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:
- Zoom product updates showcase the art of the possible for hybrid work - Zoomtopia 2021 had plenty of fanfare, but is Zoom the right company to take the hybrid work era forward? Derek's view: "What's clear is that Zoom is thinking well beyond its video call roots and is creating a platform that's an effective place for people to get work done. Upcoming integrations with the likes of Google Drive and Dropbox are just part of this."
- Oracle delivers solid Q1 as Larry Ellison wants to know where the cloud ERP competition is - Stuart finds Ellison in his usual feisty mood: "The critique of Amazon by Ellison is becoming an integral part of such occasions, indicative of the importance Oracle places on its position in the IaaS market."
- New Relic survey finds that adoption of observability is surging - why and what next? - Phil notes observability lessons: "I've likened the surge in takeup of observability to the shift in finance teams towards more continuous analysis of financial data. In both cases — and this can be seen in other aspects of business operations too — it's indicative of a shift to operating on the basis of real-time data analysis rather than historic reporting."
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:
- Inside the Planful Predict announcements, and how planning must change - Jon
- LifeStance Health gets out of Excel and automates FP&A with Planful - Derek
- Perform 2021 - How Specialized took workforce planning from an uphill climb to a level sprint - Phil
A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:
- Welcome to Confluent - understanding ‘data in motion’ - Derek welcomes our latest partner - and answers the leading question: What exactly is "data in motion?"
- How Testing For All handles complex COVID test queries via Zendesk - Madeline
- Beyond ITSM - ServiceNow expects 50% of new business from ‘emerging workflows’ by 2024 - Derek
With Dreamforce 2021 on deck this week, diginomica has your content primers ready:
- FedEx ties up with Salesforce as e-commerce boom delivers fresh challenges for the logistics sector - Stuart
- Salesforce updates its automation tools with RPA, document scanning and low-code for industries - Phil
Best of the enterprise web
My top seven
- Under Pressure: COVID-19 Forced Many Execs to Sideline Cybersecurity - The tension between innovation and proper security isn't going anywhere: "Many haven't even addressed the risks they shrugged off and the potential vulnerabilities that crept in during their transformation efforts at the pandemic's peak."
- Book publishers warn of supply chain delays for 2021 holidays - Another page from the supply chain disruptions storyline, pervasive across industries: ocean freight problems, trucking problems, worker shortages - and have fun throwing "AI" at all those issues.
- Customer Care Giant TTEC Hit By Ransomware - Right on cue, via Krebs: "TTEC has not responded to requests for comment." And yet: "As far as I know, all low-level employees have another day off today.” Predictable update: TTEC confirms they are hit by ransomware.
- Artificial intelligence success is tied to ability to augment, not just automate - Joe McKendrick rounds up an AI report of note: "The report's authors caution that "the use of ever-more-sophisticated machine-learned models for recommending products, services, and content has raised significant concerns about the issues of fairness, diversity, polarization, and the emergence of filter bubbles."
- AI is moving fast and will be ready for prime time sooner than you think - I'm not that jazzed with Gartner's AI hype predictions, but the types of AI documented here are useful.
- What I Learned from a Waterfall Project Failure - It's rare to see such candid views on why a project went wrong. Nice work Frank Scavo. This quote from the project's department manager hits home: "This was my first experience with having pure politics result in a significant waste of IT resources. However, like you, I learned from it."
- Jon Reed of Diginomica – Virtual or Live, Events in General Just Haven’t Been Done Well, Which Continues to be a Lost Opportunity - Small Business Trends' Brent Leary put me in the video hot seat a while back. Here's his writeup.
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:
Why You Should Completely Wipe Your Phone Every Few Months https://t.co/bzaxsykjm5
"I try to go at least a week without downloading Instagram or Reddit."
-> Pro tip: if you never download Instagram or Reddit, you won't have to erase your phone every three months....
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) September 15, 2021
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.