Enterprise hits and misses - SaaS vendors ace their earnings exams, while the virtual event silly season hits high gear
- This week - SaaS vendors get a boost from the Vaccine Economy, while the virtual event silly season keeps digital scribes glued to their monitors. Digital transformation use cases prove instructive, but cybersecurity threats cast shadows. Your whiffs include another epic dose of Amazon hubris.
Lead story - Cloud and collaboration use cases bring summer lessons
MyPOV: Loads of instructive use cases this week, kicking off with Martin's Italian insurance giant Sara Assicurazioni goes full cloud in a year with TIBCO. Standout lesson? Add new online customer services, and "exploit the growing volume of data available." Martin quotes the COO of Sara Assicurazioni:
It happens now that we can develop new services in one week. We have offices where the real life story is of product that has been developed and then launched on the market from Friday to Friday. We are now very, very fast. In principle we can tailor our product, we can sophisticate our risk model, collecting all this information from different channels. Why not?
Meanwhile, I talked to a CIO who managed to avoid limited IT thinking. How? By tying their project to the business agenda (Inside Hillrom's business transformation into "Connected Care" - an SAP RISE use case):
A big part of it, from Krause's view, is framing your project in terms of business benefits. He says too many big IT projects are more of a look back, with no strategic value. His team starts by asking the question: What are the business models of the future? That includes supporting subscription-based models across Hillrom's platform. "We said, let's build for that," says Krause.
You're not getting far without better collaboration. Workplace by Facebook is a surprisingly persistent name in these situations. Example? Jess' latest, ENO unites on-stage and backstage teams in a chorus of collaboration. She writes:
Today, Workplace from Facebook provides an important foundation for the new ways in which the ENO will work in future.
How so? Start by killing off a ton of
morale-crushing/mind-numbing inefficient email threads. But the real payoff is the hybrid flex. We're going to need systems that can adapt to whatever version of work sticks. Jess quotes ENO CEO Stuart Murphy:
There could be future lockdowns, disruption to public transport and so on. Even if there aren’t, many employees will probably choose to split their working lives between the Coliseum and their own homes, so we’ll have a hybrid workplace set-up. It’s going to be super-important during this transitional phase that we can communicate clearly and collaborate closely.
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
- Never the same again? M&S has found digital religion at last, but can an 'omni-everything' mindset translate into a monetized customer base? - Stuart breaks down another firm that's got "omni-religion."
- Atlanta Group CIO on digitizing insurance broker services - Mark has a use case on the digitization of insurance - a phenomenon I personally haven't experienced, and one which can't come soon enough.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:
- Salesforce soars in Q1 as "counterintuitive" COVID response from CEO Marc Benioff pays off - A slew of SaaS vendors are riding high right now. As Stuart notes, Salesforce is setting the tone: "And then there’s the other obvious reason for the upbeat CEO exuberance - Dreamforce is back." Yep, in September, to a city (sort of) near you. Salesforce is (smartly) requiring double vaccinations. Will other vendors follow suit?
- Is continuous planning a realistic goal for finance teams? Planful's CEO on how the pandemic changed planning, and what's next - I asked CEO Grant Halloran to break out the ideal of "continuous planning" into real world terms.
- Box fights back - reports strong Q1 and raises guidance - Derek on a vendor that has a knack for defying skeptics, as they weather an activist investor kind of year.
The spring virtual event binge continues... and diginomica was on the (virtual) case:
- CEO Bill McDermott on his plans to triple ServiceNow’s revenue in five years - Derek wraps our ServiceNow Knowledge 2021 content festival via a sit-down with the never-under-confident Bill McDermott.
- Google uses I/O to flex its AI prowess - With Google I/O in the books, Kurt bears down on Google's latest AI initiatives: "Whether or not its AI products are technically superior to its competitors’, Google still has an image problem with many enterprises that see GCP as a fertile playground for developers, but not a place they would trust to run critical applications."
- Workato Automate - connecting business processes across apps and data at scale - Confluent's story - Phil was on deck to asses Workato's workflow automation moves, and customer temperature.
- FutureStack 2021 - New Relic champions the data-driven software lifecycle - It's a defining year for New Relic: will their end-to-end observability play pay off? Phil: "New Relic has bet its future on a sea change in the way that software is built and run."
A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:
- Zuora fleshes out platform play with 'tuck-in technology' deal with Live Objects - Stuart
- Momentum is back as CEOs look forward and Workday looks to meet pent-up demand - Stuart
- The Appian way - low-code and the decision/automation gaps now - Brian
Jon's grab bag - It's summertime, and the livin; is... robotic? Why yes, says Chris in It’s summertime for robots, says UK industry showcase. Good point on "physical intelligence," which has been coming up a lot in pick-and-pack scenarios: "AI can already beat grandmasters at chess, but robots still lack the dexterity and physical intelligence of even a three-year-old child."
Derek filed a nifty DataStax use case, Gay social networking app Hornet upgrades Cassandra to improve community experience. And if you've had your fill of
stitled greeting card slogans exaltations about resilience, you're going to dig Brian's latest: Monday Morning Moan - resilience might not be something to brag about.
Best of the enterprise web
My top seven
- Lessons CIOs Can Learn from the Colonial Hack - Good content, but is anyone else going to miss CIO Insight's former, and unapolegetically retro design? This piece, which advises never paying ransoms, should have addressed why Colonial Pipeline paid theirs, and why that was supposedly ineffective.
- SolarWinds Attackers Impersonate USAID in Advanced Attack - At least we have Dark Reading's retro look to fall back on - and analysis on how ConstantContact's email service got maliciously leveraged.
- Actionable Intelligence: The Next Era for BI, Analytics and Apps - Constellation's Doug Henschen slogged through a slew of virtual events, but at least he got a payoff: a new phase in the BI market.
- 11 IT-Enabled Transformation Leadership Agenda Items - UpperEdge's John Belden pulls together his top 11 from his unsparing view of digital transformation: "seek out multiple points of view," "hold everyone accountable" - preach Mr. Belden.
- Executive Summary of Digital Transformation Best Practices - Another frequent flyer on the transformation circuit, Eric Kimberling of Third Stage, shares his tips. Sidenote: I just appeared on Kimberling's show to kick around my underrated tips for project success, and reveal a few diginomica secrets.
- The Surging Opportunity for Robotic Automation - a deep dive with roboticist Ken Goldberg.
- Chicago PD automated policing program got this man shot twice - Yes, we're straying pretty far from the enterprise on this one, but for those of us with a stake in predictive technology, we should give this long-form piece from The Verge an unflinching look.
So this man dug a twelve foot deep hole without realising his metal detector was picking up his steel toe cap safety boots. Sometimes I think Google sees us as similarly gullible: Google Photos finally stops pretending its compressed photos are ‘high quality’.
I got myself a shoutout from Brian Sommer:
Spouse just walked into my office & comments on the software conference playing on my laptop "Wow, that sounds like one boring event you're listening to!"
+10000 to her for calling it like it is
This is why people like @jonerp push vendors to make virtual events better!
— Brian Sommer (@BrianSSommer) May 26, 2021
Alas, our virtual events aren't significantly better than the bland broadcasts that kicked off the pandemic. The "art of the possible" has given way to the "efficiency of the incremental." But bold moves are not always good ones, as Amazon reminded us this week in: Amazon devices will soon automatically share your Internet with neighbors (you have about nine days to opt-out). Ars Technica's reader comments were a treat:
I assume the next Amazon project will automatically opt Prime members into using their homes as micro-fulfillment centers.
Wasn't this the ending of T3?
Hey, remember how we were joking about how smart TVs would form mesh networks and connect to open WiFi connections whether we wanted them to or not? Boy, that sure was zany and hilarious.
Another reader is looking forward to Amazon's daily prostate exams... But there is one solution, as this futuristic pig ably demonstrates:
This annoyed pet pig repeatedly unplugs the vacuum cleaner in amusing video | https://t.co/EN83jyIX8D
That's the spirit little dude....
-> crash course in sustainability :) pic.twitter.com/KFETPt9lG9
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) May 24, 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. 'myPOV' is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.