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Lead story – Is the office dead? HR, employee trust, and the future of work

MyPOV: It was a future-of-work kind of week at diginomica, with Cath asking Is the traditional office dead? Experts predict major change ahead in the workplace. As we contemplate what’s next, Cath argues that the Spring of scrambling is over. Now, workforce planning is fundamental.

As employers identify what work can be done remotely, it becomes possible to decide on what roles need to be carried out in person and to what extent. Possible worker categories here include fully remote, hybrid remote, hybrid remote by exception and fully on site.

Stuart takes on the looming issue: just how much do we trust our employers with this plan in the first place? In Trust me – I’m an employer! How the tech-enabled return to the workplace will pivot on a basic human concern – trust, Stuart notes that workers seem divided on their desire to return. The “second wave”/first-wave-isn’t-over-yet possibilities are also unnerving. Nothing is certain, except for Stuart’s conclusion:

Those companies and organizations that didn’t focus in the past on developing trusted relationships with their staff (and their customers) will be at a serious disadvantage and will need to add a mindset pivot to their already far-too-lengthy  ‘to do’ recovery list.

Janine looks around a few more corners in “Today is the slowest you’ll ever be in your lifetime” – HR futurology for the post-pandemic workplace. I liked this line:

With the old rules in tatters, it’s an ideal opportunity to really think about the future on a big scale rather than tinker round the edges.

Don’t know about you, but I still see way too much tinkering; tinkering with piddling non-impactful virtual events certainly qualifies…

Diginomica picks – my top stories on diginomica this week

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

Virtual event roundup – the virtual event baccanalia continued, as customers, plane-grounded-gurus armchair pundits and assorted waifs and strays gathered to make more digital lemonade. ASUG showed how a low-key, use case agenda with less pomp – and more informal live interviews –  gets it done.

I dug into the sales and e-commerce track, where I found strong use cases and grouched about a CX evangelist:

Then I checked in on the IT operations track, where I found surprising views on large-scale projects in a remote world:

Workfront Leap – later in the week, diginomica hit Workfront’s first virtual user show. Derek kicked us off with a use case:

A reality check from me on so-called Chief Work Officers:

Meanwhile, Phil parsed the news from FinancialForceX:

FinancialForceX – New PSA and ERP tools to manage risk and channel business flow – Phil

A couple more vendor picks, without the play-by-play:

Jon’s grab bag – Phil won buzzword bingo ventured deep into the treacherous territory of next-gen buzzwords with his piece on a new organization, MACH: Time to decompose your enterprise suites, says the MACH Alliance  “Headless platforms built on a modern serverless platform” anyone? Phil explains:

The MACH Alliance takes its name from the acronym for that architecture — Microservices based, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS and Headless — as well as evoking “the supersonic speed at which software ecosystems can better serve enterprises,” says the group.

Despite the snark, I’m (mostly) on board with what these MACHers are up to, with the disclaimers that: 1. There is more than one winning IT philosophy. And: 2. integration doesn’t magically happen because you have sexy APIs. And: 3. deep on-premise functionality doesn’t magically appear in clouds because a new cloud native alliance forms.

Finally, it was Martin’s turn to blow a gasket, and Friday was a good day for it: Friday Rant – if your business plans depend on 5G, think carefully about what you do next given the Huawei psycho-drama!

Best of the rest

Lead story – cybersecurity versus compliance – a new era for risk management

Louis Columbus put a different twist on the cybersecurity conversation in Debunking The Myth That Greater Compliance Makes IT More Secure. Standout lines:

The truth is organizations are attempting to rationalize the high costs of compliance by looking for how GRC spend can also improve cybersecurity. This is a dangerous assumption, as Marriott’s third breach indicates. Marriott is an excellently managed business and sets standards in compliance. Unfortunately, that hasn’t thwarted three breaches they’ve experienced.

But as Ian Murphy points out, even companies investing in cybersecurity can get it wrong – To defend against attackers, think like an attacker. Murphy warns:

The problem for most organisations is that they view their cybersecurity as a defensive measure. That means the focus is on building bigger walls, moats, ways hide from the outside rather than looking for the chinks in their defence.

What’s the better way? Murphy cites the value of red teams to bring an organization’s vulnerabilities to light pro-actively. Add in Kurt Marko’s points on remote worker security, and there is a load for IT teams to grapple with.

Honorable mention


I flagged some goofy headlines this week, starting with Barcelona opera house reopens with a concert for 2,292 plants. Judging from the pic, it was a full house. Feel bad for the shrubs that got turned away…

Then the Michigan House passed this ominous legislation: Bill requires employers to keep implanted microchips voluntary for workers. Voluntary? That’s a kindness. No need to ban implanted microchips outright, let the go-getters go for it. How about this for a performance review: “This is as far as you can advance at our company without a chip in your head, I’m afraid…

Hits/misses stalwart Clive pointed out to me: TikTok was getting too much flak when you consider that 53 other apps are also peeping under your papers: TikTok and 53 other iOS apps still snoop your sensitive clipboard data.

And finally, a tribute:

As I wrote elsewhere, Michael wanted us to find our most courageous voice and apply it to the problems in our lives. When Michael crashed into my life in 1997, I viewed my enterprise writing as a day job. During some wrenching arguments, Michael exhorted me to a much higher standard. Instead of writing off the enterprise as soulless, put your soul into it. That’s what Michael did, perhaps better than anyone, with an acerbic wit that spared no fools (or Powerpoints). Michael felt this weekly column was as close as I’ve ever gotten to what he pushed me towards all those years ago. And yet he would push me to take it further. That’s the rarest kind of friend you’ll ever find. And so we carry on…

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.


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