Enterprise hits and misses - JEDI fallout triggers a multi-cloud debate, return-to-office gets mocked, and dyslexia in tech gets a progress report

Profile picture for user jreed By Jon Reed July 19, 2021
Summary:
This week - dyslexia in tech gets an assist from new tools, but the work is far from over. The JEDI contract that wasn't raises multi-cloud questions. The return-to-office debate is far from resolved. As usual, strikethroughs and whiffs to spice up your week.

loser-and-winner

Lead story - Dyslexia and tech - help is at hand, but there's still more to do

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:

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:

A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:

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

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

My top seven

Overworked businessman

Whiffs

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:

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:

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:

As for me, I'm back in my roadshow wheelhouse in Vegas this week. Some things about travel really changed. Fortunately, some haven't:

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.