Lead story - Can co-code fill the IT automation (and skills) gap?
In this pressurized economy, IT teams confront two issues: automation and skills. As IT looks to go beyond cost center, the automation imperative only grows. Can co-code help? Phil examines the progress of low-code vendors in Co-code - solving for IT shortages, no-code governance and a composable future. He lays out the problem:
Instead of running at cross-purposes, business and IT teams need to unite in a shared strategy that maximizes the pace and impact of automation, while minimizing wasted effort and unintended disruption. The core principles of how to make this strategy work are now beginning to emerge, based on two enabling trends.
But do we need more tech jargon, e.g. "co-code"? Let's start by defining it. Phil writes:
The first of these is the adoption of a more componentized approach to IT, which makes it possible for low-code and no-code tools to be built on the same building blocks used in IT by professional developers. The second is a more collaborative approach to automation and data projects in which pro coders work alongside business users of no-code and low-code tools — we call this co-code.
The 'co' in co-code stands for both of these ingredients — 'co' as in collaboration, and 'co' as in composable.
One fruitful area is automating ERP workflows. Historically, ERP vendors have not done nearly enough to provide business users with the tools to automate their own workflows. Worse: even ERP developers found this process cumbersome. The result? Technical debt and interminable "project status" meetings. But as Phil notes, that's changing. I'm particularly interested in vendors that don't require you to upgrade to the spiffiest cloud release to access low-code tooling. Phil cites one such vendor: Neptune Software.
Earlier this year, Neptune Software unveiled a no-code app builder that extends its existing Neptune DXP product, which is a web-native and mobile app platform with deep integrations into core SAP systems and other enterprise application stacks. This underlying platform adds an API layer that effectively transforms the core SAP system into a set of APIs that can be composed into new applications.
The vendor believes its tool will appeal to pro coders as well as business users, and sees it being used collaboratively, with pro coders maintaining oversight while leaving business process owners free to build prototypes or try out modifications themselves.
As for the co-code jargon - I'll say this much. I actually like "co-code" better than low-code, or certainly no-code. As the above excerpt about Neptune illustrates, co-code expresses the proper ambition: IT and business users collectively solving the same problems, sometimes together, sometimes in concert. Sometimes coding, sometimes not. You probably won't hear me dropping the term "co-code" at event reception parties - at least, I hope not - but at least it gets a point across.
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
- Tesco's omni-channel vision for the Vaccine Economy - customer and data centric in focus - Stuart on Tesco's omni-ambitions, and loyalty card traction: "Earlier this year, CEO Ken Murphy argued that the company had emerged as a much stronger business as a result of what it had to do when the pandemic was at its height. Flash forward a few months and, as with other major retail players, the shape of things to come is becoming more apparent, even as the cost of living crisis and rising inflation provide additional complications."
- Assessing the NIST AI Risk Management Framework - Neil evaluates the NIST approach, which is surprisingly low on AI ethics content: "NIST's AI Risk Management Framework gives organizations a lens for managing AI risks - but mentions of AI ethics take a back seat. Is this a problem, or a better approach?"
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my top choices from our vendor coverage:
- isolved raises the (right) issues - Brian reports back from an HR event that made an impression: "Today, isolved sells a relatively complete suite of HRMS applications that are mostly designed to serve smaller and mid-sized businesses. Given the product line’s completeness and growing depth of functionality, we should expect to see them move more upmarket in time."
- How do we protect data privacy while innovating on data? Learning from Zoho's approach to AI development - "All too often, data privacy conflicts with AI advancements. Is there a better way? And how do we avoid headline-making chatbot bias meltdowns? I check in with Zoho, as they press further into AI - with an extreme stance on customer data privacy."
Confluent Current 2022 - will streaming data go mainstream? Derek made the trek to Austin to assess the state of data streaming:
- Confluent CEO on taking data streaming mainstream - ‘How can we make it easy?’
- US’s first cloud-based data repository for derivatives market puts Confluent at its KOR
- Confluent seeks to democratize data streams for users with Stream Designer
Jon's grab bag - Martin explores Iceland's data center play in An Icelandic saga for the sustainability crisis - why data centers in Iceland may have found their moment. Stuart bravely forays into the idiocracy (yikes) in A "truly bespoke British data protection regime" - blue meat thrown to activists as Brexit Britain takes aim at GDPR.
Best of the enterprise web
My top seven
- Malware Apps May Have Stolen The Passwords Of 1 Million Facebook Users, Meta Says - Another week, another breach: "The malware, detected across the last year, masqueraded as various kinds of app, including fake photo editors, virtual private networks that claimed to boost browsing speeds and get access to blocked websites, mobile games and health and lifestyle trackers... All of the apps made it through Apple and Google security and onto the tech giants’ official app stores."
- Why web apps are one of this year’s leading attack vectors - VentureBeat reports on another breach target, beyond the app stores: ""API attacks are the fastest-growing attack strategy on web apps by a wide margin. There has been a 117% increase in API attack traffic over the last year."
- OK, we're going full digital: Anyone out there to help us? Organizations have plenty of tech investment ambitions, but there's a problem. A Joe McKendrick notes: "The calls for talent are getting louder. When asked about the challenges their organizations face in adopting new digital technologies, the top three responses all related to talent disparities."
- GM wants robocar safety waiver, San Francisco isn't so sure - I'm really surprised San Francisco doesn't like urban beta testing for flawed vehicles (not).
- Beyond burnout: What helps--and what doesn’t - McKinsey continues a useful series on the slowly-surging issue of employee burnout.
- Artist finds private medical record photos in popular AI training data set - More evidence of the tensions between AI training and data privacy.
- What If You Held a Metaverse Party and Nobody Came? - Did I out-curmudgeon Frank Scavo. Read his piece and my comment (excerpt follows) and decide:
Agreed - but I refuse to give the "metaverse" term credibility via the use cases you described. Those are good use cases, but similar things have been in production for some years under the term "virtual reality," with a lot less fanfare. Metaverse as a term has been specifically promoted to imply a technology revolution, spurring vast economic growth. Training some people with headsets just doesn't vindicate those pronouncements...
Between hacks and (wise) cracks, it's been a tough week in Meta land:
— Dennis Moore (@dbmoore) October 9, 2022
Which leads to:
It's Lonely in the Metaverse: Decentraland’s 38 Daily Active Users in a $1.3B Ecosystem https://t.co/BpfRU3WaL6
-> I dunno, sometimes with smaller groups the interaction can be more personal. I'm sure there isn't any VC ROI runway $ pressure, so relax and enjoy :)
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) October 8, 2022
But hey, at least Meta is technically afloat:
$1.5 million floating home prototype sinks into the water at unveilinghttps://t.co/ciS9tPQQn2
"If there's one quality you're looking for in a floating home, it's that it floats."
-> a fair point.....
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) October 8, 2022
With loads of event travel in front of me, I'm hoping not to see this out of my plane window:
Airline explains why plane wing covered in duct tape after photo goes viral https://t.co/AwI2XONvyM
-> hopeful that @brianssommer was on this flight also and can provide additional color :)
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) October 6, 2022
Time to board... Catch 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.