Lead story – Retailers go autonomous as holiday season heats up
MyPOV: With a holiday season like no other on the horizon, retailers are drawing on field lessons and next-gen tech to change their post-pandemic prospects. This weekend, I heard about how retailers like Shake Shack are buying up retail space at a pandemic discount, plotting for the long game.
Kurt kicks things off with “Grab-and-go’ – why autonomous retail is ready for a breakout year. Amazon’s 2018 touchless grocery store experiments weren’t wildly successful, but Kurt says that category is about to change:
2020 is a year when societal tumult has accelerated many business and personal changes, feeding the demand for contactless, ‘socially distanced’ shopping, but 2021 will be the year autonomous retail sees mass deployments.
Given I am a notorious 5G
grouch skeptic, I was very curious for Kurt’s 5G take. My issues: 1. Is 5G ready? (no, not in the U.S.). 2. Is it necessary? Kurt has an answer for that second part:
Gu says that having a high-performance network enables a hub-and-spoke architecture in which one server (or small cluster) can serve all the locations within close proximity. He also sees 5G is facilitating the growth and placement of nanostores.
Okay, I’ll keep an open mind on that one… But how are retailers faring now? Mark gets into that in Sainsbury’s CIO restocks retailer’s data abilities: When I hear a company extol the virtues of their data-driven personalization, I get that grouchy feeling. But as Mark quotes Sainsbury’s :
We were the first to use our data insights and understanding to really understand who were elderly, disabled or vulnerable so that we could protect their access to groceries when they needed it most.
Yeah, that resonates.
Diginomica picks – my top stories on diginomica this week
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here’s my three top choices from our vendor coverage:
Sage Intacct Advantage is in the books. Brian penned a monster preview piece – we added coverage on the ground from a news-heavy show.
A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:
Jon’s grab bag – As readers know, I am sour on blockchain-for-enterprise, because of
gratuitous handwaving by overzealous marketers concerns on fit, readiness and performance-at-scale. But for public good projects with lower scale? I’ll listen. Cath has my attention with Tech for good – How blockchain is used to transform the lives of people in marginalised communities.
Stuart keeps an essential convo going in Algorithmic bias – how do we tackle the underlying problem that inhibits the full potential of AI? Gary asks: Could data science help us fight back against the COVID ‘infodemic’? (That would be nice, given popularity algorithms have spread so much
toxic soulrot sludge disinformation in the first place).
Jerry wins the surprise-Jon-with-a-new-buzzword award for “intent-based networks” in The future of data centers is intent-based networking. That’s good and bad news for IT. Finally, Brian takes ERP vendors down in the rant knock-out round with Friday Rant – ERP in 2020 is a mess!
Best of the enterprise web
My top seven
- Tibco to buy Information Builders’ tech for analytics, integration. But will it blend? – Tibco is about to shell out $1 billion (or so). Why? “Hyperconverged analytics,” or so we’re told.
- To Err Is Human: Misconfigurations & Employee Neglect are a Fact of Life – Hollywood might make hacking glamorous, but as Liviu Arsene writes, “Employees and misconfigured systems do most of the heavy lifting for these threat actors.”
- Accessibility and the courts. HRTECH held to account? Dear HR vendors, don’t say Thomas Otter didn’t warn ya: “Inaccessible product is not just technical debt, it is moral debt, and a reputation and legal risk.”
- The Long-Term Impact of Pandemic Behaviors on Urban Mobility – Re-Imagining Corporate Innovation with a Silicon Valley Perspective – I’ve been waiting for Evangelos Simoudis to put the pandemic shifts through his mobility lens.
- You Don’t Need a Blockchain, You Need a Time-Series Database – Refreshing/non-hyperbolic blockchain banter.
- United States v. Google – Ben Thompson issued the most balanced/detailed take on this landmark lawsuit.
- After Groundhog Day… what happens next? – Bit of an old school audio webinar format, but still an essential conversation from HfS Research, on where those of us with a stake in enterprise tech go from here.
I know what you’re thinking, but I’m not making any Zoom video attire jokes. It’s too easy and too not-safe-for-work. Interesting how “I didn’t know the cam was on” falls short sometimes…
We’ve got a no-contest winner for article title of the week: Escaped cloned female mutant crayfish take over Belgian cemetery.
Here’s one for the “our connected future” file:
I reverse engineered mcdonald’s internal api and I’m currently placing an order worth $18,752 every minute at every mcdonald’s in the US to figure out which locations have a broken ice cream machine https://t.co/2KsRwAdrMd
— rashiq (@rashiq) October 22, 2020
Our “smart future” isn’t all that intelligent yet either:
“Alexa, did my power go out last night?” (yes)
Alexa: “Here is something I found on wikipedia…”
Yeah, “AI” is really progressing at an amazing rate. Four years into owning Echo devices….
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) October 13, 2020
Though I can watch parrots bossing Alexa around all day:
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.