Comedian John Oliver quipped that cryptocurrency is “everything you don’t understand about money combined with everything you don’t understand about technology.” He missed another area of notorious confusion: the law. The great regulatory bureaucracy has awakened to the significance of blockchain-enabled technology, led by the SEC.
The government is certain that cryptocurrency must be regulated, but it is faced with a knotty question: What kind of asset is cryptocurrency? Security? Commodity? Currency? Something else? Meanwhile, technologists and entrepreneurs are creating new applications that affect the answer.
The new engine of innovation that the crypto markets looks a lot like the corporate stock shares we are familiar with, except with fewer intermediaries and less (you guessed it) regulation. Ventures can mint tokens that are representative of the underlying technology, thereby funding business activities with a mechanism directly tied to those activities. This drives innovation because innovators are free to embark on funding efforts without third party involvement, and the market is able to reward success and punish failure with minimal interference.
The resemblance to stocks has not gone unnoticed by the SEC. In fact, the capacity of cryptocurrency to act as an investment vehicle is the hinge upon which the future of the crypto industry will turn. Such vehicles are regulated as securities in federal law. So, we return to the nuanced question of what kind of asset are crypto currencies?
Currency, security, or commodity
The obvious answer is cryptocurrencies are currencies! It’s there in the name. BitCoin started the whole industry by proposing to create a digital currency to stand alongside fiat currencies as a medium of exchange. But cryptocurrencies have expanded far beyond this notion, and even in the case of a straight crypto coin like BitCoin, the asset doesn’t behave like currency.
The next bucket into which crypto assets might fall is commodities. Commodities are regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). These include assets like gold, oil, and wheat—in general, a commodity is any asset that is an item of value, and the financial activity around it is based on the changing supply and demand for that item. Strangely, for a non-physical entity, BitCoin and its relatives share some characteristics with this asset class: Because blockchain transactions are permanent entries in the global ledger, they can be traded and valued something like a commodity.
The final traditional asset class to consider is securities. The Howey test (based on a case from the 1940s that established the SEC’s area of authority) is a standard test for determining whether something is a security. The three distinguishing characteristics of securities are:
A. The investment of money
B. Common enterprise
C. Reasonable expectation of profits derived from efforts of others
The first two characteristics are fairly easy to establish in the case of most digital assets. ‘C’ however is more difficult to determine, and this is where we return to the observation that crypto assets act a lot like shares, which is precisely what ‘C’ is driving at.
The universe of digital assets has a wide range of nuanced differences, bearing characteristics of all three asset classes—currency, commodity, and security—in varying helpings.
We can start to get an understanding of how the SEC is thinking about these questions by looking at what SEC chair Gary Gensler said about BitCoin being a different animal from the rest. He has said on a couple occasions that BitCoin, and only BitCoin, is a commodity.
This has been backed up with action. In May, the SEC doubled its crypto enforcement arm and renamed it to “Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit”. It opened a probe with Coinbase and has initiated an insider trading case that incorporates a securities charge, which would bring at least some crypto projects under the SEC’s jurisdiction.
These moves were criticized by CFTC commissioner Caroline Pham who said they were a “striking example of ‘regulation by enforcement,’” a critique that suggests both that the CFTC is interested in finding its footing in regulating the space and that clarity in the field is lacking.
Why classification matters
The general consensus is that by being classed as securities, the crypto industry will be more heavily regulated, but it also stand to grow more expansively as it matures. As a commodity, crypto would be less regulated, but also more limited in terms of growth.
Stepping back, it seems pretty clear that crypto-enabled digital assets are a new kind of thing, bearing characteristics of each asset category depending on the project. For example, some projects are explicitly invoking the stock fundraising model with “initial coin offerings” (ICO), the crypto equivalent of the traditional IPO. This is why the SEC has a spotlight on ICOs.
It is likely that we’ll start to see litmus tests that determine what camp crypto projects fall into, with securities demanding the most rigorous vetting. All of this will of course increase the overhead in running these projects, slowing innovation in the short term. In the long term, approval at the federal levels will bring greater adoption and more investment into the space.
In the middle term, we’ll see a convergence of traditional stock markets and crypto exchanges—something that is already happening. The FTX crypto exchange recently included stocks, while Webull, a more traditional exchange, includes crypto.
The ongoing battle
Perhaps the most central battle in the larger war is that between the SEC and Ripple. Ripple created the XRP coin, designed for blockchain-based payments. The SEC and Ripple have been locked in an epic legal struggle since December of 0221, when the SEC sued Ripple for raising over a $1 billion via sales of their token, alleging it is an unregistered security.
It’s such a precedent-setting battle on unknown terrain, that hitherto unconsidered issues are arising. For example, on July 30, 2022 a third party entered the fray claiming cryptographic keys should be redacted from the proceedings, similar to how bank accounts are handled.
The SEC action put a big dent in XRP value and caused it to be delisted from US exchanges like Coinbase. It also sent a shiver through the entire industry. The truth is both sides have a point: The streamlined fundraising, married closely to the actual technological medium hold astonishing promise for innovation, but it has great potential for abuse.
A even-handed approach that avoids forcing crypto assets into existing categories and frameworks is required. Not only do we want to avoid throwing a wet blanket on the entrepreneurial promise, but blockchains are decentralized global networks, and we don’t want to force them into the shadows but welcome them into the fold in a way that preserves their unique characteristics and gives adequate protection to investors and users.
One size does not fit all in software projects. A small open-source project looking to fund itself should not be treated with the same instrument as a big enterprise effort. Hopefully, in addition to a suitable blending of categories, a sensible scaling of laws can be devised, to allow for the space to innovate with agility that is so essential to software projects of all kinds.
At the outset of the pandemic, Aflac’s independent agent/franchise business looked to be a dead duck.
The traditional in-person process of insurance agents meeting with prospective customers to discuss policies, sign paperwork, and load it into the company’s client/server system came to a complete halt.
While Aflac’s other major division, its business-to-business insurance line, was relatively unaffected by the pandemic, its independent agents hung in the balance, just as the publicly traded company was undertaking a transformational journey to the cloud.
“Because we are an insurance company, what we are is a promise on a piece of paper,” says then-CIO Richard Gilbert. “We had launched a large user-centric, customer-focused transformation with the technology projects we were doing, but then the pandemic hit and changed everything for us.”
Most urgently, the IT team had to attend to the tens of thousands of independent agents who needed a digital system to maintain existing policyowners and sign on new policyholders immediately.
“COVID was the digital disruptor. Our agents sell to small, medium, large businesses at their work site and now there was no work site,” says Gilbert, who signed on as CIO at Aflac in 2019. “So we had to kind of rethink and reimagine our whole model of engaging with policyholders or potential policyholders.”
And the timing couldn’t be more critical, Gilbert says: “More importantly, we had agents that their whole livelihood was based on the ability to sell and service insurance and they couldn’t do that anymore.”
To overhaul its enrollment experience, Aflac’s Hatch innovation lab had to reimagine and replicate the face-to-face nature of its agents’ business process from scratch.
First, Aflac built microsites to give agents and customers access to insurance products, videos about coverage, and data about each of the policies available, as well as e-forms and a decision support tool to help customers decide which policies best suited their needs. The tool also employed Microsoft Teams to enable agents to set up videoconference meetings with prospective customers and used WebEx for co-browsing with clients and to help fill out e-forms collaboratively.
“There was really nothing revolutionary about it,” Gilbert says. “We were combining technologies that already existed and created a new purpose for those technologies.”
Hosted on AWS, the Virtual Enrollment Experience developed by Aflac includes a microsite customized for each account. “We needed the speed of the cloud to assemble a new experience for agents to work remotely,” Gilbert says of the enrollment process, which is cloud-based except for Everwell, which is used for the final phase — enrolling customers and performing e-signatures — and runs in Aflac’s data center.
Aflac also expanded its marketing outreach to 22 different channels to direct customers to microsites where they could learn about Aflac’s supplemental cancer insurance, set up a virtual meeting with an agent, and use the homegrown system to sign on to policies.
“We actually built a whole new enrollment platform that is much like an Amazon capability. Users could drag-and-drop products into a shopping cart,” he says. “It would tell customers [their] coverage and monthly cost associated with that.”
The ‘bionic’ agent
Gilbert has a unique way of describing Aflac’s approach to augmenting human work processes with digital capabilities to drive better business outcomes: bionic.
Thanks to Aflac’s enrollment transformation, Aflac’s agents can now process many more meetings and policy purchases than they could before using manual processes that required physical transit and more time to conduct meetings. As a result, policy sales have vastly improved.
“Agents now have the ability to maximize their schedule. They can be better, smarter, faster,” Gilbert says, with a nod to The Six Million Dollar Man’s 1970s TV icon, the “Bionic Man,” played by Lee Major, who was billed as “better, stronger, faster.” “We’ve made them more bionic, right?”
Gartner analyst Kimberly Harris-Ferrante sees Aflac’s Virtual Enrollment Experience as part of a trend in which the insurance industry is increasingly embracing emerging technologies to meet shifts in consumer demand — in part pushed by the pandemic.
“During the pandemic, many insurers accelerated their digital strategies — some by choice and some by force,” says Harris-Ferrante. “Other companies were forced to transform where they found their outdated operational models would not work in a virtual world, or that consumer online activity was increasing, or to support a virtual agent sales force. For these companies had to transform to survive.”
Aflac, for instance, launched a new division as its technology infrastructure plans began falling into place — a business-to-consumer supplemental insurance direct digital channel for independent business owners of the gig economy, such as Uber drivers.
Transforming the insurer’s future
Building the enrollment system was just one facet of Gilbert’s digital plans for the company.
In parallel with developing the Virtual Enrollment Experience, Gilbert was mapping out Aflac’s full migration to AWS to replace its data centers, a process that has just begun. “We’re shifting away from our traditional data center model or hosted model, and we’re moving all of our applications to the cloud. It’s a journey we started post COVID,” he says.
Regulatory concerns about health data had initially held Aflac back from the cloud, but “we don’t have those concerns anymore,” Gilbert says. “We’ve been able to shift to the cloud and now are on a two-year journey we’re launching to be 100% in the cloud.”
Currently, Aflac has between 15% and 20% of its business data and applications, says Gilbert, who was promoted to chief transformation officer during the pandemic and has big ambitions he believes will distinguish Aflac from other insurers, which, according to Gartner’s Harris-Ferrante are also leaning heavily into technology to transform their businesses.
“Digital transformation continues to be one of the main focuses among insurance CIOs as they support operations and business model evolution,” she says. “As business leaders focus on new business models, including embedding insurance and personalized insurance, they will need stronger digital capabilities and a digital business technology platform to support this vision.”
As for Gilbert, his overarching goal is to create an “enterprise intelligent automation” platform that employs data analytics, machine learning models, and robotics to automate most of Aflac’s operational processes.
“Like making our agents bionic,” Gilbert says, “we need to do the same for our employees. There is a lot of competition for talent, and we need to make our employees [better, smarter, faster] and transform our operational processes using machine learning and artificial intelligence.”
But it all comes down to the same deliverable: a promise on a piece of paper, or in binary code in the cloud.
“What’s at the heart of any insurance company is paying claims,” Gilbert says. “We’re taking our claims specialists and enabling them with a tremendous amount of automation to then allow them to focus on what’s really important.”
Global digital transformation investments are expected to reach US$1.8 trillion in 2022, and financial institutions are under immense pressure to digitally transform so they can anticipate and prepare for the next new normal.
At the same time, they are also expected to address new business needs: improving efficiency and sustainability, complying with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and financial requirements, and enabling security and data convergence with real-time intelligence for improved customer experience to name a few. In this radically evolving environment, embracing innovation to scale is key.
During the Huawei Intelligent Finance Summit 2022 on July 20–22, Jason Cao, Chief Executive Officer of Huawei Global Digital Finance, shared his thoughts on how stakeholders of the industry can shape smarter and greener finance together.
“Technology continues to drive the development of the financial industry, especially in connectivity and intelligence. We’ve seen how the ATM broke the time limit and mobile banking broke the space limit. Now, super apps are reshaping customer engagement,” said Cao.
Financial institutions are entering a new era, with new services and products emerging one after another. According to Cao in his address to key industrial players in Singapore, these ultimately present as many challenges as there are opportunities.
What is smarter and greener finance?
Smarter and greener finance enables connections with intelligence for all scenario services to capture opportunities and meet these challenges.
With fully connected and fully intelligent connections optimising agile and flexible customer engagement solutions for improved digital experience, smarter and greener finance delivers three key capabilities:
Data, intelligence, and scenario integration
An intelligent converged platform builds real-time data capabilities based on a hybrid multi-cloud architecture, making cross-cloud management easier with agile services to meet the requirements for different scenarios.
Although hybrid multi-cloud architecture is trending, there are technical challenges such as multi-cloud one-network collaboration and multi-party data encryption and computation. But according to Cao, new technologies can make modernisation a reality with a distributed cloud microservice platform to support a seamless re-architecture and migration experience.
All-scenario digital end-user experiences
Having low-code capabilities go a long way to aid in the development of native super apps and a customer engagement centre (CEC) that connects customers with digital services for better end-user services. Huawei has collaborated with partners to build an all-scenario intelligent financial solution to integrate data, intelligence, and scenarios for an improved customer experience in scene interaction, perception, and decision-making.
“From the intelligence perspective, we are experiencing the era of intelligent decision-making. 2022 is a milestone for intelligence. We have officially entered ZFLOPS times with the development of intelligence an era of super-personalisation, and we have to think about what that means for us. We see smart contracts that will make decision-making possible everywhere,” Cao added.
Platform + service architecture with integrated agility, intelligence, and scenarios
Cloud-native strategies and technologies enable the acceleration of intelligent convergence for an agile digital platform, along with aggregating Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products for an open ecosystem across all scenarios within financial services.
These have the potential to become more environmentally sustainable with a green and autonomous cloud infrastructure and facilities in place. Financial institutions can improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon footprint and at the same time, facilitate the collaboration of multi-technology, heterogeneous technology, and hybrid multi-cloud.
Global partnerships for diversified solutions
Huawei has been building innovative solutions with leading partners to support customers’ digital needs, one of which is the Digital Banking 2.0 Solution which leverages Temenos’ open platform. This is designed to support the rapid launch of digital banks, empowering banks to accelerate modernisation in the cloud and improving the rollout efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Huawei and Temenos jointly launched Digital Banking 2.0 Solution
“It was a successful program with 25 partners joining FPGGP. Furthermore, our joint solution with Netis Alops was launched in Singapore and since then, created greater opportunities in over 10 countries,” said Cao.
When asked about Huawei’s technology roadmap, Cao shared about the upcoming launch of FPGGP 2.0.
“We hope to have consulting partners and global service partners on board. We’re also looking to develop local partners in key countries as a local integrator for FPGGP joint solutions, to better sell these solutions in the local market,” explained Cao.
Huawei is a key player in digital transformation for the global financial services industry, serving more than 2,000 financial customers in over 60 countries and regions, including 49 of the world’s top 100 banks.
Find out more about smarter and greener finance with Huawei here.
https://westernmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Huawei-and-Temenos-jointly-launched-Digital-Banking-2.0-Solution.png5861023Editorhttps://westernmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/image001-1030x300.pngEditor2022-08-19 00:14:032022-08-19 00:14:03It’s Time to Transform Banking: How to Build Smarter, Greener Finance Together
New research from Cybersource and PYMNTS.com finds that more than one-third of shoppers are turning to smartphones when shopping in-store. In addition, 59% of merchants support mobile features to help them make a purchase. The 2022 Global Digital Shopping Index provides insights into how mobile-first shoppers are reshaping what success looks like for merchants in a new world of retail.
“Merchants have had to constantly reinvent themselves throughout the pandemic to meet consumers where they were, and this usually meant adding or augmenting their digital channels to improve the experience. Digital is no longer the complement to a merchant’s customer engagement, it is the central tool to drive transactions, whether those originating and ending with digital, or those moving across channels,” said Carleigh Jaques, SVP, Global Head, Acceptance Solutions, Visa.
The study, which examines behaviors of consumers and merchants across Australia, Brazil, Mexico, the UAE, the UK and the US, found consumers that are quickly becoming mobile-first – and merchants need to meet those preferences to succeed.
The rise of the digital-first shopper
Consumers want digital to be a part of their physical shopping experiences. Of the one-third of shoppers who used their smartphones when shopping, 31% used their phone to look up product information, ratings and reviews; 16% used them to determine if the product was in stock and where it was located; 15% used them to compare prices offered by other merchants; 14% used them to find coupons, special offers and other discounts; and only 8% used them for loyalty credit for their purchases.
Mobile devices have emerged as the shopping tool of choice for global consumers. Some 42% of consumers surveyed used their smartphone at least once during their most recent shopping journey in 2021, compared to 2020, when only 18% of consumers used their phones to assist their shopping experience.
Merchants are prioritizing digital features that improve the consumer shopping experience, regardless of which shopping channels they use. Some 59% of merchants allowed shoppers to create digital profiles that could be accessed across mobile, laptop and other digital channels in 2021, up 16% from 2020.
Merchants are actively working to add voice-enabled purchasing options. Some 65% of merchants now allow customers to shop and pay for their purchases using voice-recognition technology, although consumer awareness lags, with only 39% of shoppers using the capability.
“The data in this year’s Global Digital Shopping Index shows the awareness gap between what consumers want and what features merchants offer,” said Karen Webster, CEO of PYMNTS.com. “In a world where consumers have so many options to make a purchase, merchants are often judged first and foremost by their customer experience. Forward-thinking brands are making payments a positive experience.”
Cybersource can help merchants develop seamless digital payment experiences to meet consumers’ growing needs and deliver the flexibility and scalability needed for growing businesses globally. To learn more about what the future holds for digital shopping experiences, download the 2022 Global Digital Shopping Index report.
https://westernmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/iStock-612420254-5.jpg14142120Editorhttps://westernmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/image001-1030x300.pngEditor2022-08-18 22:13:192022-08-18 22:13:19Smartphones Central to Online and In-Store Consumer Shopping Habits
Even as many business leaders debate the boundaries of remote work styles and schedules, there is little doubt that hybrid work will persist for most enterprises.
Yet, how hybrid work takes shape for any given business will likely evolve as business needs and employee expectations change over time. For IT and network security teams, the challenge is to secure their environments, regardless of where people are working.
The disruptions of the pandemic has caused more businesses to explore remote and hybrid work. “COVID-19 has accelerated a trend toward a massively distributed enterprise moving network functionality to the edge of the network,” IDC analysts advise. “The WAN architecture must cater to the needs of office and remote workers with parity in terms of routing policies, security profile, and management of the WAN.”
Certainly, worker expectations have shifted dramatically. The Gallup organization studied experiences, needs, and future plans of more than 140,000 U.S. employees since the onset of the pandemic and concludes the workplace will never be the same as it was. Just 23% of surveyed workers expect to work fully on-site in 2022 and beyond, compared to a pre-pandemic number of 60%, Gallup reports. More than half expect to participate in hybrid work, while 24% expect to be fully remote.
That’s causing a rapid reevaluation of wide-area network (WAN) infrastructure and accelerating deployment of new security technology and policies, such as zero trust network access and secure access service edge (SASE).
CISOs are “revisiting the stopgap security tools and the temporary policies they enacted to quickly enable remote work to replace them with stronger permanent solutions,” declares CSO. Now those leaders are “laying out roadmaps for the future, with plans that feature investments in new technologies and processes to better secure the work-from-anywhere environment that is the norm today and moving forward.”
Shifting locations and network connections
IT leaders must strive to adapt their infrastructure and services to run as efficiently as when everyone mostly worked in the office. They must be able to provide a flexible, seamless experience that fosters collaboration and productivity within a secure framework, all while handling hundreds or thousands of locations and network connections that can often shift depending on where individual users may be located.
“CIOs are challenged with securing an ever-more cloud-reliant, distributed, data-driven, and bandwidth-consuming enterprise with largely the same resources at their disposal,” writes Bob Victor, senior vice president Customer Solutions with Comcast Business. “Addressing the security needs of this new reality comes in part through a unified networking and security approach that not only covers networking from edge to cloud and back again, but better protects an ever-growing attack surface.”
Victor asserts that the “surprising success” of work-from-anywhere has spurred new levels of digital innovation as businesses securely bring together data, applications, and users across environments that are distributed, complex, and expanding. How that will all play out remains to be seen.
https://westernmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/iStock-165967557.jpg15311957Editorhttps://westernmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/image001-1030x300.pngEditor2022-08-18 20:12:172022-08-18 20:12:17Securing the ever-evolving hybrid work environment
Technology is hardly the only industry experiencing hiring challenges at the moment, but resignations in tech still rank among the highest across all industries, with a 4.5% increase in resignations in 2021 compared with 2020, according to Harvard Business Review.
For the most part, these employees aren’t leaving the industry altogether; they’re moving to companies that can offer them what they want. Flexible schedules and work-life balance?
Absolutely. Higher salaries? Of course. But one of the primary reasons why people in tech, particularly developers, switch or consider switching roles is because they want more opportunities to learn. Developers don’t want to quit: they want to face new challenges, acquire new skills, and find new ways to solve problems.
Ensuring access to learning and growth opportunities is part of the mandate for tech leaders looking to attract and retain the best people. A culture of continuous learning that encourages developers to upskill and reskill will also give your employees every opportunity to deliver more value to your organization.
Read on to learn how and why expanding access to learning helps you build higher-performing teams and a more inherently resilient organization.
Developers want more learning opportunities — and leadership should listen
Giving developers opportunities to learn has a major, positive impact on hiring, retention, and team performance. According to a Stack Overflow pulse survey, more than 50% of developers would consider leaving a job because it didn’t offer enough chances for learning and growth, while a similar percentage would stick with a role because it did offer these opportunities. And 50% percent of developers report that access to learning opportunities contributes to their happiness at work.
Yet most developers feel they don’t get enough time at work to devote to learning. Via a Twitter poll, Stack Overflow found that, when asked how much time they get at work to learn, nearly half of developers (46%) said “hardly any or none.” Considering that more than 50% of developers would consider leaving a job if it didn’t offer enough learning time, it’s clear that one way to help solve hiring and retention challenges is to give employees more chances to pick up new skills and evolve existing ones.
How can tech leaders and managers solve for this? One key is to create an environment where employees feel psychologically safe investing time in learning and asking for more time when they need it. High-pressure environments tend to emphasize wasted time (“How much time did you waste doing that?”) instead of invested time (“I invested 10 hours this week in learning this”). In this context, plenty of employees are afraid to ask about devoting work time to learning.
Company leadership and team managers can make this easier by consistently communicating the value of learning and modeling a top-down commitment to continuous learning. Executives and senior leaders can share their knowledge with employees through fireside chats and AMAs to underscore the importance of this culture shift. Managers should take the same approach with their teams. You can’t expect your more junior employees to invest time in learning if you haven’t made it clear, at every level of your organization, that learning matters.
Expanding learning opportunities improves team performance and organizational resiliency
Elevating the importance of learning helps sustain performance and competency in your engineering teams. But it does more than improve retention or team-level performance: it also builds organizational resiliency.
Some of your employees are always going to leave: to seek new adventures, to combat burnout or boredom, to make more money. Leadership no longer has the luxury of hiring for a specific skill and then considering that area covered forever. Technology and technology companies are changing too fast for that. Retaining talent is certainly important, but ultimately leaders should be focused on creating organizations that are resilient rather than fragile. The loss of one or two key individuals shouldn’t impede the progress of multiple teams or disrupt the organization as a whole.
There’s nothing you can do to completely eliminate turnover, but you can take steps to make your organization more resilient when turnover inevitably occurs:
Ensure that your teams don’t break when people leave. Incorporating more opportunities to learn into your developers’ working lives helps offset the knowledge and productivity losses that can happen when employees move on, taking their expertise with them. How many times have you heard a variation of this exchange: “How does this system/tool work?” “I don’t know; go ask [expert].” But what happens when that expert leaves? Resilient teams and organizations don’t stumble over the loss of a few key people.
Give employees access to the learning opportunities they want. As we’ve said, developers prize roles that allow them to learn on the job. Access to learning opportunities is a major factor they weigh when deciding whether to leave a current job or accept a new one. Expanding learning opportunities for developers makes individual employees happier and more valuable to the organization while increasing organizational resiliency.
Avoid asking your high-performers to do all the teaching. Implicitly or explicitly asking your strongest team members to serve as sources of truth and wisdom for your entire team is a bad idea. It sets your experts up for unhappiness and burnout, factors likely to push them out the door. Create a system where both new and seasoned employees can self-serve information so they can unstick themselves when they get stuck.
Four steps to prioritize learning and attract/retain high-performance teams
When it comes to learning, there are four major steps you can take to attract and retain the best talent and increase organizational resiliency.
1. Surface subject matter experts.
Your team has questions? Chances are, someone at your company has answers. There are experts (and potential experts) throughout your organization whose knowledge can eliminate roadblocks and improve processes. Your challenge is to uncover these experts — and plant the seeds for future experts by giving your employees time to learn new skills and investigate new solutions.
Lower the barrier to entry by making it fast, simple, and intuitive for people to contribute to your knowledge platform. Keep in mind that creating asynchronous paths for your employees to find and connect with experts enables knowledge sharing without creating additional distractions or an undue burden for those experts.
How Stack Overflow for Teams surfaces subject matter experts:
Spotlights subject matter experts (SMEs) across teams and departments to connect people with questions to people with answers
Enables upskilling and reskilling by allowing teams and individuals to learn from one another
Asynchronous communication allows employees to ask and answer questions without disrupting their established workflows
Q&A format lowers barriers to contribution and incentivizes users to explore and contribute to knowledge resources
2. Capture and preserve knowledge
Establishing practices to capture and preserve information is essential for making learning scale. The goal is to convert individual learnings and experiences into institutional knowledge that informs best practices so that everyone, and the organization as a whole, can benefit. That knowledge should be easily discoverable and its original context preserved for future knowledge-seekers. To capture and preserve knowledge effectively, you also need to make it easy for users to engage with your knowledge platform.
How Stack Overflow for Teams captures and preserves knowledge:
Collects knowledge continuously to preserve information and context without disrupting developers’ workflows
Makes knowledge searchable, so employees can self-serve answers to their questions and find solutions others have already worked out
Compared with technical documentation, Q&A format requires a shorter time investment for both people with questions and people with answers
3. Make information centralized and accessible
The good news is that nobody at your company has to know everything. They just need to know where to find it. After all, knowledge is only valuable if people can locate it when they need it. That’s why knowledge resources should be easy to find, retrieve, and share across teams.
This is particularly critical as your organization scales: new hires can teach themselves the ropes without requiring extensive, synchronous communication with more seasoned employees who already have plenty of responsibilities and find themselves answering the same questions over and over again.
How Stack Overflow for Teams makes information centralized and accessible:
Makes information easy to locate, access, and share
Speeds up onboarding and shortens time-to-value for new hires
Allows users to make meaningful contributions to knowledge resources without investing huge amounts of time or interrupting their flow state
4. Keep knowledge healthy and resilient
Knowledge isn’t immune to its own kind of tech debt. The major problem with static documentation is that the instant you hit Save, your content has started its steady slide toward being out of date. Like code, regardless of its scale, information must be continually maintained in order to deliver its full value.
Keeping content healthy — that is, fresh, accurate, and up-to-date — is essential. When your knowledge base is outdated or incomplete, employees start to lose trust in your knowledge.
Once trust starts eroding, people stop contributing to your knowledge platform, and it grows even more outdated. Since SMEs are often largely responsible for ensuring that content is complete, properly edited, and consistently updated, keeping content healthy can be yet another heavy burden on these individuals. That’s why a crowdsourced platform that encourages the community to curate, update, and improve content is so valuable.
How Stack Overflow for Teams keeps knowledge healthy and resilient:
Our Content Health feature intelligently surfaces knowledge that might be outdated, inaccurate, or untrustworthy, encouraging more engagement and ensuring higher-quality knowledge resources
Content is curated, updated, and maintained by the community, reducing the burden on SMEs
The platform automatically spotlights the most valuable, relevant information as employees vote on the best answers, thereby increasing user confidence in your knowledge
Resiliency requires learning
You can’t build a resilient organization without putting learning at the center of how your teams operate. Not only is offering access to learning and growth opportunities a requirement for attracting and retaining top talent, but fostering a culture of continuous learning protects against knowledge loss, keeps individuals and teams working productively, and encourages employees to develop skills that will make them even more valuable to your organization.
The CIO 100 is celebrated internationally, with the CIO 100 UK 2022 being announced on 22nd September. Following the awards ceremony, the virtual CIO 100 Conference will begin with a spotlight on the UK CIO #1, highlighting what crowned them the number one position, initiatives they have recently been working on, and what they are looking to achieve next. The event will also host a panel with the UK CIOs 2-4, which will follow a similar discussion.
A key theme this year across the CIO 100 has been a new focus on transformation, following the efforts in previous years handling the Covid-19 pandemic. A key change is the innovation required in a world that is now more digital than ever before. As organizations strive to recover from the uncertainty wrought by the pandemic, they are taking a digital-first approach to building resilience into their operations. A session by Crawford Del Prete, President of IDC, will focus on how the journey to future digital enterprise has accelerated, driven by significant investments in new customer experiences, new digital ecosystem business models, digital supply chains, and future of work initiatives.
Martha Poulter, CIO at the Royal Caribbean shares her Cloud at Sea story. The Royal Caribbean IT Team used the pandemic-era downtime to address some of the business challenges around using cloud-based technologies and systems when operating on the open sea — one of the few places in the world without persistent connectivity. Her session with Maryfran Johnson delves into how the company uses a mix of cloud, edge computing and satellite solutions to deliver seamless customer experiences whether ships are in port or untethered on the open ocean dealing with adverse weather conditions.
As the competition for talent in the tech industry grows at all levels of the workforce, building a people-first culture that champions innovation, diversity, and flexibility is crucial. Tim Martin, CTO of Audible speaks with Beth Kormanik on how Audible has succeeded to inspire customer obsession, agility to adapt, and where employees are not afraid to fail in “their pursuit of technology disruption”.
The CIO Boardroom session, hosted at lunchtime during the event, will bring CIOs in the UK together to discuss what is next for their roles. With a discussion on the importance of employees’ digital experience in organisations through how CIOs can better lead with purpose, the boardroom will look at how IT leaders are moving towards a new way of thinking of leadership and how to succeed in an increasingly virtual office landscape.
The final sessions of the day will delve further into new approaches to IT leadership, shining the light on how the CIO 100 members have adapted their IT strategies to align with what the wider organisation is looking to achieve, continue to empower their teams, and embraced this new focus in transformation.
There is still time to register for the event, which you can do here, and you can reach out to the Foundry UK Events Team with any questions you have and to find out more about future speaking opportunities and security events planned for 2023.
https://westernmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/CIO-100-2.png8001200Editorhttps://westernmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/image001-1030x300.pngEditor2022-08-18 16:07:392022-08-18 16:07:39CIO 100 Conference Celebrates the Top IT leaders in the UK and globally
With 65 million vaccine doses to administer at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Luigi Guadagno, CIO of Walgreens, needed to know where to send them. To find out, he queried Walgreens’ data lakehouse, implemented with Databricks technology on Microsoft Azure.
“We leveraged the lakehouse to understand the moment,” the CIO says. For Guadagno, the need to match vaccine availability with patient demand came at the right moment, technologically speaking. The giant pharmaceutical chain had put its lakehouse in place to address just such challenges in its quest, to, as Guadagno puts it, “To get the right product in the right place for the right patient.”
Previously, Walgreens was attempting to perform that task with its data lake but faced two significant obstacles: cost and time. Those challenges are well-known to many organizations as they have sought to obtain analytical knowledge from their vast amounts of data. The result is an emerging paradigm shift in how enterprises surface insights, one that sees them leaning on a new category of technology architected to help organizations maximize the value of their data.
Enter the data lakehouse
Traditionally, organizations have maintained two systems as part of their data strategies: a system of record on which to run their business and a system of insight such as a data warehouse from which to gather business intelligence (BI). With the advent of big data, a second system of insight, the data lake, appeared to serve up artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) insights. Many organizations, however, are finding this paradigm of relying on two separate systems of insight untenable.
The data warehouse requires a time-consuming extract, transform, and load (ETL) process to move data from the system of record to the data warehouse, whereupon the data would be normalized, queried, and answers obtained. Meanwhile, unstructured data would be dumped into a data lake where it would be subjected to analysis by skilled data scientists using tools such as Python, Apache Spark, and TensorFlow.
Under Guadagno, the Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens consolidated its systems of insight into a single data lakehouse. And he’s not alone. An increasing number of companies are finding that lakehouses — which fall into a product category generally known as query accelerators — are meeting a critical need.
“Lakehouses redeem the failures of some data lakes. That’s how we got here. People couldn’t get value from the lake,” says Adam Ronthal, vice president and analyst at Gartner. In the case of the Databricks Delta Lake lakehouse, structured data from a data warehouse is typically added to a data lake. To that, the lakehouse adds layers of optimization to make the data more broadly consumable for gathering insights.
The Databricks Delta Lake lakehouse is but one entry in an increasingly crowded marketplace, that includes such vendors as Snowflake, Starburst, Dremio, GridGain, DataRobot, and perhaps a dozen others, according to Gartner’s Market Guide for Analytics Query Accelerators.
Moonfare, a private equity firm, is transitioning from a PostgreSQL-based data warehouse on AWS to a Dremio data lakehouse on AWS for business intelligence and predictive analytics. When the implementation goes live in the fall of 2022, business users will be able to perform self-service analytics on top of data in AWS S3. Queries will include which marketing campaigns are working best with which customers and which fund managers are performing best. The lakehouse will also help with fraud prevention.
“You can intuitively query the data from the data lake. Users coming from a data warehouse environment shouldn’t care where the data resides,” says Angelo Slawik, data engineer at Moonfare. “What’s super important is that it takes away ETL jobs,” he says, adding, “With Dremio, if the data is in S3, you can query what you want.”
Moonfare selected Dremio in a proof-of-concept runoff with AWS Athena, an interactive query service that enables SQL queries on S3 data. According to Slawik, Dremio proved more capable thanks to very fast performance and a highly functional user interface that allows users to track data lineage visually. Also important was Dremio’s role-based views and access control for security and governance, which help the Berlin, Germany-based company comply with GDPR regulations.
At Paris-based BNP Paribas, scattered data silos were being used for BI by different teams at the giant bank. Emmanuel Wiesenfeld, an independent contractor, re-architected the silos to create a centralized system so business users such as traders could run their own analytics queries across “a single source of truth.”
“Trading teams wanted to collaborate, but data was scattered. Tools for analyzing the data also were scattered, making them costly and difficult to maintain,” says Wiesenfeld. “We wanted to centralize data from lots of data sources to enable real-time situational awareness. Now users can write their own scripts and run them over the data,” he explains.
Using Apache Ignite technology from GridGain, Wiesenfeld created an in-memory computing architecture. Key to the new approach is moving from ETL to ELT, where transformation is carried out while performing computations in order to streamline the entire process, according to Wiesenfeld, who says the result was to reduce latency from hours to seconds. Wiesenfeld has since launched a startup called Kawa to bring similar solutions to other customers, particularly hedge funds.
Starburst takes a mesh approach, leveraging open-source Trino technology in Starburst Enterprise to improve access to distributed data. Rather than moving data into a central warehouse, the mesh enables access while allowing data to stay where it is. Sophia Genetics is using Starburst Enterprise in its cloud-based bioinformatics SaaS analytics platform. One reason: Keeping sensitive healthcare data within specific countries is important for regulatory reasons. “Due to compliance constraints, we simply can not deploy any system that accesses all data from one central point,” said Alexander Seeholzer, director of data services at Switzerland-based Sophia Genetics in a Starburst case study.
The new query acceleration platforms aren’t standing still. Databricks and Snowflake have introduced data clouds and data lakehouses with features designed for the needs of companies in specific industries such as retail and healthcare. These moves echo the introduction of industry-specific clouds by hyperscalers Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and Amazon Web Services.
The lakehouse as best practice
Gartner’s Ronthal sees the evolution of the data lake to the data lakehouse as an inexorable trend. “We are moving in the direction where the data lakehouse becomes a best practice, but everyone is moving at a different speed,” Ronthal says. “In most cases, the lake was not capable of delivering production needs.”
Despite the eagerness of data lakehouse vendors to subsume the data warehouse into their offerings, Gartner predicts the warehouse will endure. “Analytics query accelerators are unlikely to replace the data warehouse, but they can make the data lake significantly more valuable by enabling performance that meets requirements for both business and technical staff,” concludes its report on the query accelerator market.
Noel Yuhanna, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, disagrees, asserting the lakehouse will indeed take the place of separate warehouses and lakes.
“We do see the future of warehouses and lakes coming into a lakehouse, where one system is good enough,” Yuhanna says. For organizations with distributed warehouses and lakes, the mesh architecture such as that of Starburst will fill a need, according to Yuhanna, because it enables organizations to implement federated governance across various data locations.
Whatever the approach, Yuhanna says companies are seeking to gain faster time to value from their data. “They don’t want ‘customer 360’ six months from now; they want it next week. We call this ‘fast’ data. As soon as the data is created, you’re running analytics and insights on it,” he says.
From a system of insight to a system of action
For Guadagno, vaccine distribution was a high-profile, lifesaving initiative, but the Walgreens lakehouse does yeoman work in more mundane but essential retail tasks as well, such as sending out prescription reminders and product coupons. These processes combine an understanding of customer behavior with the availability of pharmaceutical and retail inventory. “It can get very sophisticated, with very personalized insights,” he says. “It allows us to become customer-centric.”
To others embarking on a similar journey Guadagno advises, “Put all your data in the lakehouse as fast as possible. Don’t embark on any lengthy data modeling or rationalization. It’s better to think about creating value. Put it all in there and give everybody access through governance and collaboration. Don’t waste money on integration and ETL.”
At Walgreens, the Databricks lakehouse is about more than simply making technology more efficient. It’s key to its overall business strategy. “We’re on a mission to create a very personalized experience. It starts at the point of retail — what you need and when you need it. That’s ultimately what the data is for,” Guadagno says. “There is no more system of record and system of insight. It’s a system of action.”
https://westernmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/shutterstock_1873450813-scaled.jpg17072560Editorhttps://westernmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/image001-1030x300.pngEditor2022-08-18 14:06:472022-08-18 14:06:47The rise of the data lakehouse: A new era of data value
Kristie Grinnell, SVP and CIO of DXC Technology, is an award-winning global executive known for her success in leading large-scale strategic transformations while remaining a calm, decisive, and supportive presence for her team, even when the heat is on. She has that unique ability — something we see among the top CIOs and digital leaders — to balance high emotional intelligence (EQ) and hard business results.
For Grinnell, the two are inextricably linked. As she told me in a recent episode of the Tech Whisperers podcast, “People are what drive everything — every decision that we make. You can’t drive transformation without people.” During that episode, she opened up her leadership playbook and explored how she leads with H.E.A.R.T.: Humility, Empathy, Adaptability, Resiliency, Transparency.
Grinnell’s career trajectory shows just how essential these five attributes have become for today’s high-performing IT leaders. Technical expertise may open the door in our profession, but successful technology executives know how to bring out the best in everyone around them by making it safe for them to push outside their comfort zones and achieve more than they even thought possible. As one of Grinnell’s recently promoted direct reports told me, “Kristie pulls it out of you and inspires you. I’ve learned so much from her.”
Grinnell and I spent some more time after the podcast talking about what she’s doing to lead a culture of transformation at DXC and how emerging IT leaders can cultivate a growth mindset. What follows is that conversation, edited for length and clarity.
Dan Roberts: What does “leading with values” mean to you, and how do you make your values more than just words on a poster?
Kristie Grinnell: Leading with values, that is my moral compass and my decision compass in everything I do. And that’s why I always have to find a company that is aligned. My personal values and my corporate values have to be aligned or I’m just not going to be successful there.
Coming into DXC, we have very clear set of values. [President and CEO] Mike Salvino sends all of us on the leadership team a card that has our values on it, and I use it in every meeting that I have with the team. It’s the first slide that we show to remind people that it’s not about what you do, it’s about how you do it, how you show up, how you have a conversation. How you deliver is just as important as what you deliver. And that is something that I try to instill every day in my team.
Values need to be reinforced and sustained when you are trying to change culture. How do get people engaged and excited about it?
For me, it’s about being even more intentional to show that I’m leading with these values and that it’s not just words on paper. What actions and what behaviors can I drive?
We’re in the middle of culture week at DXC, and we’ve given everyone a “change the culture” placemat, which asks things like, ‘Do you have a bias for action to move us forward to deliver?’ ‘Do you inspire your colleagues?’ The one that’s right in the middle is so important to me. It’s a little smiley face, and next to it says, ‘Laugh/smile.’ We have to be able to have some fun in the way that we work. We’re all people, we work way too long, and I want to work at a place where I enjoy working with the people that I do, where I’m having fun working while I’m adding value.
We’re doing some great things as part of culture week. My organizational change and communications leader, Natasa Vanderveen, pulled together an amazing program that we started yesterday, Gaming with Grinnell. For an hour at the beginning of the day, we invited everyone on my team to play games. They had to guess pixelated images. They had to guess a phrase from emojis. We did a little scavenger hunt. It just brought people together to laugh and smile and get to know each other. We got to learn about people’s families. We got to learn about their vacations. We got to learn about some of their favorite things. It just helps you connect in a different way.
When people are dealing with change, fight-or-flight often kicks in. How do you build that muscle for change in your team, knowing there will be resistance?
When I came in and I did my listening tour over the first couple of months, I asked employees if they knew what transformation journey we were on, and most of them couldn’t answer that question. Yet our CEO has taken pains to deliver this very clear transformation journey that we’re on. He’s said, ‘Here are the five steps we need to take to do this, we’re going to build a foundation and then we’re going to grow, and then we’re going to accelerate.’ He talks about it in our earnings calls, in investor days, and in our town halls. He’ll pop into meetings and talk about it there.
Having that as a guide and a roadmap for all of us — it’s pretty clear if you pay attention. So, we’re taking the five steps and we’re showing them at every meeting. We have five goals that are completely aligned to each one of those steps, and we made sure that every single employee in IT knows, this is what you’re doing. This is how you are adding value to each one of these steps. Because if they can’t make that connection, then they’re not going to know if what they’re doing is driving value or not.
So, we have values, a transformation journey guide, and goals that every person has now said, ‘This is what I’m going to do this year to add value, to drive this transformation journey.’ We bring it up in every meeting. We review it in performance reviews. We make sure that we’re going to deliver status on that to show that we’re making progress.
These are the little things that you can do to build that muscle memory, so it’s not like I’m doing IT for IT’s sake; I’m doing IT to drive this amazing transformation journey for DXC.
You are very intentional when it comes to developing your people.Can you talk about your goal around “proactivity with a growth mindset”?
Everything we do should be thinking about the growth of DXC. Everybody has to put that growth mindset on of, am I doing something that’s going to enable the next thing — whether it’s growing organically in our current customer base, growing a new product offering, or going into a new customer market — are we putting those building blocks in place to get there?
So you always have to think, am I giving people the tools to do their job, and then, am I giving people the ability to grow DXC in the way that we want to grow?
If we can get people thinking that way across the organization, then the sky is the limit, because we are a people-based organization. We don’t make products and widgets. We have really smart people who can do amazing things. We just need to get them all in the boat, rowing in the same direction.
How do you encourage up-and-coming IT leaders to become growth-oriented, strategic anticipators rather than order takers?
One thing that we do is have people think about it as if this were your own business. Is this the decision that you would make? If you have one dollar, would you spend it on this technology?
We need to recognize that we have that role, that power in IT. We should all be thinking that this is our ability to grow the business. Where am I going to put that dollar to get the most bang for my buck? I’m not just over here in IT and have to deliver to my budget. If I can give some of that back to go invest in something else, and it’s going make us grow, look what value IT just added.
Or I might need to invest it in IT because that’s going to give us a new capability that helps us grow in a different way. So really thinking about, how do I run IT as a business and how do I think about that return on investment of every single dollar we spend is important.
To grow, you often have to go outside your comfort zone. You like to say, “In the uncomfortable we learn the most.” How do you push through those uncomfortable moments?
I learned this through my own experience. I was at a company where I didn’t align with the values, and I quit. I have never resigned from a position without having another role, and I was super nervous, but I bet on myself. The former CIO that I had worked for told me there was a CIO role opening and that I should apply for it. I thought, I’m not going to apply for a CIO role! Are you crazy? No way. And he said, ‘You can do this. Put your name in the hat.’ So I said, ‘I’ll do it for you, but I don’t know that I want this. I don’t know that I can do it.’
I went through the whole interview process. I got the job. Even up until that first day, that first month, I thought, what am I doing here? I’m going to fail.
And then, I started calling on my mentors. I talked to my husband about it. I said, I think I bit off more than I can chew. There are some big problems here. And he said, ‘You can do it. Trust your gut.’
So I trusted my gut and put this plan in place. I started asking people, listening about what we needed. And I started to say, ‘I think maybe we could do this. I think maybe we could do that.’ The more uncomfortable I got, the bigger the problems I saw, the more I had to dig deep and really say, ‘What’s your gut telling you?’
Listening to everybody around me — mentors, team members, other leaders — I bet on myself again, and I put this plan in place, and then we had a successful transformation from there on out. But it’s because I was uncomfortable that I had to dig deep. I didn’t even know what was in me. And now I’m in another CIO role for a Fortune 200 company leading a large-scale transformation again, and I’m like, I’ve got this.
https://westernmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/HS-2.png8021200Editorhttps://westernmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/image001-1030x300.pngEditor2022-08-18 12:05:282022-08-18 12:05:28CIO Kristie Grinnell on creating a culture of transformation
The nonsense was tucked away in a PowerPoint slide, as so much nonsense is. “We’ll help you institute best practices, followed by a program of continuous improvement,” the offending bullet said.
Now, I’m willing to shrug at a bit of harmless puffery from time to time. And maybe this puffery was harmless. But I don’t think so.
As my pappy used to say, ‘If someone sells this and someone else buys it, they have something in common: They’re both schmucks.’ Even ignoring the two-schmucks-in-a-pond aspect of the situation, the whole premise of “best practices” isn’t just flawed, it’s fraud — that should be avoided at all costs. It’s a phrase that pretends to provide value when it’s really inserting nothing but noise into the signal.
The idea of “best practices” is deeply wrong for these reasons: (1) It’s argument by assertion, not evidence and logic; (2) “best” is contextual, not absolute; and (3) it encourages stasis by precluding innovation.
Argument by assertion
When you read or are told a particular way of doing things is best practice, do you ask what the criteria are for awarding it best-practice status? Or, for that matter, who the governing body is that’s authorized to give out the award?
In the rare cases where there is a governing body — ITIL is an example — best practices aren’t what they offer. What governing bodies more often provide are “frameworks,” which are lists of practices, not actual how-to assistance.
If you have asked, you’ve probably discovered that there is no such group. What there is in its place is self-proclaimed authority. Here’s how that works out:
Imagine the situation at hand isn’t about running IT or a business — it’s about curing intense abdominal agony, for which surgically removing the vermiform appendix is, you’re told while lying in your bed of pain, best practice. An industry consultant tells you so, buttressing their argument by laying out three case studies in which appendix removal successfully eliminated the abdominal distress. It’s best practice!
Except it isn’t, because, sadly, they lost a few patients along the way. There are, as it turns out, lots of different types of intense abdominal pain, most of which aren’t appendix-related. Somehow or other these weren’t written up as case studies.
For any given practice, different organizations need to optimize different combinations of these dimensions. A process or practice whose optimization goals are, for example, cycle time and quality will be designed quite differently from one designed to optimize for unit cost and excellence.
Which makes designing any one process or practice that’s best in all situations no more possible than designing any one anything else that’s best in all situations.
Stasis over innovation
Call me Captain Literal, but “best”? Really?
Look, if we’re supposed to take someone at their word, their word should mean what it’s supposed to mean. So a best practice should be, by definition, a practice that can’t be improved on.
As a leader and as a manager, the last thing you ought to be doing is encouraging the attitude that the way you do things, or the way you’re going to do things once you’ve installed a new practice, is that there’s no place for innovative thinking.
But that’s what the phrase tells them.
So don’t use it.
Where do you go from here?
When you decide you need to improve your organization’s practices, starting from scratch doesn’t make sense either. Surely there must be a way to learn from the experience of other organizations.
There surely is, and it’s probably obvious to you if you’ve read this far.
If you’re on the proposing side of such things, banish the phrase “best practice” from your vocabulary. When you’re tempted to use it, describe the practice you’re proposing as a “proven practice” or “well-tested practice” instead, assuming you and your teams have enough experience to justify the claim.
If you’re on the buying side of the equation and someone uses it as part of their attempt to persuade you to embrace their way of doing things, stick your fingers in your ears and sing, La la la la la! I can’t hear you! La la la la la!
It is, after all, just noise.
If you’re looking for a better way of doing things, and like the practice in question as described and are explaining why you’ve chosen to implement it, go beyond banishing the phrase.
Replace it with this dictum: There’s no such thing as best practices, only practices that fit best.
And make sure you’ve evaluated the practice in question so you’re confident it does fit your organization best.
https://westernmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/shutterstock_2164809395-scaled.jpg17072560Editorhttps://westernmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/image001-1030x300.pngEditor2022-08-18 10:01:482022-08-18 10:01:48Why every IT leader should avoid ‘best practices’