HfS Network

2016: Goodbye to the year of Ignorance (rant warning)

December 27, 2016 | Phil Fersht

I, for one, won’t be too sad to see the back of 2016… it just felt like the world kept becoming an increasingly ignorant place to exist. The Internet became the medium to block out information, not share facts and data points to foster intelligent discussion. It (almost) became acceptable to be racist; it (almost) became acceptable to talk about women as sex-objects, as long as it was playful “locker room talk”.

2016 became a time people complained about immigrants taking away their jobs – even though they’d never work those jobs in a million years. It became a time when we all finally realized so many of our politicians had lost touch with so many of the population that they got booted out… sadly only in favor of alternatives that didn’t make any sense, but it must have felt good for the disenfranchised to stick the middle finger up at the establishment.

It became a time when many of us decided we could no longer tolerate people as our Facebook friends, because they just refused to listen to rational arguments and get beyond their prejudices. Let’s be honest, it was a pretty ignorant year.

Hello to a year of, er, maybe a little common sense

So if we could have some good things happen next year…. 

Trump becomes a pragmatist. Like so many of you here, I am secretly wishing most the guff old Donald was spouting was just, well, guff. As Bernie Sanders told a private meeting of scientists recently, Trump is a very intelligent man. Plus, I believe the guy is not an idealist, he’s a businessman and a pragmatist. It’s my personal hope that he realizes globalization of business is an inevitable occurrence, but I do like his stance on China, and the fact we’ve allowed them set their own economic rules for long enough. This is one economic power where we need to fight back, review our trade deals and our tolerance of their unfair currency fixing and economic policies. If Donald wants to get into a fight, then I hope he goes after these guys and drops a lot of the anti-Mexican rubbish and electoral bravado. At the end of the day, DT will be judged on economic growth and job creation… all the other stuff is noise.

People stop being so lazy and start educating themselves again. How did we get to a point where so many people just spout off about the latest buzz terms, with no ability to define them or apply them to real business situations. How many “Digital” presentations have you sat through, where the presenter literally had replaced “IT” with “Digital” and reeled off some unintelligible random nonsense that just left you more confused than when he/she has started? Did we all just become stupid overnight? Please can we just get back to educating ourselves again, as opposed to making each other even more ignorant than we already are?

Automation becomes a business strategy… not the next “outsourcing”. Fortunately, anyone with half a brain who’s kicked the tires with RPA software has realized this is a lot harder than the masses realize. While there is considerable benefit to the fact that most RPA implementations are fast and do not involve any changes to the underlying applications, the ROI of there RPA implementations can be very attractive.  But the core issue is the transition to an RPA environment is a multi-year process for most enterprises that requires a strategic focus on process value in the early phases, not cost take-out. Basing decisions primarily on the license fees of RPA software is just about the dumbest thing some companies were doing in 2016…

Service providers stop thinking that bribing analysts wins them business. My god, I went to one service provider’s website recently and all it had on its home page was “Marketscape this” and “Wave that” and “Magic Quadrant whatever”. Does anyone possessing half a brain care? Does the fact that some faceless analyst, who probably has never observed a real business process, or a real line of code, got suckered by a dose of clever marketing and a couple of client references (and was probably busy on Facebook during the telebriefings in any case)? Do clients really sit in board meetings, torturing themselves over whether to select Provider A or Provider B, and then decide to base their razor-thin selection decision on each one’s average performance across all these scatterplot charts? C’mon folks… who are we kidding?

The Bottom-line: Can we at least try and be a little less stupid next year?

I don’t think I can take another year like the one we just had. I miss intelligent debate and conversation, I miss being able to disagree with someone, but share our viewpoints, even if we ultimately agree to disagree. I miss people who would actually read articles, not simply tweet them or “like” them. I miss people who didn’t view Facebook as some place to be politically correct and pretend to “like” things they really don’t care about. I miss Twitter as something that was fun and social, not a place for robots to spam the masses… I miss a world where it was definitely not cool to complain about immigrants and generalize nations and religions… I miss a world where people would actually say, “Can you explain to me what you actually mean”, instead of nodding blindly with a blank grin on their face?

Well, that just about finishes my holiday rant… did I miss insulting anyone, or have I pretty much covered it here? 

Happy 2017 =)

Posted in: Absolutely Meaningless ComedyConfusing Outsourcing Information

14

1 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Simon Greenwood
    Posted Dec 27, 2016 08:06 AM | Permalink Reply

    Totally agree with this and is something I have battled with all 2016. Thanks Phil, I thought it was just me!

    "In 2017 Automation becomes a business strategy… not the next “outsourcing”. Fortunately, anyone with half a brain who’s kicked the tires with RPA software has realized this is a lot harder than the masses realize. While there is considerable benefit to the fact that most RPA implementations are fast and do not involve any changes to the underlying applications, the ROI of there RPA implementations can be very attractive. But the core issue is the transition to an RPA environment is a multi-year process for most enterprises that requires a strategic focus on process value in the early phases, not cost take-out. Basing decisions primarily on the license fees of RPA software is just about the dumbest thing some companies were doing in 2016."

    Simon

  2. Aaron McKeehan
    Posted Dec 27, 2016 09:09 AM | Permalink Reply

    If I have learned anything from trends, it's that they typically continue.

  3. Tony
    Posted Dec 27, 2016 09:48 AM | Permalink Reply

    Phil,

    I fear that we've opened a black hole and we'll getting sucked into it before it disappears

    Tony

  4. Warren
    Posted Dec 27, 2016 09:59 AM | Permalink Reply

    Phil - grear rant! Sadly, it's not really a rant, is it? This is all very real,

    Happy Holidays

    Warren

  5. Sandeep
    Posted Dec 27, 2016 10:35 AM | Permalink Reply

    Phil,

    Loved this! Especially that part about the analyst quadrants -)

    Sandeep

  6. Andy Ellams
    Posted Dec 27, 2016 11:08 AM | Permalink Reply

    Phil,

    Thanks for all your rants this year - you've been one of the few voices of reason amidst all the ignorance and madness,

    Andy Ellams

  7. Manish Mehta
    Posted Dec 27, 2016 10:56 PM | Permalink Reply

    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”

    I am afraid that you may just have to be prepared to be disappointeded. The ignorant are ignorant of their ignorance.

    On that sobering thought, Happy New Year 2017! Hope your plea for common sense rings a few bells!

  8. Daniele Pedrazzoli
    Posted Dec 28, 2016 04:02 AM | Permalink Reply

    Great article. I like the paragraph with the Quadrant whatever. Happy 2017!

  9. Cherie Avallon
    Posted Dec 29, 2016 08:29 AM | Permalink Reply

    Great article. I sat with my very good friends recently pondering the same questions. How did the people in our country revert back a 100 or so years to be such biggots again, religious zelouts again, insufferable blowhards that open their mouths and yet say nothing that makes sense. When did we become what was seen in 2016. We can only hope that the rhetoric we heard during this intense election year from all different sources calms down to a think that people might think, but would be horrified to say. It seems many do not care that they offend someone for any reason, whether it is because a person is disabled, looks different, worships differently, speaks with an accent or is just that other kid on the playground. Decency has flown out the window and no one is closing it. I find myself disappointed in my fellow man/woman and can only hope that it turns around. Thank you for your thoughts

  10. Marco Amorim
    Posted Dec 29, 2016 08:41 AM | Permalink Reply

    Good post Phil - I humbly subscribe three out of four. I think I get the central point of the RPA piece but it is still a bit circular... RPA is simply a new layer of software and a mirage for pure service providers as a revenue source.

    Happy 2017!

  11. Steve Kendrick
    Posted Dec 29, 2016 12:33 PM | Permalink Reply

    Phil, The name of my monthly newsletter is "Let's Get Real" which is inline with your comments regarding the comprehensive buzz words like digitization. What the heck does it mean? There is much hard work to be executed in the New Year at both the political and business level to keep America Great. I remain an optimist about our future and believe good times will bless us but not before we witness some radical transformations

  12. Gianluca Marcellino
    Posted Dec 30, 2016 02:03 AM | Permalink Reply

    Thanks. I appreciate you addressing this to "us" rather then "them" ignorant. It makes the perspective of improvement a bit more likely, as in "clearly difficult".

  13. Phil Fersht
    Posted Dec 30, 2016 04:29 AM | Permalink Reply

    @Gianluca -

    If you refer to the fact that 90% of us are ignorant, everyone assumes they are in the other 10%...

    (in denial)

  14. Phil Fersht
    Posted Dec 30, 2016 04:59 AM | Permalink Reply

    @Steve Kendrick - here is my most "obvious" definition of "enterprise digital"

    A digital enterprise has the ability to take all the cool social, mobile and interactive tech we use in our personal lives and create that experience for all the people in its environment... its employees, customers, and partners.

    Everything about the digital enterprise is about engaging people in the right way by responding to their needs instantaneously, giving people their choice of medium to interact with it, be it voice, chat box, text, facebook messenger, email, virtual agent etc.

    Integrating data across all its key interaction channels is native to the digital enterprise - the barriers between functions, departments, and process chains have been completely eroded to create OneOffice, so customers and partners will have one unified experience when they interact with it. Everything about OneOffice is wrapped around the needs of the people in its environment, where automation is completely native and decisions can be made on predicting events, not merely reacting to historical data archives.

    In short, OneOffice is the endgame, where the digital enterprise can work in real time to cater for its clients, partners, and employees. It’s where the intelligence, the processes, and the infrastructure can come together as one integrated unit, with one set of unified business outcomes tied to delighting customers.

    PF

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