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Enterprise hits and misses - retailers get autonomous, blockchain gets real, and Google gets an anti-trust action from the U.S.

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed October 26, 2020
This week - retailers buckle up for the holidays, and lay ambitious plans for 2021. Blockchain gets some real world use cases - and critiques. The U.S. files a landmark anti-trust lawsuit against Google. Your whiffs include my personal fave - parrots manipulating Alexa.

King Checkmate

Lead story - Retailers go autonomous as holiday season heats up

MyPOV: With a holiday season like no other on the horizon, retailers are drawing on field lessons and next-gen tech to change their post-pandemic prospects. This weekend, I heard about how retailers like Shake Shack are buying up retail space at a pandemic discount, plotting for the long game.

Kurt kicks things off with "Grab-and-go' - why autonomous retail is ready for a breakout year. Amazon's 2018 touchless grocery store experiments weren't wildly successful, but Kurt says that category is about to change:

2020 is a year when societal tumult has accelerated many business and personal changes, feeding the demand for contactless, 'socially distanced' shopping, but 2021 will be the year autonomous retail sees mass deployments.

Given I am a notorious 5G grouch skeptic, I was very curious for Kurt's 5G take. My issues: 1. Is 5G ready? (no, not in the U.S.). 2. Is it necessary? Kurt has an answer for that second part:

Gu says that having a high-performance network enables a hub-and-spoke architecture in which one server (or small cluster) can serve all the locations within close proximity. He also sees 5G is facilitating the growth and placement of nanostores.

Okay, I'll keep an open mind on that one... But how are retailers faring now? Mark gets into that in Sainsbury's CIO restocks retailer's data abilities: When I hear a company extol the virtues of their data-driven personalization, I get that grouchy feeling. But as Mark quotes Sainsbury's :

We were the first to use our data insights and understanding to really understand who were elderly, disabled or vulnerable so that we could protect their access to groceries when they needed it most.

Yeah, that resonates.

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

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

Sage Intacct Advantage is in the books. Brian penned a monster preview piece - we added coverage on the ground from a news-heavy show.

A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:

Jon's grab bag - As readers know, I am sour on blockchain-for-enterprise, because of gratuitous handwaving by overzealous marketers concerns on fit, readiness and performance-at-scale. But for public good projects with lower scale? I'll listen. Cath has my attention with Tech for good - How blockchain is used to transform the lives of people in marginalised communities.

Stuart keeps an essential convo going in Algorithmic bias - how do we tackle the underlying problem that inhibits the full potential of AI? Gary asks: Could data science help us fight back against the COVID ‘infodemic’? (That would be nice, given popularity algorithms have spread so much toxic soulrot sludge disinformation in the first place).

Jerry wins the surprise-Jon-with-a-new-buzzword award for "intent-based networks" in The future of data centers is intent-based networking. That's good and bad news for IT. Finally, Brian takes ERP vendors down in the rant knock-out round with Friday Rant - ERP in 2020 is a mess!

Best of the enterprise web

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

My top seven

Overworked businessman


I know what you're thinking, but I'm not making any Zoom video attire jokes. It's too easy and too not-safe-for-work. Interesting how "I didn't know the cam was on" falls short sometimes...

We've got a no-contest winner for article title of the week: Escaped cloned female mutant crayfish take over Belgian cemetery.

Here's one for the "our connected future" file:

Our "smart future" isn't all that intelligent yet either:

Though I can watch parrots bossing Alexa around all day:


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. 

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