:
We’re a long way from Commander Data. Anthropomorphic robots still can’t reliably complete basic tasks.
“It was such a waste of money. I still regret it,” https://t.co/pzezOBq3sW
— Kurt Marko (Live long and prosper 🖖) (@krmarko) July 14, 2021
As for me, I'm back in my roadshow wheelhouse in Vegas this week. Some things about travel really changed. Fortunately, some haven't:
Yeah, savor every last corn chip. No, every last grain of corn in the bottom of your crinkly crinkle bag. Whoops, I think you missed some grains of corn. Ahh yes, drink it down, lift the bag up to your mouth again and whack-whack-whack-it. So glad we sat together #joysofairtravel
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) July 18, 2021
Think I can top that on my way home later this week? We're about to find out...
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.