Enterprise hits and misses - ransomware and AI hype grab headlines, while Zoomtopia re-ignites the hybrid work debate

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed September 20, 2021
This week - ransomware strikes again, while the AI hype machine gets assessed. Robophobia gets called out, and a new identity alliance makes noise. Our Zoomtopia review puts the future of work on deck. Your whiffs include social media addiction, PR stumbles, and phone storage wipes.


Lead story - Debating the future of the hybrid world of work

Yes, the future of work is like editorial flypaper at diginomica, but there's good reason to revisit. Hybrid work was the driving theme behind last week's Zoomtopia 2021 show - and explains the news Derek assessed.

These issues came to head in Stuart's It's OK not to know all the answers, but make sure you're intentional in your actions - debating the future of a hybrid world of work. Reviewing a potent panel (no, not an oxymoron in this case), Stuart quotes speaker Daisy Auger-Dominguez, Chief People Officer at Vice Media Group

We really have to admit to ourselves that we don't know what this is going to look like, that we're still dealing with the ground shifting under our feet every day, and and that we've forgotten even what it means to be happy at work… I think many of us are learning to be okay  about saying that we don't know what we don't know.

I'll take that over the incremental thinking baby steps most employers' so-called hybrid work plans embody. Better to admit the ground is shifting. On the search for cloud-based tools that might help with team building, Stuart quotes Hamet Watt, CEO and founder of Share Ventures:

I started reaching for tools for culture in the same way. I wanted something in the cloud to help me design the culture, to really think about the needs of the team and the outcomes that we wanted to get, understanding psychometrics. And I couldn't find much.

That sparked research:

What we found is that there's just been incredible breakthroughs in the fundamental technologies, the ability to use machine learning in thoughtful ways, around understanding how to measure culture.

I'll remain skeptical on that front, but also curious. If AI tools can support productivity, why not culture-building? It's a quote I haven't seen before. Stuart concludes by asking: have we made this too complicated?

For me, the most interesting point made during this debate was that the topics under discussion today are things that should be ‘bread and butter’ stuff anyway.

Let's make it so, shall we?  At least on these pages...

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

  • The ugly, persistent payroll issues few talk about - Brian's tea kettle is about to go off, and corporate payroll inefficiencies are the reason: "Getting a faster time entry function on a poorly integrated solution is like putting icing on spoiled food."
  • Banks eye GAIN to bring trust to the Internet and wrest identity from the grip of FAANG - Phil sorts through the acronmyms so we don't have to. Joking aside, this is an appealing identity move, though it's early days. Phil: "The notion of banks as certification authorities for people's identities on the Internet is almost as old as the Web itself... What differentiates GAIN, as Santander's Boothby explained to me, is that it is based on open standards, in particular OpenID Connect."
  • Robophobia and how to cure it - why robots need to meet human needs and not just look like us - Paging all robophobes; Chris would like a word. He also unfurls the quote of the week:

    "Robots that can run across challenging terrain, jump, and somersault may grab public attention and alarm apocalyptic thinkers, but most teenage parkour fans, tricking street gymnasts, free climbers, and skaters can perform far more dazzling and impressive feats than that. Where are the jobs for them? As the China event proved this month, robotics needs to stay focused, real, practical, and fulfill real human needs."

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

Planful Perform 2021 roundup: Perform '21 was a virtual event, but it didn't lack for storylines - and memorable use cases. You can see our full coverage here. For now, three highlights:

A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:

With Dreamforce 2021 on deck this week, diginomica has your content primers ready:

Best of the enterprise web

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

My top seven

Overworked businessman


So an enterprising Pennsylvania man returned some bottles for deposit after 108 years; he also claimed 108 years of interest. To the store's credit, they paid up! I also learned it's possible to spend the night in Planter's nutmobile - one for the decline of Western civilization file perhaps?

By the way, that Krebs piece on TTEC's ransomware hit is a treasure trove of whiffery:

A phone call placed to the media contact number listed on an August 2021 TTEC earnings release produced a message saying it was a non-working number.

I'm sure that was just a coincidence. Oh, and:

The TTEC employees appear to be using the Zoom conference line to report the status of various customer support teams, most of which are reporting 'unable to work' at the moment.

Sounds like a useful exercise. Seems like Apple has been doing its utmost to make it into the whiffs section lately. Well, via Clive Boulton, wish granted: Cryptocurrency Investors File Class-Action Suit on Apple for Alleged Malware Distribution.

Finally, clear up any confusion, yes, this was sarcasm:

See 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.

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