Enterprise hits and misses - Uber gets an uber hack, tierless gets real, and Adobe goes shopping (for Figma)

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed September 19, 2022
This week - Adobe spends big on Figma - but why? Plus: the business case for tierless architecture. Uber gets hacked, Microsoft Teams gets called out (again), the spreadsheet debate heats up, and the whiffs are epic.

King Checkmate

Today's hits and misses comes a little later than usual as diginomica joins those paying respect to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

Lead story - Frictionless enterprise - how does tierless architecture fit in? 

Phil issued a revealing installment in his frictionless enterprise series. This time, the focus is on tierless architecture: Frictionless Enterprise - the Tierless Architecture of composable IT. So what is "tierless," and why should enterprises care? At diginomica, we push for a business/ROI view on tech, but that doesn't mean the tech is apples-to-apples. As Phil puts it:

The Information Technology (IT) infrastructure an organization adopts is crucial to its ability to thrive in this new digitally connected era. This is no skin-deep change.

Phil defines tierless:

The new enterprise IT architecture decomposes all of these tiers and makes their components readily available via APIs. Instead of a 3-tier or N-tier stack of UI, application server(s) and database, there is a Tierless Architecture of engagement, functions and resources.

You don't become tierless or serverless overnight. Why should you prepare? For the business, argues Phil:

The impact of these new approaches on the IT function, as Wolford's Knapp says, is that it becomes a more engaged participant in achieving business goals, rather than simply a provider of technology at the behest of the business.

The best roadmap? Successful projects and peer-to-peer knowledge sharing. We document these concepts via our diginomica use case library. Check Phil's piece for the full context, but here's the common thread: transformations must run deep to be sustainable - that included the tech. More often than not, you can't change business models and adapt to market pressures on a flawed tech stack.

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

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

  • Mid-life crisis? Adobe puts Figma on its arm for $20 billion - Chris on a very big software romance, err, acquisition, and why it happened: "The last sentence may be the tell behind the deal: Adobe can feel the Earth turning and a young generation eyeing something cooler and better looking – a company that’s one of them – so the middle-aged corporation wants to be seen with Figma on its arm."
  • Larry Ellison - how Oracle will maintain database share in the multi-cloud era - Oracle's attention shifts to is core business - and how to protect/grow it. Stuart has the story.
  • Planful buys Plannuh, connecting finance to marketing performance management - Planful says it's serious about collaborative finance; now, it puts money behind the method. Phil shares insights from his recent London sessions with Planful.
  • Zoho - customers share pandemic lessons at Zoholics 2022 - Zoholics London 2022 brought fresh customer stories to the fore. Chris was there: "For many companies, the crisis accelerated long-held plans for digital transformation, while asking some tough change-management and cultural questions. For others, it handed them an advantage of sorts, as their markets and IT choices were well positioned to benefit from home-working consumers. But for some – especially those whose business demands face-to-face contact – the challenges were more severe, but they still benefited from specific teams using SaaS applications."

diginomica covers Workday Rising US - Workday's first on-the-ground Rising show since 2019 kept us in hustle mode, with notable stories to chase down:

A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:

Best of the enterprise web

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

My top seven

  • The Uber Hack’s Devastation Is Just Starting to Reveal Itself "The phrase 'zero trust' has become a sometimes meaningless buzzword in the security industry, but the Uber breach seems to at least show an example of what zero trust is not." Ouch - another example of how the initial breach isn't even the biggest problem - the problem is the unfettered access the breach provided. Sidenote: another indictment of flimsy approaches to 2FA.
  • 10 Observations from Finovate - I've never been to Finovate, but this is a strong post on the state of fintech in general: "The impulse to skip Finovate because you are absolutely sure that you won’t learn anything valuable is the same impulse that causes fintech startups to not hire bankers with 20+ years of experience because they might not fit in with their culture. It’s the same impulse that causes banks to dismiss everything in and around web3 as a worthless scam." Not sure about that web3 part though... calling BS on "web3" is pretty important right about now.
  • Why spreadsheets might be your fair weather friend but are likely your nemesis - He might have retired from diginomica, but he's still "Uncle Den would like to have a word with you" Den "spreadsheet killer" Howlett. Here, Den joins the spreadsheet argument versus Phil Wainewright's diginomica post.
  • The uncertain future of US healthcare - Not a rosy picture of US healthcare amidst surging costs, but this McKinsey post frames the issues.
  • Delivery robots aren't quite ready to roll - A welcome dose of semi-realism, however: "Autonomous delivery works in controlled environments, but is not ready to take over critical tasks such as delivering meals or medication for elderly shut-ins." In other words, not nearly ready for real life.
  • How to engage for customer experience and success - Thomas Wieberneit has your CX think piece of the week.
  • Is the Creator Economy cratering? - Nice to see hype balloons getting punctured. That crucial distinction between "attention" and "intention" also applies to B2B.

Overworked businessman


I've seen a lot of wacky headlines this year, but we're not gonna top Chess grandmaster denies cheating by using anal beads.  (Evidently, he was also offered a chance to clear his name by playing nude, albeit by a spurious web site).

Speaking of nitpicky, it's a bit hard to take when a headline contradicts the article itself:

From the article: "If your task could be defined by an algorithm, your job is in danger of being replaced by artificial intelligence." So, your job is in danger, or it's not. Make up your freaking editorial mind maybe?

Then there is Microsoft Teams, which doesn't feel like fixing a concerning vulnerability:

Great job, great effort. Finally, as you plan your next vacation getaway, I hope you don't mind mowing the lawn:

Airbnb: "don't forget your weedwacker."

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.

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