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Enterprise hits and misses - retailers prepare for the Vaccine Economy, 30,000 organizations deal with Exchange breach, and Google gets ethical AI scrutiny

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed March 8, 2021
This week - Retailers get another omni-channel gut check in the Vaccine Economy, and Microsoft Exchange suffers a concerning breach. Google's AI firings raise ethical AI scrutiny, and diginomica kicks off our International Women's Day coverage. As always, your whiffs.


Lead story - Retailers vs the omni-channel - with the pandemic lessons hold up in the Vaccine Economy?

MyPOV: Stuart returned to two retailers punching above their weight. Start with pandemic standouts Target (How Target's omni-channel leap of faith 5 years ago set it up for retail's COVID crisis and beyond). Target's digital head-of-steam heading into the pandemic paid off, and then some:

Core to the Target omni-gambit was the re-definition of the role of its store network. At a time when other brands were paralysed by Amazon-ian fear and envy and rushing to offload their offline assets in a race to morph into an online avatar of retail's 'Great Satan', Target took a pragmatic - and as it turns out, highly prescient - alternative approach.

How? Yes, it's revenge of the store, or as I sometimes say, the revenge of the right kind of store. Stuart quotes Target's CEO:

We placed the physical store more firmly at the center of our omni-channel platform and we created a durable, sustainable and scalable business model that put Target on a road of our own. Our goal was to use our proximity - nearly 1,900 stores within 10 miles of the vast majority of the US consumers - to offer the fastest and easiest digital fulfillment in retail. The capabilities we've built to become 'America's easiest place to shop' also cracked the essential question of how to grow our digital sales exponentially, while maintaining the overall profitability of our business.

Nobody really wins a pandemic, but as for Target's growth:

Our team’s ability to act and react in 2020 was years in the making.

Shopping behavior in the Vaccine Economy won't be easy to nail down, but you have to figure a fluid digital-and-store approach like Target's will be best positioned to make quick adjustments.

Another Vaccine Economy question mark Stuart delved into this week: the future of digital delivery ( Deliveroo's planned £7.5bn IPO provides food for thought about the future of digital delivery disruptors). Here's what Deliveroo faces: even if the segment (digital delivery) thrives post-pandemic, that doesn't hand the revenue to third-party platforms. If anything, restaurants of all sizes are looking to cut out the middleperson where they can (Why third party digital delivery isn't on everyone's menu in the restaurant business). Stuart:

Consumer loyalty is fickle and will trend towards platforms with the lowest price-point in terms of delivery charge, making margin pressure an ongoing challenge for many providers.

Fickle consumers? Now there's a pandemic-reinforced behavior I expect to stick.

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Enterprise vendors were in news-making mode, keeping us on our deadline toes.

And the stories rolled on:

A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:

Note: our International Women's Day workplace coverage is launching at presstime. You can see all the stories in our diversity and inclusion section. For now, I liked this Cath Everett quote:

Even one person, whether they are a woman or a male ally, can make all the difference by introducing new perspectives and opening the discussion up.

Let's get that done - today.

Best of the enterprise web

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

My top six picks

Overworked businessman


Don't mind me, I'm just jealous:

Yep, jealous again:

Meanwhile, Tesla showed how not-to-do enterprise community: instead of embracing the moderation challenge, why not just throw in the towel?

Someone said on Twitter, "They'll just go somewhere else." Yeah, and that's good for Tesla how? Having a visitor on your own site is gold right now. Chasing them around the Internet is what everybody else does... but I guess you're about to find that out.

Finally, diginomica has a knack for turning a whiff around. All's fair in love and PR.

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.

Image credit - Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, Businessman Choosing Success or Failure Road © Creativa - all from

Disclosure - Oracle, Workday, Unit4, Software AG, Rimini Street, Acumatica, ServiceNow and Salesforce are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.

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