Lead story – From remote work surveillance to the revenge of the customer service (human) rep – the future of work takes shape
MyPOV: In Civil liberties and compliance burdens – the underlying price of the shift to remote working that we all have to pay? Stuart examined the intrusive tech underbelly of the remote work surge.
The vast majority of employees surely favor a “work from anywhere” flex policy going forward, but as Stuart notes, the workforce management issues haven’t been solved. According to a recent Topia study:
40% of HR professionals feel they don’t have the right data and insights for decision-making – and the rest of them are probably kidding themselves if they think they do! In terms of remote working, this is particularly true in relation to one basic question – if your workforce isn’t sitting at its desks in front of you, how do you know where your people are and what they’re actually doing?
The temptation to utilize some form of
soul-crushing spyware employee tracking is there. But even if we get past that, there is compliance. When employees expand work-from-anywhere in the vaccine economy to potentially include coffee shops, boats, or even foreign countries it flummoxes regulations:
Each of those locations could have different implications in terms of organizations being hit by regulatory audits, fines or taxes, the latter particularly relevant if employees divide their working time between states, regions or countries.
Add security to that mix – a topic Kurt Marko has covered off frequently on these pages. Meanwhile, as Chris writes, add the revenge of the (human) customer service rep to the vaccine economy mix (Stand-by for a low-tech Baby Boom in the Vaccine Economy as customers look for human contact). With automation the prevailing trend, could there be a competitive edge in pushing back? Chris:
But the swing back to human contact may persuade some decision-makers that it, rather than robots, automation and self-service, could be a competitive differentiator… As a result, [customers] may favour companies that show them a friendly face, rather than remind them of their months of social isolation and button clicking.
I’d like to think so. Though I’ll take any bot (or human) that can solve my problem – and I suspect I’m not alone (an Amazon customer service bot that quickly issues me a refund is a swell bot by me). As I was reminded by Spotify’s support team, a really nice human that has no ability/authority to solve my problem isn’t too awesome. Let’s see the different models compete – I’m rooting for those that use automation smartly, and pay their humans well above average.
Diginomica picks – my top stories on diginomica this week
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here’s my three top choices from our vendor coverage:
A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:
Jon’s grab bag – Madeline filed a compelling piece on workplace accessibility (Assistive technology at work – Bosma eyes up job opportunities for the blind and visually-impaired). Cath looked into a vitally important tech play in Techfugees – using technology and innovation to better support displaced people.
If you’re like me, you have no interest in adding another app. But Phil can’t wait for the PC version of this one. Find out why in mmhmm founder Phil Libin on the future of video meetings. Stuart dumped another bucket of analytical vinegar on Facebook – and felt better afterwards – in Poor, misunderstood Facebook! Apologist-in-Chief Nick Clegg wants a word about the week’s events Down Under.
Finally, Den penned his own diginomica exit in So long and thanks for all the fish. Yep, Den made the
certifiably insane/incredibly wise decision to move on from diginomica – and retire. Sorry dude, but this is your last strikethrough for a while. You’ve got dogs to walk, model tanks to paint, and train journeys to plan with your main squeeze. Now get to it. We’ll keep the content flowing – and that patented BS meter fully charged.
Best of the enterprise web
My top six picks
- Securing Machine Identities Needs To Be A Top Cybersecurity Goal In 2021 – Louis “zero trust” Columbus is back with another enterprise security wake-up call.
- My Take: How We Screwed Up Sales And Operations Planning – When Lora Cecere blogs, I never have to worry about her holding back. Can’t say that about all enterprise bloggers.
- Pandemic Lessons For Supply Chain Leaders – Looks like Lora has enterprise-blogger-of-the-week just about sewn up, eh? If you want to hear our first-ever interview, I just issued the audio from my show with Lora, Supply chain upheavals and modernization – what have we really learned?
- SAP RISE: The Good, the Missing, and the GSIs – Josh Greenbaum with a notable/impassioned piece on RISE that raises all the right questions. Also see my blog comments – and Greenbaum’s responses – for important clarifications on RISE’s contractual requirements, and the role of SIs.
- What place should COVID-19 vaccine passports have in society? – This is a UK-based report, but vaccine passports promise to be one of the most controversial digital initiatives of 2021, so we’d best get cracking on this debate.
- Big Questions for the Ethical Use of AI – I wouldn’t call this piece groundbreaking, but calling out “ethics washing” as an attempt to avoid excessive government regulation is both timely and pointed.
I don’t know why people are so worked up that this doctor appeared at a (virtual) court appointment in scrubs while operating on a patient. It’s a beast to reschedule a court date – and he’s likely good enough at plastic surgery for a bit of multi-tasking. Meantime, the 5G circus keeps on circusing:
Verizon support says you should turn off 5G to save your phone’s battery https://t.co/gJb1rm3kwP
” But Verizon is obviously being cautious so as not to actually tell its customers to “turn off 5G”
-> the US 5G telecomm charade continues
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) February 28, 2021
Now, I’ve been a believer that “emotional support robots” are going to be a thing. But I’ll admit: I didn’t picture it like this:
Did Panasonic Create a Farting Cat Robot? https://t.co/pHsTWIzoBh
-> no for the cat part. 🙂 Glad we cleared that up.
Although it has a tail, it is “as if someone flipped a bowl over, gave it some animated eyes, a wagging tail, and then wrapped it in an old sock.” pic.twitter.com/3dxUSPEzxL
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) February 27, 2021
This tweet was inspired by a real podcast I was listening to, which became a cautionary tale:
“What is your north star?”
-> If I ever ask that question please take my podcast away from me
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) March 1, 2021
Finally, I don’t believe I ever posted this, but it’s an epic self-whiff, and deserves its day:
Yep, I wrote that last summer. I evidently thought badgers were set to play an instrumental role in IoT and worker safety… Well, we can’t always be right.