Enterprise hits and misses - NoSQL marches on, and Hadoop tries to grow up

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed April 25, 2016
In this edition: NoSQL rolls on, but the CEO of Datastax sees a skills gap. Hadoop turns ten, and gets a checkup. Plus: cloud HR in the real world, and bots make tough negotiators. Your whiffs include: putting Intel's layoff email through the PR grinder.

Cheerful Chubby Man
diginomica hit: NoSQL marches on, but Datastax CEO sees a skills gap - coverage by Derek

quotage: "from the customers speaking at the event this week, there is huge interest in what NoSQL can do for the new cloud-based applications that they desire. The message from them is that relational just doesn’t come anywhere near to cutting it for the use cases they are looking at." - Derek

myPOV: NoSQL's market maturity is proving itself through nifty use cases  - many of them cloud-based. But growth brings its dilemmas, as Derek found at Datastax's European Summit. Start with the use cases: Derek's got a fresh one with British Gas fires up its connected homes project with DataStax. The good: moving from batch processing to real-time analytics via huge ‘data pipes’, streaming energy information on hundreds of thousands of homes across the UK. The real-time challenge: designing in a "streaming way," not in a "Hadoop/data lake way."

In DataStax CEO – ‘We know our tech solves the use case, but there is a skills problem’, Derek sat down with CEO Billy Bosworth for a gut check on how Datastax is faring with expansion into Spark and graph technology via the acquisition of Aurelius. Bosworth thinks the technology behind Datastax has now proven itself.

The remaining challenges tie back to the line of business versus IT disconnect, as well as a skills gap of practitioners who can walk the walk: "I don’t have enough people that know how to do this, [our customers] are asking us to make it simpler and simpler. Because they can’t go out and hire 200 new people." It's the kind of problem you want to have, but also a reminder: there is a big customer journey from the excitement of one-off digital projects to running cloud at scale. Stay tuned...

Happy children eating apple
diginomica six: my top six stories on diginomica this week:

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my top choices from our vendor coverage:

A few more vendor picks, without my running asides:

Financial market greed putting EMC and Dell deal at risk? - Den
Microsoft disappoints Wall Street, but Nadella is playing a long game - Stuart
Cisco’s acquisition of CliQr mixes playing safe with potential enterprise excitement - Martin
Shooting for the moon costs – Google pays the high price of innovation - Stuart

Jon's grab bag -  "After the collapses of the Soviet Union in 1991, Estonia used it’s new found independence to build one of the most advanced digital states in the world." Intrigued? Check Derek's Estonia – an example of what’s possible in digital public service delivery. Meanwhile, Den is still stoked about Facebook's video moves. See why in Facebook Live – the video killer app for enterprise.

I feel better trashing Netflix's business model now that Stuart's got some fresh data in Netflix v Amazon – will digital downloads steal the crown? No one wants Amazon's tank in their front lawn - Stuart's right about that. Den had occasion to expand his Dan Lyons-versus-Hubspot breakdown in A critique of Silicon Valley’s innovation culture, which acquainted me with Guy Kawasaki's keeper phrase from 2006, "bozo explosion." Finally, thanks to Derek's European companies over confident on digital, don’t invest and focus on wrong things we have a new catchprase of cow dung to avoid: "digital overconfidence."

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer
Hadoop Hits 10 Years: Growing Up Fast - by Doug Henschen

quotage: "Over the last five years, the top three Hadoop software distributors, Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR, have cracked all major vertical industry categories and have collectively gained more than 3,000 paying customers for their supported enterprise editions. Tens of thousands more firms are self-supporting free community distributions of Hadoop, though the largest share of these deployments are no doubt about experimentation rather than production use." - Doug Henschen

myPOV: Hard to believe Hadoop is (almost) as old as Justin Timberlake’s movie career. Constellation’s Doug Henschen ponders the enterprise implications of Hadoop’s maturity. Adoption is high, and use cases are piling up across industries. Henschen sees some weaknesses, including data migration, data governance, and easing the learning curve for business users. Is the Hadoop glass half full or half empty? Drawing on a rare parental anecdote, Henschen says Hadoop needs a bit less adult supervision.

Other standouts

  • Bots make tough negotiators, and other machine learning secrets - In These Bots Are Ready To Give You The Business, Buzzfeed dishes on researchers that are teaching a computer to negotiate. The best part? The “jerk factor” can be ratcheted up to simulate the poker faces of the deal hounds across the table from you. Swap “design thinking” for “diabolical thinking” - they can even be programmed to lie. Meantime, the New Stack published the modestly-titled Deep Leaning Demystified, which explains how what we call “deep learning” isn’t necessarily that deep, and why it matters to businesses.
  • Rescuing BPO from its trough of directionless boredom - “What’s alarming is the failure of enterprises to create and communicate a viable BPO career path for seven-out-of-eight professionals with under two years’ experience.  And – while 63% of newbies strongly agree their job is vital to business performance, a depressing one-in-eight are actually excited by their career choice.” Ouch! Phil Fersht of HfS Research lances the cultural boil and offers medication.
  • Re/code read Bill Gurley’s big warning about Silicon Valley’s big money troubles so you don’t have to - which is kind of handy given that Gurley’s tome is 5,700 + words. Re/code’s take is more breezy than incisive, but Gurley's got all the falling sky detail you'll need.

Honorable mention
Intel announces it’s slashing 12,000 jobs - the PC hardware chip continues to fall,  unfortunately on people's heads. Bonus points for calling out Intel's "corporate press-speak glory" and "restructuring/accelerating/transformation" spinjobbery.
Cloud and Big Data still haven't breached the enterprise core, survey shows - why? Security, costs, and the ubiquitous skills issues top the list. Next time mention the survey sample size.
Lessons from the Dan Lyons HubSpot fable “Disrupted” - sharply-worded musings from someone who knows the players involved. Alas, "loyalty is bullshit" rings true more often than not.
Apple's Organizational Crossroads - When an Apple-obsessed pundit says “something’s got to give,” change is afoot. The issue? Apple’s push into a services company. Oh, and Cook gets the unwanted tag of fence-straddler.
Digital Is Your Business: The Case for New Business Models - I’m not a fan of disruption thinking, but asking “Who is your disruptor?” is a relevant question for most. And no, I’m not telling you who diginomica’s disruptor is… you’ll have to pull it out of me in the comment thread.
Media Websites Battle Faltering Ad Revenue and Traffic - Speaking of disrupted. And it’s gonna get worse before it gets better, dear reader. Brace yourselves for a vacant parade of auto-play videos - though not on diginomica, praise be!
Who wins and who loses as the cloud moves out of IT - Spoiler: the losers are “vendors that live off centralized IT, such as the big enterprise software and hardware companies, as well as consulting firms. The winners are the business units that have dedicated technology resources.”
The Worst Interviewing Advice Ever - “Don’t assume I’m an idiot,” AKA Don’t parrot what you think I want to hear, and don’t evade pointed questions with platitudes.


Overworked businessman
Next time I feel like bashing the millennials, I’ll make a point to remember how pasty and irrelevant Billy Corgan sounds whining about the “hashtag generation.” Oh, and swell news from Google - they figured out how to fix the “dangerous” label on Google.com - yeah, that same one they are always slapping on your site. And: I’m no fan of the social herd, but I kind of like this attribute or get mocked for your unprofessionalism thing….

When I first clicked on Josh Bernoff’s Intel bloodlessly dumps 12,000 employees, I thought he was going to annihilate an absurd PR letter. Darn: CEO Brian KrzanichIntel’s email to employees wasn’t as dystopian as I’d hoped. Still, there’s a heavy dose of “our wondermuss IoT/cloud strategy is working." Calling this a “restructuring initiative” that involves some “involuntary departures” charms no one.

And the phrase “We are deeply committed to helping our employees through this transition and will do so with the utmost dignity and respect” is godawful happy talking schmuckery. If you have time, check out Bernoff’s humble alternative version. The contrast of transparency versus bombast is striking. Best of luck to all those affected.

I was going to give you my take on this super-awkward PayPal to hold all-male panel on gender equality in the workplace, but I'm gonna save that for next week...  it’s off to a nutty week at Collision in New Orleans for your scribe. If you’re here, give me a ping.

Which #ensw pieces of merit did I miss? Let us know in the comments.

Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed. 'myPOV' is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.

Image credit - Cheerful Chubby Man © RA Studio, Happy Children © Anna Omelchenko, Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, Businessman Choosing Success or Failure Road © Creativa, Businessman Choosing Success or Failure Road © Creativa - all from Fotolia.com.

Disclosure - SAP, Oracle, Workday and Salesforce are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.

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