Lead story - The future of work amidst the Great Resignation - home, office, or both?
MyPOV: As the waves of Omicron slow (in many places), the future of work - and office - heats up. Stuart nailed it down in The Future of Work - remote or in the office? It's complicated as COVID consensus cracks in the Vaccine Economy:
A ping pong table and free snacks are not enough to lure people to join or stay with their employers; flexibility of work mode is key, according to Topia's latest study.
I dunno - ping pong is pretty good for social distancing... But anyhow, Stuart continues:
Last year Topia’s Adapt study found that employees wanted to be able to work from anywhere in the ‘New Normal’ and that a growing number of employers could see the benefits of this. Fast forward to 2022 and there’s more of a feeling, on both sides, that remote working isn’t actually working out for a variety of reasons.
I won't detail all the reasons and stats here, but the gist is that "all remote, all the time" isn't getting it done for many workers, and even more employers. But where we part ways is: what to do about it. Employers want to re-ignite cubicle love; employees want to keep things flexible:
On the other side of the coin, employees are more cynical about the motivations of their employers, with 39% claiming their firm makes it too difficult to work remotely, while nearly half (48%) believes that remote work policies are effectively gesture politics and are really put in place to make it easier to reject requests to work remotely.
Employers best watch their step. The Great Resignation maybe overhyped, but it's still a thing. As Stuart notes, "Some 29% of employees changed employers in 2021 and that number is set to rise by a further 34% this year." Pick that theme up in Cath's The Great Resignation and how to avoid it - two tech firms offer up their tips on staff retention. As Cath points out, throwing money at this problem in the form of higher salaries might work for recruitment, but it doesn't work nearly as well for retention as other factors, including work culture, purpose/values, and "employee empowerment." Ergo:
One of the results in the tech sector specifically has been increasing calls for more flexible ways of working.
Yes, and in my view, companies haven't gone nearly as far down the 're-imagining work" rabbit hole as they claim. Still, truly flexible policies are not easy to pull off either. Nor is remote work the panacea for all roles and situations - with some employees unhappy with all-remote as well. Leading Stuart to conclude:
What does emerge from the study is a need for compromise on both sides.
Indeed. But let's not compromise on the creative approaches we might take to bring this together. It's not like we're going to be working less anytime soon.
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
- Diversity in STEM, and women in tech - You're not solving the women in tech problem without more inclusive STEM education. Derek picks up on a UK STEM event in Diversity and inclusion in STEM education - access to role models and inspiring experiences are key: As for the ongoing women and tech inequities, Madeline takes on the topic again, in the context of female employee retention: Letting women be ‘leaders of their own calendar’ will keep more women in tech.
- Connecting up healthcare - interoperability shows vital signs of improvement - Connected healthcare? A work in progress, writes Mark Chillingworth. The biggest obstacles: data quality, and data silos: "Everyone is interested in AI, but 80% of the cost of AI is getting the data cleaned before you can deploy the algorithms."
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:
- Coupa CEO Rob Bernshteyn - delivering results in an uncertain world - add Coupa to the list of tech stocks that Wall Street is grumpy with. But, as Stuart reports, is there more to the story? "Wall Street gave Coupa a tough time, but growth numbers and a growing functional footprint bode well."
- Meet Acumatica's new CEO John Case - what is his cloud ERP growth agenda? Acumatica's CEO change took many by surprise. Time for me to put new CEO John Case on the spot, and find out: what changes are in store?
Adobe Summit - keynotes, analysis and use cases - The diginomica team was on-hand to break down a virtual Adobe Summit, where personalization-at-scale was the theme du jour, with a dash of metaverse:
- Adobe Summit 2022 - personalization at scale, metaverse, real-time CDP, AI and more - Phil
- Adobe Summit 2022 - what's next for Workfront after Adobe Sign and Anaplan integrations? - Phil
- M&S focuses on personalization to deliver value to customers - Adobe use case by Mark Samuels
- Effective project management is child’s play for Mattel - Adobe Workfront use case by Mark Samuels
Jon's grab bag - I think of brand evangelists as problematic and forward-thinking, in equal measure. Barb digs in: Preach it! The role of the Chief Evangelist in marketing. Everyone has an opinion on track and trace, but we're (often) lacking the data. As Derek notes, UK’s COVID-19 Inquiry will examine data use and effectiveness of test and trace.
Neil examined AI's flawed regulatory structure in Here's looking at you, kid - the problematic adoption of facial recognition systems. Stuart slathered the appropriate amount of
arm's length skepticism satirical wit to Welcome to the metaverse - Accenture brings 'synthetic realness' to the 'no rules or expectations' world - "Trying to plan the next tech revolution is a worthwhile notion, although it will almost inevitably end up with rival visionaries fighting like a bag of cats over their worldviews." I unfurled a strenuous reader comment of my own, based on two live hours with Accenture this week:
The reason the Internet is a "disparate collection" of sites and apps is because the Internet is a largely commercial platform, and Netflix and Disney and HBO are separate companies in the real world. So will they be online. I see no evidence putting on 3D goggles would change that.
Maybe I'm just jealous about my substandard headgear...
Best of the enterprise web
My top seven
- Recent Ransomware Attacks & What We Learned - CIO Insight breaks out five unpleasant skirmishes. The insights aren't exactly revelations, but the resource links are useful.
- The Long Tail of Technology Decision Makers - Gartner's Hank Barnes reveals fresh data on the expanding group that impacts tech buying decisions: "Managing and targeting decision makers is a daunting task. They are diverse; they are distributed; and they appear inconsistently across companies."
- Artificial intelligence: How to make A.I. ethics watchdogs effective - Forming an AI ethics board seems more like a PR exercise than a corporate discipline. This Fortune article would have us take a harder look.
- AI Weekly: New poll shows public's view of facial recognition, DOJ isn't tracking predictive policing spending - VentureBeat has a weekly AI roundup; first time I've seen it. Not bad, though I prefer the more comprehensive Last Week in AI (which has a companion podcast). VentureBeat's is a paid subscription if you want it in your inbox; Last Week in AI has free and tiered pricing.
- Crash Course in Customer Success SaaS Metrics.- There is more to customer success than SaaS metrics, but we can start there. Dave Kellogg shows how the replay post is done: podcast, slides, link to Q/A - and sort the fading SaaS metrics from the vital ones.
- Building new supply-chain management skills for a digital age - Supply chain analysis has focused on improving decision making. But McKinsey raises another issue: talent gaps: "99 percent of respondents to that survey said they need more in-house digital supply chain talent to support their current and planned digitization efforts, a tenfold increase on the previous year."
- At SXSW, A Pathetic Tech Future Struggles to Be Born - One of the most ethically-charged skewerings of the crytop-meta-verse I have seen. Yes, it may sell the so-called "innovation" a bit short, but the points stand: "'I wish I knew what any of this was supposed to mean," one attendee told me before shrugging and leaving the venue.'"
So 13% of People Think Elon Musk’s Singularity Brain Chip Will Be Good for Society. I'm not sure how that number overlaps with those who want to accompany Musk to Mars...
Meanwhile, Cafe Press won my coveted "stay classy" award:
Ex CafePress owner fined $500,000 for 'shoddy' security, covering up data breach | ZDNet https://t.co/9D3SOGb6i6
"When victim accounts were closed after being hacked in one incident, CafePress went so far as to charge them a $25 fee."
-> this week's "stay classy" award winner
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) March 20, 2022
I couldn't resist another shot at Microsoft Teams, after its wonderful update crashed itself (and my meeting):
re: "Meetings are just one tool in our belt."
True, but that's no excuse to continue to ship an aggravating and buggy meeting product that people rely on but struggle to log into, update, and manage pic.twitter.com/RLHTxHsykJ
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) March 16, 2022
I also gave ADP's chatbot a rough time, though to be fair, this type of "choose from three choices" lead gen bot is common on many software vendor sites:
Will never understand these bizarre chatbots that only have three options: 1. can we sell you something? 2. can we give you more info so we can sell you something? Or, go away.
why not gather intel, I would have been happy to disclose why to @ADP :) pic.twitter.com/52o5Madowb
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) March 17, 2022
ADP's social media account gamely stepped into the fray, but backed off when I started to throw "lead gen bots" under the bus. Look, bots aren't smart, but do they have to be this (intentionally) dumb? I say no... 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.