Enterprise hits and misses - Vaccine Passports stir the tech ethics debate, Microsoft gets a big HoloLens win, and AI is overconfident

Profile picture for user jreed By Jon Reed April 5, 2021
This week - the Vaccine Economy means Vaccine Passports. How will tech companies navigate? Microsoft scores a big HoloLens win, and ERP gets futuristic. Companies are overconfident in AI, while the ethics debate roils on. Your whiffs include epic work from home fails, and April Fools like me.

Lead story - No jab, no job? Injecting ethical considerations into Vaccine Passport tech

MyPOV: In the Vaccine Economy, the Vaccine Passport looms. But how will that work? What kind of tech is in play? Will there be a shred of privacy left to hold onto? In part one of his two-part series, Stuart points out the strange political bedfellows these kinds of programs generate:

It's an equal opportunities controversy and one that the IT sector finds itself at the heart of, both as putative user and provider of the underlying technology to enable such passport schemes in practice.

Tech companies got laurels for COVID testing; this will be many degrees tougher.

The industry has been (rightly) proud of its efforts to support COVID counter-measures, such as track-and-trace, and latterly technologies and practices to support a safe return to the workplace. But this is different.

Will vaccines be required for domestic travel? For international? For employment? Problematic questions. As Stuart explains in part two (No jab, no job? Injecting ethical considerations into Vaccine Passport tech (2/2), this puts tech companies, from IBM to Salesforce, in a thorny ethical spot - with complex design considerations to ensure fair outcomes. And yet, we are already rolling downhill. Stuart:

I suspect such passports will become a norm in the Vaccine Economy - today British Airways and Virgin Atlantic both announced they're trialling their own health credentials apps - and I'd rather this was delivered to a unified, international standard.

Sadly, history suggests that's going to be easier said than done. That being so, it's crucial that every initiative of this form is put firmly under the ethical microscope.

Stuart says we shouldn't approach this as "war time" conditions, taking ethical shortcuts for crisis purposes. Yep - whatever gets rolled out should work for the long haul. Though hopefully the long haul isn't as long as it appears at times.

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

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

Vendors kept us busy this week, with fresh news and use cases:

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 picks

Overworked businessman


The perils of work from home, exhibit A:  Police say they found mafia fugitive on YouTube, posting cooking tutorials

Perils of work from home, exhibit B: Child tweets gibberish from US nuclear-agency account

That will teach me to say something optimistic about a blockchain-related use case: NFTs Were Supposed to Protect Artists. They Don't. Anil Dash on creating NFTs at a hackathon:

We took that shortcut because we were running out of time. Seven years later, all of today’s popular NFT platforms still use the same shortcut. This means that when someone buys an NFT, they’re not buying the actual digital artwork; they’re buying a link to it. And worse, they’re buying a link that, in many cases, lives on the website of a new start-up that’s likely to fail within a few years.

If that isn't bad enough, mullets are under fire again:

Volkswagen had a rough April Fools go:

Meanwhile, Brian Sommer and I made some fools of our own:

Long live "The Technology Trapezoid." 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, Loser and Winner © ispstock - all from Fotolia.com.

Disclosure - Oracle, Workday and Salesforce are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.

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