Business Successes and Failures – AI Confronts Project Barriers, ERP Is Buried, IBM Surprises Profits
Main story – Obstacles to the success of an AI project – skills, regulations and bias
MyPOV: Say this for AI projects in 2021: the obstacles are becoming clearer. In his article The Biggest Barrier to Business AI Now Is Skills, Not Culture, Derek cites an O’Reilly AI report, which found:
Examining the issues respondents face when adopting AI provides another way to assess the overall maturity of AI as a field. The biggest barrier to adoption last year was corporate culture (22%), followed by the difficulty of identifying suitable use cases (20%). This year, cultural issues are in fourth place (14%) and finding suitable use cases is in third (17%).
Data challenges persist, but the biggest hurdle for AI this year is in skills. O’Reilly again:
The biggest skills gaps were ML modelers and data scientists? tists (52%), understanding business use cases (49%) and data engineering (42%). The need for people to manage and maintain IT infrastructure was relatively low (24%), suggesting that companies are solving their infrastructure needs in the cloud.
Bottom Line: This report shows that AI projects are maturing, but maturity brings its own challenges. As Stuart notes, in Uh oh, AI, EU – what could go wrong? The risky business of regulation, regulatory barriers remain. A huge problem: vague definitions, forged by policymakers without the chops of AI. Stuart:
Without clear definitions, tech companies developing future AIs will be at the mercy of regulatory boxes whose understanding of the underlying technology is no better than those opportunistic politicians who stand up and say that “ something must be done ”.
Then there is the powerful issue of AI bias. Neil revisits, via a fruitful exchange on LinkedIn: Is there a good bias in AI, or is AI bias always undesirable? Responses to a LinkedIn debate.
Choice of Diginomica – my best stories on diginomica this week
- Inclusion isn’t an illusion, but it needs work – D&I leadership lessons from the tech industry – It’s a cliché that ‘change comes from above’. But how does a diversity and inclusion leader get there? Cath explores the lessons and the pitfalls. In short: set clear / measurable goals, and keep going: “The transformation takes an average of about three years, so people can’t be complacent. It is a process of continuous learning and change. “
- Mainframe, meet the cloud – and let us access your data! – Mainframes may not process as many daily transactions anymore, but their value in storing historical data remains a factor. And yet, we need better access to this data. Enter cloud data tools. The hard part is bridging this gap between data formats, but once it’s done, writes Martin: “Close this gap and a whole new world of data opens up to AI, machine learning and analytics. “
Supplier analysis, diginomica style. Here are my top three picks from our supplier coverage:
- New Salesforce Service Cloud CEO to Help Companies Transition to the Vaccine Economy – Phil has a Salesforce view on the following: “These 12 years have confirmed [Shih’s] early insight that CRM would evolve to use digital technology to move from a purely transactional process to a much more focus on the ongoing customer relationship“As leaders delve into the vaccine economy, they’re going to need this CRM shift in focus – especially in service, where lost service leads become lost relationships.
- Collision 2021 – Can Advertising Save the Open Web? The CEO of Quantcast makes his provocative case – I’m still worried that digital advertising is broken, but I enjoyed this intellectual skirmish nonetheless.
- Workday just buried ERP and funding its grip – Rely on Workday for a wake-up call quote. Phil analyzes this one for us – with contributions from Brian Sommer for good measure. Workday’s Aneel Bhusri says ERP is past its welcome: “Everything about ERP is static. It is not flexible. It is associated with highly customized systems, very different from most cloud architectures.“Whether or not the term ERP goes away, that’s the right conversation to have. Customers need and deserve more from ‘ERP vendors’ now.
Some other supplier choices, without quotes:
Jon’s handbag – Content marketers are bewildered and tempted by the potential of audio and video – but it’s not text. This means SEO curve balls. Barb looks at where the traction is, including versatile content across all mediums, in Taking a Look at the Future of Content Marketing – Lindsey Tjepkema, CEO of Casted, on the role of audio and video.
Put aside your
quantum computing will save the world’s hangover buzzword overload, and check out Chris’s no-hype review of quantum computing use cases: “Khan believes that quantum computers could serve humanity well in two ways: either by doing things that classical computers are unable to do, thanks to limitations imposed by the laws of physics; or by performing calculations much, much faster. “(Giant leaps from small things – the British quantum company sees the reason).
Finally, Stuart (correctly) undermines Netflix’s sloppy noodles excuse that their downturn is nearing the end of the pandemic. It’s about competition and a brutal pun from Maestro Stuart: A Tale of Two Broadcasters – why Netflix’s post-COVID crisis is The Ton’s talk.
The best of the corporate web
My top seven
- What Microsoft’s Acquisition of Nuance Means for Customers – Adam Mansfield of UpperEdge goes beyond happy titles, and into practice. Plus: tough questions customers should be asking themselves.
- IBM breaks latest streak of revenue losses as cloud revenue shows modest growth – good news on profits, from … IBM? Ron Miller explodes the analysis, not the champagne: “Only time will tell if IBM can maintain the modest revenue targets that Krishna set for the organization, or if it will fall back into the revenue slump that has plagued the business for the past eight years.. “See also, via Forbes India: Can IBM President and CEO Arvind Krishna do the elephant dance again?
- Not too much identity technology, nor too little – Steve Wilson of Constellation takes the WHO Vaccination Verification Technical Guidelines and finds them … Acceptable? That’s right, the famous next-gen identity tech curmudgeon thinks this one might fly. Read the article to find out why. Short Version: Wilson likes that the WHO thought about this one, without being lured by
half cookedshiny new identity toys.
- 2020 has changed its identity forever; And after? – Dark Secret with a solid article on the sequel: “If there is one goal that all of IT should have for 2021, it should be to recognize the symbiotic relationship between security and the rest of IT.“
- Skills Most Important to Emerging IT Leaders: Part 1 – CIO Insight with an introduction to IT leadership skills. I like these three things: “Teach your teammates to communicate with non-computerized people. Be transparent but confident about the results. Provide context.”
- Dirty data does nothing to help the business – Indeed. The appointment of a Chief Data Officer seems spiff-tastic, but the more difficult work remains.
Last year in a nutshell: a woman called the police on an intruder at the house – but it was his robot. Meanwhile: Apple faces legal action over iTunes ‘Buy’ button. It’s about time, even if Apple isn’t the only offender in the “Own This Movie” scam.
My colleague Phil Wainewright spotted this one:
looks like the employee planned it pretty well 🙂
– Jon Reed (@jonerp) April 21, 2021
Yeah, it happened a few days ago:
Yes, I call a smell of self. This is what happens when you don’t replace your placeholder text before you hit the “publish” button. And I reached another overdose event:
Asks event producers:
Can we change the name from “Fireside Chats” to “Chimney Sweeps”.
-> it’s a better name given the amount of marketing soot that these “threads” cover the audience.
– Jon Reed (@jonerp) April 20, 2021
Bring Patio Grates Please:
A guy can dream – see you next time …
If you find a #ensw coin that qualifies for successes and failures – in a good or a bad way – let me know in the comments like Clive (almost always. Most articles on business successes and failures are selected from my selection @jonerpnewsfeed. ‘myPOV’ is reluctantly borrowed from Ubiquitous Ray wang.