quotage: "The UK government needs to be open to institutional reform if it wants to take advantage of the opportunities presented by digital and platform technologies."
myPOV: I'm not what you'd call a UK digital government expert - I'm a Yank (definition #1) who has his hands full trying to make sense of Donald Trump. But this week, Derek built on our extensive coverage of the UK's GDS (Government Digital Service) by taking a serious position - a vote of no confidence is not to be taken lightly. Derek, Stuart and Phil have been tracking this story for a while, including the recent departure of GDS Director Mike Bracken.
I'll leave it to my UK colleagues to interpret the inner workings of this story, but beyond the UK, here's why it matters: the UK government's lead in digital transformation has impacted countries globally. As Derek explains in his more optimistic follow-on pieces, New leaders at GDS need to do what GDS has always done best – prove people wrong and GDS’ government-as-a-platform ambitions are misunderstood – it’s not about control. the most compelling part of this digital journey lies ahead.
Derek argues that the UK still has a chance to seize a new GaaP approach (Government as a Platform), which would further disrupt old guard players, and open up a new level of service transparency, cutting costs via re-usable services. The GaaP vision is about three key features: data transparency and security (likely via a blockchain type architecture), a marketplace that relies on open source code, and open competition for services. You can bet we'll have more updates, and, likely, more Twitter brouhahas, on this unfolding story.diginomica five: my completely subjective top five stories on diginomica this week:
- Health care use cases put mobile and HR in the spotlight - Two health care use cases told stories of tech-for-purpose, starting with Jessica's NEWS flash! Chelsea and Westminster Hospital prescribes mobile patient warnings. Sidenote: liked that the problems achieving a better mobile warning system for acutely ill patients weren't sugarcoated. From the HR side, Janine shared the story of how Mercy Hospital moved beyond its eight antiquated workforce systems via a new cloud-based workforce management system from Kronos. Bonus: as part of my SuccessConnect 2015 coverage, I posted another HR-to-the-cloud use case, How Edgewell Personal Care conquered data and skills issues on their SuccessFactors go-live.
- Nordstrom's goes omni-channel, and Starbucks wins over another
pricklydiscerning consumer - Stuart applies his omni-channel BS detector to Nordstrom, and finds the company attempting to move beyond channel management and into bonafide experiences. Den, meanwhile, who once made fun of me for going to Starbucks, has reversed course and now chooses Starbucks over superior local brews. And it's all about the Starbucks digital pay experience.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style - Wanna know why Infor bought GT Nexus in bid to own the ‘Commerce Cloud’? We did too, so Phil got on the horn with Infor CEO Charles Phillips and filed his exclusive analysis (gist: Phil sees this as a "canny pre-emptive move," pushing into the direct spend part of the procurement market, ahead of "commerce cloud" rivals. In Rackspace – titan or tweenie of tomorrow? probes deeper into Rackspace's market predicaments. Oh, and Den wades into the Alphabet soup in Google restructures and yes, it matters.
Den took a measured look at one of the most sensationalized stories of the week in Oracle’s CSO lights a fire among security interests: do not reverse engineer our code. I wasn't crazy about the tone of the post, but like Den I agree that the social tarring/feathering routine is childish and detracts from a more pressing conversation (enterprise security). I tied that position into a different angle, career misadventures: Facebook rescinds internship to aspiring security hacker – enterprises take note. Stuart wraps our vendor takes with CSC – the next generation. Make it so! which explores CSC's chances at a digital re-invention.
Best of the restMy quippy take on the best pieces I tagged this week. The standouts:
- Good BI, in the cloud or not - A couple handy BI pieces: Doug Henschen's Cloud Analytics: Six Tips for Success pulls together some tips using the Google guideline of "reducing time to understanding." Why cloud analytics? If you said agility and resource efficiency, you know your cloud analytics marketing! Meantime, Enterprise Apps Today published a useful ditty, Getting Good BI Without a Single Version of the Truth, which embraces the "about time" premise that a single version of the truth is a waterfall pipe dream more often than not. Alternatives are explored, including focusing on high value content areas. Plus we get a quote of the week nominee: "We’ve moved from Excel hell to Excel hell with a pretty face."
- Google's Alpha Bet: Escaping The One-Trick Pony Curse - Is Google more than just tiny classified ads (and minimalistic search brilliance?). To an extent - but not on the balance sheet, says Gil Press, who makes the (correct) case that this move is about Page/Brin's drive to change the world with big ideas - not just sell ads. Fail fast? No. Fail big? We'll see. But I don't quarrel with the ambition. Holger Mueller also issued a few musings on Google's reorg (he's bullish, and predicts more "moonshots" that he saw at this year's I/O.)
- Wrapping SuccessConnect 2015 - August in Vegas, what's not to like? Now that I'm back from an important show from SAP given SuccessFactors' growth, I'm wading through the coverage. Mueller has the most comprehensive wrap to date, the concisely-titled Event Report - SAP SuccessFactors SuccessConnect - Good Progress sprinkled with innovative ideas and challenging the status quo. Craig Powers of ASUGnews provided some of the best on-site coverage, including a piece on the show's most significant announcement, Digging Deeper Into SuccessFactors’ New ‘Intelligent Services’. I have plenty of coverage still planned (you can see my prior pieces on my bio page), but to wet your whistle, how'z about this podcast SuccessConnect wrap with the notorious (and surprisingly upbeat) Jarret Pazahanick? Also: check Jarret's video appearance on Bill Kutik's Firing Line (along with Luke Marson) for more insight into how the consulting world must adapt to cloud, an underlying theme of the show.
- Social media and diminishing marginal utility - Not gonna dwell on this one as I hope to write about it tonight, but Vijay Vijayasankar has some provocative thoughts on the diminishing value of social, and how we are part of the noise problem that results in far less value than many of us evangelized. In a related point, via curation wizard Den Howlett, social media isn't much help in reach decision makers either (What Salespeople Need to Know About the New B2B Landscape).
The clarity of definition: CRM, CE and CX. Should we care? - You know, I really don't care. But if we are talking about moving beyond crappy call center experiences to being treated like human beings, I'm all ears. Let's revisit this one next week, I have a plan...
9 Truths IT Pros Must Live By - In the mood for a listicle? I thought so! I especially like "Find and fix problems before users are impacted. IT teams shouldn’t discover problems through an open ticket," though alas, it does qualify for my "wishful thinking" award.
Catalina Sea Ranch Dives Into Aquaculture – and IoT - Does the Internet of Things bore you as much as it does me? So glad I'm not alone. But we can still admit, this is a really interesting IoT use case, right?
Supply Chain: The True Game of Risk - Regarding the problem of the globalized supply chain: "The value network of suppliers and logistics providers is largely managed by spreadsheets and email with no system of record for interactions" - yikes!
The Free Coding Academy Model -- How To Teach Our Next Generation Of Programmers - Lots o' content coming out about how our educational system is failing an entire generation in coding literacy. But: some creative approaches are brewing.
A bunch of fun-with-surveillance news this week, with several companies vying for the honor of the your-privacy-is-less-important-than-our-agenda prize. I'll give it to AT&T for going far beyond Verizon in helping the NSA track Internet traffic (sidenote: in 1992(!) I interviewed an AT&T researcher who strongly implied to me that when various databases were combined, it would be terrifying what certain companies/agencies would know about us).
Been a while since I picked on Buzzfeed, and truth is, We Can’t Seem To Figure How Much Of A Thing The Gig Economy Really Is isn't a bad piece (the author is trying to get a statistical handle on how much impact the on-demand economy of Uber, Airbnb etc is actually having). But there is a mixed agenda here, because while the "on-demand economy" driven by Uberized platforms may be hard to quantify, there's no doubt that we are becoming a freelance economy.
So, when the article notes, "Chriss thinks the survey will find that these people are happier with their current work lives than the public might expect. And right now, the public likely expects very little: Lawsuit after lawsuit — and news story after news story — have created the impression that on-demand workers are exploited and miserable, and that the model itself is precarious." Well, we know that freelancing isn't precarious, it's pretty much the future of work.
And as far as job satisfaction goes, that's not the issue whatsoever. Yep, certain freelancers are happy - that's not a relevant issue. The point is that we're heading towards freelancers-by-necessity, not by choice. I'm more interested in helping folks with such transitions - and arming them with the resources and support they need - then pondering the happiness of early adopters.
So I tested out Twitter's new expanded direct message format with the still-ubiquitous Ray Wang. Works great - Hootsuite already trackes the 10,000 character limit for you. Long time ago, 2008 I think - Twitter secretly allowed longer direct messages, and it worked great. Then it was kiboshed. Now it's back and expanded - about five years too late to help Twitter win the messaging wars. Nice job playing from behind.
So I found this blog, "Without Bullshit," that dissects PR releases and posts. The title sucked me in; the content is usually good, as in this positive dissection, You should write like Larry Page in his Google-Alphabet announcement. For nifty uses of tech, I also liked Young Muslim Entrepreneurs Try Countering ISIS Propaganda.
And, finally catching up on some (but not all) summer TV finales. Here's a few no-spoiler reviews for ya:
- True Detective season 2 finale (HBO) - a bloated, flatulent mess that I nevertheless enjoyed, having long ago put aside any expectations based on a brilliant season one.
- Power season 3 finale (Starz) - a well-constructed season of drama, ultimately marred by some gutless decisions that seem ratings-driven to my jaded eyes.
- Rectify season 3 finale (Sundance) - sticking with this sometimes ponderous and always-subtle Sundance show rewarded long-time viewers with some truly sublime episodes that managed to advance the plot while showing the evolution of characters and friendships. Hard at times, kinda like life.
Which #ensw pieces of merit did I miss? Let us know in the comments.
Image credits: Cheerful Chubby Man © RA Studio, Happy Children © Anna Omelchenko, Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, at the seaside © olly - Fotolia.com - all from Fotolia.com
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