Enterprise hits and misses - Remote work gets a productivity challenge, WEF platitudes get scrutiny, and agile goes too far
- This week - fresh data fuels the remote work productivity debate. Plus: Google's API win, supply chain woes, and agile's deficiencies. Another year of WEF's highs and lows. Your whiffs include the exit of one of the web's worst destinations, Yahoo Answers.
Lead story - Is digital teamwork working? Debating the cultural and productivity impact of remote work
MyPOV: If digital teamwork tools once had a redemptive shine to them, a year into the pandemic, that shine isn't so shiny. It's given way to tougher questions.
Phil broaches the productivity debate in What's the productivity impact of digital teamwork? The statistics can't tell us.
Those looking for definitive answers won't get them. Working two more hours a day doesn't necessarily translate to corporate results. Phil quotes Economist Vicky Pryce, former Joint Head of the UK Government Economics Service:
Right now, unfortunately, measuring productivity is very difficult. People doing an extra two hours a day ... are they actually achieving something in terms of the output at the end of the day?
As for the contentious issue of whether digital tools help us get more done or
spew us with interruptive junk raise the distraction level, Phil stakes his position:
My stance on digital teamwork is that there are huge efficiencies possible once the tools are properly deployed and used.
Derek finds a similarly inseparable mix of pros and cons in COVID-19 and distributed work - leaders out of touch, workforce exhausted and Gen-Z at risk. Parsing Microsoft Work Index data, Derek writes:
Microsoft notes that most business leaders are faring better with the current working conditions than their employees. Some 61% of leaders say they're "thriving" right now, which is a whopping 23% higher than those without decision making authority. Leaders also reported stronger relationships with colleagues (+11%) and a higher likelihood of taking all or more than their allotted vacation days (+12%).
One uncomfortable conclusion: those who need remote work the most are being done a collective disservice.
Those struggling over the past year were typically Gen-Z, women, frontline workers and those new to their careers.
As we push into the Vaccine Economy, it would be nice to think we could pick the most useful remote/digital adaptations, and avoid the rest. I suspect the reckoning will be much more complicated.
diginomica's WEF coverage - from Stakeholder Capitalism to content regulation controversies. Each year, the World Economic Forum(WEF)event vacillates between the most essential show of the year and a
pretentious photo opp for gurus with trickle-down ideas celebration of verbal posturing - often during the exact same session! No one better to sort that than Stuart:
- World Economic Forum Global Technology Governance Summit - Salesforce’s Marc Benioff on corporate activism, Stakeholder Capitalism and challenging voter suppression
- World Economic Forum Global Technology Governance Summit - YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki on content, creativity and coping with regulators who don't know what they want
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
- Making a Fractional CMO add up - building an organizational marketing team to meet the sum total of your needs - What's a Fractional CMO? Barb's glad you asked...
- E-commerce won the COVID war, but what happens next? Kroger looks to the pursuit of digital profit in the Vaccine Economy - Stuart's retail analysis carries on - also see his analysis of what ASOS is facing next, as hospitality venues open up.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:
- McDermott sees value in Qualtrics once again - partnership announced to bring experience data to ServiceNow workflows - On the heels of Derek's interview with McDermott, breaking news: it's not that easy to get over Qualtrics. But maybe that's a good thing. What do these vendors see in each other? Derek: "The pair aim to address this by making 'feedback actionable in the enterprise.' Companies will now be able to bring experience data from Qualtrics into ServiceNow."
- Cisco Live 2021 - how COVID has accelerated digital transformation for three end user organizations - Stuart "Customer testimony is the best validation for any pitch by a technology vendor - that’s the hill on which we at diginomica are prepared to die." Lesson: don't bury your customer sessions in the virtual event. Stuart dug out a few customer lessons, nonetheless. One COVID twist: the surge in augmented reality, sparked by remote retail necessity.
- Apps are from Mars, data is from Venus, can APIs marry the two? An interview with SnapLogic CEO Gaurav Dhillon - I wasn't expecting to see this quote from SnapLogic's CEO: "The truth is there is no silver bullet. APIs are not a silver bullet in the connected enterprise, and nor is no-code." Phil delves into the API-centric vision, and why reality checks are needed as well.
A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:
- How Coupa is thinking about the future of work in a COVID-19 world - Derek
- "Privacy is not a feature" - how Zoho's approach to workplace privacy impacts AI development, and more - Jon
- Park 'N Fly finds the right space for Dynatrace to boost the car parking customer experience - Martin
- The [Intel] empire strikes back to reclaim the performance crown - and impressed Oracle is - Kurt
Jon's grab bag - Mark Chillingworth brings IoT to a faucet near you (if you live in the UK), with Thames Water gets smart. Neil continues his crash course in the virtues of Bayes Nets in How can Bayesien Inference support complex decisions? A practical guide to an overlooked approach. Finally, I get to air out a bone of contention (flaws in liberal arts), via a college that made my head turn: Colby College blazes an AI trail in liberal arts education, with the launch of the Davis Institute.
Best of the enterprise web
My top seven
- What Google's API copyright win over Oracle means - Pundits and open sourcers are all over the place on this ruling. If you've seen another worthwhile take on this, please add to the comments - these issues aren't going anywhere.
- Have We Taken Agile Too Far? - If by too far you mean slathering "agile" sauce on every project like mayonnaise, then yes. Sidenote: I liked the "working backwards"/planning contrast via Amazon, etc.
- 7 Security Tasks To Automate To Match Cybersecurity Threats - Some of these may err on the side of the obvious, but you could say the same about some of the vulnerabilities being exploited.
- Supply Chain Performance Declined In the Last Decade. The Question is Why? - Lora Cecere digs into the data to ask a disconcerting question. Cracking open spreadsheets for adhoc analysis because your conventional planning tools can't cope with the pandemic isn't a good long term adaptation.
- Estimating the Costs of No Decision – A Multi-Billion Dollar Problem? - Speaking of questionable business habits, get a load of the numbers Gartner's Hank Barnes puts on the costs of not making a buying decision.
- Top 10 Digital Transformation Failures of All Time, Selected by an ERP Expert Witness - Third Stage's Eric Kimberling forces himself to narrow poor projects down to this terrible ten. There is never only one reason for a failed project. It's also rare for the software itself to be the problem (with the notable exceptions of when an overzealous sales team
gets everyone drunk on vaporwareoverpromises functionality that isn't there).
- Help your employees find purpose--or watch them leave - I'm not sure "purpose" is the universal motivating factor implied by this article. But it's a refreshing way to frame the talent debate nonetheless.
In case anyone's feeling snarky about "what about Nuance,", this is a nuance-free edition of hits/misses. We'll get to Microsoft-Nuance as soon as it goes official. Meanwhile, the site that brought us "How is babby formed?" is finally shutting down:
RIP Yahoo Answers: It Died As It Lived, Needlessly And Stupidly https://t.co/AuTNCzZZzD
"most famously, the question “how is babby formed?” first appeared on Yahoo Answers.
-> But what will Google do? Google's search results loved that crummy site
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) April 6, 2021
But as I alluded to, the tech press whiffed on the bigger story: why did Google give Yahoo Answers so much search oxygen for so long? Clogging up search with that crud helped to turn
the movie Idiocracy into a documentary Yahoo Answers into the oxymoron it is today. More fun with PR:
Ad: "Low code lets you run with the big dogs."
Me: -> Well, except when the big dogs are rolling out award-winning CX apps via hundreds of IoS and Android device-specific developers. But yeah, other than that....
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) April 8, 2021
Finally, a whiff in the not-so-funny sense:
Facebook Had Years to Fix the Flaw That Leaked 500M Users’ Data https://t.co/rAqz9aXdkn
"it’s a recurring theme for Facebook that whenever growth is at stake, they will think twice about fixing something to benefit the user’s privacy."
-> business as usual, Facebook-style
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) April 10, 2021
You can find out if you are amongst the lucky 500 million via this article. Isn't "free" grand? 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. 'myPOV' is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.