You're back in the office, only to find yourself on back-to-back Zoom calls - then why did you bother? It's a loaded question, one that Gary explores, via survey data from Slack. Putting the video meeting problem aside for a moment, these stats jumped out:
Deep work benefits from less office distractions - "When it comes to so-called ‘deep work’ - the specific value-add tasks that knowledge workers are hired to do, like create marketing collateral, or coding, most people in the study (55%) say they think home has turned out to be the best place to be productive."
The office sparks community, and problem solving - "Some 66% stated that such quick, desk side conversations are important for problem solving, and 79% cite them as important for an overall sense of belonging."
There is emerging clarity on what the office is good for, and what the home office excels at. The next problem is: technology that unites the two. Slack, of course, thinks it has a solution to that. Gary supports Slack's notion of a "digital HQ." What is that? He quotes
Leaders need to see where people work is irrelevant. Now, we need to create a digital-first experience, as most of the people interacting with our business is going to be through digital means... Regardless of who you are, what demographic or geography you sit in, your experience on that digital platform needs to be the same across the board. If you do, people are happier as they can work from a physical location and remotely. You need to help people do what's best for them with technology, to support them to do the work in the way that they need to do.
Hard to argue with Gary:
That makes a lot more sense than going to an office to be with people, and then spending hours talking on Zoom or Teams instead.
As for video meeting creep (pun intended), there's no perfect solution (I'd argue that excessive video meetings can clobber the hopes of a productive day at the home office also). The idea of shorter video clips instead of 30 minute meetings could reduce (some) meeting load. Simulating water cooler talk to ease the remote work isolation is another (virtual) challenge worthy of pursuit. Flexible work: a riddle unsolved.
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
- When cloud hits the road - how automotive manufacturers are tapping into Google, Salesforce and Microsoft to drive transformation - Autonomous cars have run
(smack)into setbacks, but it's full speed ahead for the connected car, and big tech names are in play. Stuart's on the case.
- Robots hit the road to show UK manufacturing the way - "Why do British manufacturers find it so hard to modernize?" A potent question for Chris to assess.
- Greenpeace International CTO Chomba-Kinywa - the challenge of leveraging tech to use data to tackle climate change - Madeline looks at one of the most important applied data uses I can think of. Interesting to see which tech has delivered, and which has fallen short of promise for Greenpeace so far (e.g. IoT, blockchain)
- Dr Martens steps towards the cloud - A fresh use case from Mark Chillingworth, with a DevOps twist.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage, as the enterprise event train chugs on:
- BoxWorks 22 - reassurance at a time of enterprise turmoil in the shift to digital - Phil weighs in on a compelling virtual event: "Like many early pioneers, I feel that Box Paper has now been overtaken by these later arrivals, particularly in their ability to embed and connect to other applications. But that doesn't mean that it can't hold its own within the specific context of content collaboration, which of course is where Box is resolutely focused."
- Sage Transform '22 news review - the context behind the top stories - "There's a big story flying under the radar here - and it impacts customers across Sage, well beyond Sage Intacct." - My take from Orlando.
- Kinaxis CTO on partnering with Google Cloud and the future of data transformation - Phil: "There's plenty of scope to continue to automate and streamline the process of integrating and transforming data from different sources."
- Don't be an Andrew! Lessons Salesforce UKI CEO Zahra Bahrololoumi has learned as a person of color in tech - via Madeline: "Be authentic, that's the differentiator, and I'm proud of that."
Google Cloud Next analysis and use cases:
- Cloud Next 22 - three big themes of data, security and collaboration - Derek
- How Origin Energy is helping customers understand their solar power needs using Google Cloud - Derek
A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:
- SuiteWorld 2022 – the big picture - Brian
- Workday Rising highlight - jobs are fluid. Why aren't HR vendors? VNDLY makes the case for the extended workforce - Jon
- US Citizen and Immigration Services moves to real-time data sharing with Confluent - Derek
- NatWest banks on Snowflake to boost data-led decision-making - Mark Samuels
- Keep the corporate foot on the accelerator - Unit4's Business Future Index detects a sense of urgency among organizations - Stuart crunches important data points:
For all that, overall, the Index suggests that organizations entered 2022 confident of their own resilience, which is perhaps just as well given what’s unfolded globally since then... As noted above, the pandemic did indeed accelerate organization change and transformation, with 90% of respondents pointing to this. Digital transformation was the most impacted (52%), followed close behind by changing to new flexible working models (51%).
Best of the enterprise web
My top seven
- Biden Proposal to Make Gig Workers Employees Sinks Uber and Lyft Stock - As if Uber and Lyft didn't have enough (profit) problems...
- AI tools fail to reduce recruitment bias - study - raise your hands if you're surprised. Via BBC News: "Of particular concern to the researchers were tools to 'analyse the minutiae of a candidate's speech and bodily movements' to see how closely they resembled a company's supposed ideal employee."
- Why enterprise security needs strong identity tech like MFA - We need to limit the exposure of attacks using stolen identity credentials, and we're not close yet.
- Meta Meets Microsoft - Ben Thompson gives Zuckerberg way too much credit with the "father of the metaverse" kind of talk, given that virtual reality and augmented reality were already gangly adolescents by the time Zuck caught on to them. But, since I've hammered the metaverse plenty in this column, we should acknowledge a significant partnership that does legitimize the further pursuit of these technologies. However, I will point you to this tweet as a counterpoint:
I'm with you Tim (and Evan) - virtual *with real world is super cool. cc: @jonerp @josheac Apple CEO Tim Cook doesn't like the metaverse—he predicts a different technology will shape the future https://t.co/pNOD1ZeGNh
— Meg Bear (she/her) (@megbear) October 15, 2022
- No Time Like the Present - Lora Cecere continues her sizzlin' supply chain streak: "While one might argue that the availability of better data and insights can help companies make better decisions, let me share why I struggle with the analogy."
- Cultivating organizational resilience - We haven't built resilient organizations yet, but we're making strides; McKinsey explains why.
- Regulating DAOs - Bruce Schneier tackles the thorny problem of regulating nebulous crypto-instruments.
You have to love "pledges" made by companies advancing technologies beyond their direct control:
Robot Dog Maker Boston Dynamics Pledges Not to Let Its Robots Kill You https://t.co/HfDcBLrjzc
-> definitely reassuring :)
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) October 8, 2022
Meanwhile, I had to tweak Amazon for pushing the living heck out of a big budget series that adds up to elf dust between the toes of Bilbo Baggins:
.@PrimeVideo is it too late to change the name from "Rings of Power" to "Meandering Preamble"?
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) October 8, 2022
(I found solace in a vastly superior show, HBO's under-the-radar quirky/gutsy/beautiful Station Eleven). Finally, we have a new and creative way to win the talent war: make up your employees. From scratch:
That company's 'About Us' page may be full of fake pictures of 'people' who don't actually exist https://t.co/B0OASm4ggv
"One owner added fake employees to make his company appear bigger than it really was. "
-> That's one way to win the talent war lolz
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) October 16, 2022
That's a wrap - 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.