Enterprise hits and misses – massive tech heads to Washington to repent, the systemic threat of cloud dependency, and the way forward for manufacturing work

As Jon Reed has a break from his colleagues a properly earned week away, switches off his work notifications and recoups from the insanity of 2020, I’ve the privilege of pulling collectively this week’s Enterprise Hits and Misses. Take pleasure in.

Lead story – Tech giants leaves Washington largely unscathed after a grilling from US legislators

MyPOV: As was anticipated, the showdown between the so-called ‘Robber Barons’ of the 21st Century and US politicians final week was much less of a hauling over the coals and extra of a grandstanding alternative for legislators to point out they ‘get tech’. Alternatives have been missed to get a deeper understanding of the implications of centralised energy on-line from the likes of Amazon, Fb, Apple and Google, with Democrats and Republicans alike straying in direction of partisan matters of curiosity. Stuart’s scathing write up -Large Tech goes to Washington: Large tech goes dwelling untroubled – however what did anybody anticipate?- captures the temper properly:

…the strain between the aim of the session and the compulsion of politicians in such circumstances to posture, revel of their ‘Perry Mason second’ and act up for the cameras because the Grand Inquisitor that the majority of them assume they’re, however emphatically will not be. It has been seen again and again, each within the US and different political fora world wide, that the one technique to get ‘good’ outcomes from such periods is to ask a sequence of quick, to-the-point, easy questions that demand straight solutions and supply no room for equivocation.

The COVID-19 pandemic meant that proceedings have been carried out nearly, which introduced its personal distinctive issues. Nevertheless, the tech titans largely got here away unscathed, with the CEOs listening to their PR Chiefs and giving solutions that have been non-committal at finest, avoidant at worst. However the whole occasion was overshadowed by President Trump taking to Twitter (the irony) to declare that he’ll take actions into his personal palms if “Congress would not carry equity to Large Tech”.

Till subsequent time although, Silicon Valley can largely sleep simple. Stuart:

I went in with low expectations so I emerged with out disappointment. To be truthful, there was some indication that extra analysis had been completed on this event by among the sub-committee members – or their interns – with emails and previous feedback thrown within the face of the CEOs, significantly Zuckerberg.

However no blows landed and no severe injury was completed. If checked out in a ‘bread and circuses’ kind of method, there wasn’t even the sight of any of the titans shedding his cool below strain.

On this facet of the Atlantic, British politicians have been additionally dwelling on the the affect of digital enterprise on the broader economic system (or so the headlines would have you ever imagine). The mainstream media triggered some hysteria, claiming that the federal government could be slapping a brand new ‘tax’ on on-line gross sales in an effort to degree the enjoying subject for bricks-and-mortar companies and assist increase £2 billion a 12 months. The reality? Stuart explains why that is not fairly the case…:

What is occurring is that the UK Authorities, looking forward to the 2023 re-evaluation of enterprise charges, has issued a Name for Proof session doc to ask feedback from parties- together with Amazon et al – on whether or not there’s a greater method of doing issues. Suggestions will then be scoped right into a evaluation in 2021 – after the ‘No Deal’ Brexit deadline has handed and when who is aware of what might be occurring COVID-wise.

So, on-line tax to avoid wasting the economic system? No. £2 billion a 12 months from making the Amazons of the world pay their due? No. Good little bit of hyperbole to froth up the precise wing mainstream media? Job completed!

diginomica picks – my prime tales on diginomica this week

Vendor evaluation, diginomica fashion

Use instances galore -They’re the bread and butter of diginomica content material and this week we noticed a swathe of use instances are available, tackling a wide range of change points.

Derek’s seize bag -With all of the concern mongering concern across the rise of the robots and a future that may see us dominated by AI overlords, it was refreshing to see Neil drill down this week on why Synthetic Intelligence is not going to resemble human intelligence. Nevertheless, there might be AI that’s extraordinarily helpful. Neil notes:

We aren’t near “situational consciousness.” I see no path to an AGI that could be a duplicate (and superior one) to human intelligence. Our present efforts will not be rather more than level options. Nor do I see the necessity. Airplanes do not flap their wings, they fly greater and quicker than birds.

What I do see, nonetheless, is a 3rd factor – a synthetic intelligence that’s completely different and superior to human intelligence. We could have the expertise for this on this century. Whereas the relentless push to AGI raises severe moral questions, they won’t reasonable progress.

It is price trying out Jerry’s view on whether or not California’s CPRA will turn out to be the usual for nationwide client privateness laws. His take: the present system places an excessive amount of burden on customers to grasp and handle private knowledge themselves and nowhere close to sufficient on the businesses that accumulate and use knowledge. And at last it would not be a Hits and Misses with no little bit of retail evaluation from Stuart – this week he takes a take a look at John Lewis’s post-pandemic ambitions, the place the UK family title is about to place digital entrance and centre of its plans.

Better of the remaining

Lead story – Exterior consultants cannot fill the hole within the digital enterprise

My POV: A bit appeared this week from Steve Andriole, a Professor at Villanova College, which argues the case for inner consulting groups for digital transformation and boldly tells McKinsey, Accenture and Cap Gemini to step apart!

Adriole’s take is that exterior consultants will not be solely costly however that they can not get to the guts of an organisation that’s having to grapple with broad ranging complexity within the digital age. As an alternative inner functionality have to be constructed – you’ll be able to’t outsource your data. A message I can absolutely get behind. He says:

Digital transformation requires an built-in understanding of an organization’s strategic strengths, weaknesses and intentions, and an understanding of the applied sciences mandatory for it to win. Digital transformation additionally requires an intimate understanding of an organization’s language, methods of working, tradition and the politics that explains what’s attainable. Exterior consultants merely can not know this stuff until they transfer in and keep for a protracted whereas. Extra broadly – and that is the important thing level – “digital” is now the first aggressive benefit an organization can exert on its competitors. Digital transformation merely can’t be handed off to consultants. There’s nothing extra “core” than competency on this space.

Adriole requires an inner staff of consultants (in different phrases, spend money on folks and construct out functionality the place you’ve gaps, do not hand off accountability to a 3rd get together out of concern). He concludes:

However the takeaway is obvious: rethink the position exterior consultants play at your organization particularly on the subject of digital transformation, after which take into account how an inner staff may speed up success.

Cyber safety

Honourable mentions


An honourable whiff this week goes to Domino’s – an organization which has digital clout available in the market, however may want some classes in responding to zeitgeist tendencies. The pizza supply large needed to backtrack on a suggestion in New Zealand to offer anybody with the title ‘Karen’ a free pizza – the concept being that Karens have had a tricky time on-line currently and the good ones deserve a deal with. Nevertheless, as is the way in which of the web, a backlash rapidly grew over claims the corporate was rewarding privilege. Possibly stick tostuffed crustswhat you are good at, Domino’s…

Nevertheless, my major whiff this week goes to various folks on-line that assume {that a} future of labor that includes distributed workforces is a horrible concept. First up I noticed this piece tweeted out by our very personal Jon Reed, referred to as ‘Our distant work future goes to suck’. Among the many causes cited embrace how distant work can stifle your profession progress, the way it breaks giant corporations and the way it lets you be forgotten. It seemsGoogle,FacebookandTwittermissed the memo on these factors, ha? As Jon put it properly:

I then noticed a barely much less dogmatic thread from Matt Ballentine on Twitter, which prompted some very fascinating responses from followers about why staff want workplace house. I am in all probability barely dishonest right here as a result of I would not class this as a full blown ‘whiff’ (sorry, Jon), however it continues on the theme and the replies are price a learn to see how strongly some folks really feel about it.

My essential rebuttal (as somebody that is labored from dwelling for 7 years) to the above is:

Anyway, that is me completed for this week’s Enterprise Hits and Misses. It has been an honour and I hope I’ve managed to do not less than half a job as Jon does (it is a mammoth process each week and he makes all of it look really easy!). Till subsequent time…


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