MyPOV: Not long ago, knowledge workers were set to carry the day. But Phil argues that Peter Drucker ultimately got it wrong:
Knowledge is still important, but today it has become a commodity. In the 21st century, value is shifting towards experiences and outcomes.
Perhaps - but that
overflogged marketing vehicle brochure word "experiences" means so many different things - and too many of them seem fluffy.
How does Phil parse it? As he writes, it's about what customers expect. We want brands to engage with us. Why? To get the result (outcome) we are looking for:
This is an ethos that requires participation from every part of the organization, from back-office staff to frontline workers. Everyone needs to become an experience worker, conscious of how operational excellence within their own function contributes to the success each customer experiences.
The employee's role must evolve:
Access to knowledge is still important, but empathy and emotional intelligence become more valuable in crafting and delivering an experience that engages and retains customers.
Knowledge becomes something networked systems must support, because what you need to know changes so quickly:
The knowledge you possess will no longer define your worth. Instead, your value will be defined by how well you can absorb and apply knowledge in the moment.
The ability to apply knowledge to enhance experience is far more valuable than knowledge alone.
Phil's piece is worth a close read - there is more to his take on the XaaS economy than I can get into here. Buzzwords aside, I can't argue with Phil's gist - unless we are diminishing the role of specialist know-how. I'm not budging on the persistent value of experts. Wrap empathy, creativity and problem solving around that expertise, and we're in business.
Diginomica does NRF - our retail analysis was in high gear, as the NRF "Big Show" descended on NYC:
- NRF 2020 - Target's CIO on the tech secrets behind Target's transformation - build features customers love, and abstract your infrastructure - my sit down with Target CIO Mike McNamara dug into the backbone of one of the most successful retail transformations. Sidenote: I liked his grouchy take on drones.
- NRF 2020 first review - how Office Depot turned mobile adoption into an employee asset - "One key NRF story: the revenge of the storefront, but with a big caveat."
- NRF 2020 - retail must take back control of its digital future, says Microsoft's Nadella as IKEA cuts loose from Amazon - Stuart filed keynote analysis, as IKEA made things interesting: "You cannot be cool by association with a tech vendor."
Kurt dissected the AI retail themes that blanketed the show in AI in retail - big investments can deliver new business and happy customers. Stuart took on digital pioneer Starbucks and their NRF keynote. I explored retail-as-data-business themes in Customers are generating a gold mine of operational data, and Oracle wants to do something about it.
Part one of my show wrap podcast is out too: NRF 2020 - sorting the use cases from retail tech hype with Jake Knowles of BJSS. And yeah - retail news rages on. Right after the show wraps, Stuart took on another one: Breaking up is (too) hard to do for The GAP and Old Navy, so what's the next omni-channel 'big idea' going to be?
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:
- SAP's FKOM message to the field - back to our roots - SAP kicked off its sales year. Den found
another batch of hype balloons to punctureplenty to gnaw on - and some telling omissions as well. No surprise - in the comments section, our readers couldn't come to agreement.
- Photobox focuses on analytics to get full picture on customer experience - Jess posted a Snowlake use case that puts issues of speed/performance - and modern analytics choices - into focus.
- Customer success in focus as FinancialForce intros new workspaces and analytics - Phil assesses the FinancialForce customer success push; they are one of the first ISV partners to start using Salesforce's partner intelligence capabilities.
A few more vendor picks, without the quips:
- Keptn - keeping a tight rein on autonomous clouds with a NoOps option - Martin
- Rating the CIO cyber-security quiz via BitSights's sinkhole approach - Martin
Jon's grab bag - Stuart parses a landmark report that is relevant to Brexit, but also beyond: Digital protectionism on the rise - principles to champion a global economy Meanwhile, Den continues his extraction of hobby insights in Lessons for enterprise from the scale modeling world - Part 2, where reality bites.
Best of the rest
Jason Corsello of Acadian Ventures issued the first iteration of his Future of Work Index, tracking 31 publicly traded companies that address the future of work in some capacity (here's the full listing of the companies tracked). So how have these companies performed? Corsello:
The performance is 6x better than the S&P 500 over that same period and 4x better than the NASDAQ composite.
So far, the public information from Corsello's team is a stake in the ground. He details some factors driving these changes. What we need to know more about is: what makes these companies exceptional - and how are others missing the boat?
Over on ZDNet, Tom Foremski
gives us a collective terminology spanking clarifies our AI and ML discussions heading into 2020: The year of seeing clearly on AI and machine learning. Foremski warns us of our "AI" temptations:
ML systems make decisions without any explanation and it's difficult to determine the value of their black box decisions. But if those results are presented as artificial intelligence then they get far higher respect from people than they likely deserve.
And after several giddy headlines on how AI is going to solve all kinds of health ailments, it was good to see Wired's sober-minded take: Artificial Intelligence Makes Bad Medicine Even Worse.
AI systems like the one from Google promise to combine humans and machines in order to facilitate cancer diagnosis, but they also have the potential to worsen pre-existing problems such as overtesting, overdiagnosis, and overtreatment.
Indeed - though helping medical teams work smarter isn't a bad thing. I'm fairly bullish on "AI" (sorry, Mr. Foremski) on applied image recognition, but I welcome a dose of cold water. We haven't saved any lives with this "advance" yet.
- High-Performing Multi-Vendor Transformation Teams – How to Make Them Work - John Belden of UpperEdge dispenses more of his no-bull project sense: "Program leaders are having to increasingly deal with vendors that have misaligned incentive plans or are looking to target each other’s project territory."
- Acumatica’s Approach to ERP Data Ownership - Yeah, Acumatica is a diginomica partner, but their approach to data ownership, alongside a customer bill of rights, is the proper industry challenge. This is TEC's review.
- Google garners support from tech industry in Supreme Court API copyright fight - ZDNet updates on one of the most important tech legal battles in recent years.
In this case, I like AI more than humans:
I've never met this dude, but I like him:
I got my dander up over this extra-linkbaity piece from ZDNet: Using Google Authenticator? Here's why you should get rid of it. The writer says: "It's old and has some severe downsides." As far as I can tell, the so-called "severe downsides" come down to fetishized preferences and a desire for convenience (portability across devices). Convenience - not always a brilliant way to think about protecting your data.
Isn't that same portability a potential security flaw? Maybe, just maybe, that is the reason that Authenticator doesn't allow that? But sure, put your 2FA trust in whatever startup suits you. I'm just glad I'm not the only one. Other readers blew gaskets, as in: "This article is complete nonsense. Removing Zdnet from my news feed."
But when it comes to sharpening our BS detectors, Vijay Vijayasankar gets the door prize for the best media takedown this week:
That's a high bar for next week - let's get to it...
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.