Enterprise hits and misses – UX accessibility matters, Google and Microsoft surprise, and the metaverse gets enterprise scrutiny

Lead story – UX accessibility must move beyond developers – but how?

UX accessibility is not just a legal obligation, it’s a better approach for the customer-first world we supposedly live in. The question is: how do you get there? This week, I got the lowdown from an expert: UX accessibility must move beyond developers – Karen Hawkins on how to turn digital accessibility into a team practice. I also shared a few lessons from diginomica’s own digital accessibility pursuits:

  • accessibility is not just a legal obligation – it’s a sensibility and a discipline.
  • accessibility factors into every digital feature or design decision you make.
  • the more accessible your digital assets are, the better the UX is for all.
  • the work is never done, and there is always more to learn – and implement.

But what does Hawkins advise? Her organization eSSENTIAL Accessibility, recommends embedding accessibility across design, development, and every stage of the product development lifecycle. One crucial tip from Hawkins? Accessibility “checkpoints”:

Another thing that’s lacking is checkpoints, where we can inject accessibility into the software or product development life cycles. We’re putting in these checks and balances to make sure that for every role, and at every stage in the process, we’re designing and creating as much as we can with accessibility in mind.

Going back and re-architecting for accessibility can be difficult, especially if you’re at massive web scale. So I asked Hawkins: how can organizations avoid this when launching new digital products/”experiences”? Hawkins:

It’s very logical that your foundational elements are as accessible as possible, these foundational elements being colors, but also typography, small atoms and molecules, like your buttons and your links and your text boxes – they get used everywhere. There’s that whole concept of atomic design – you build small things, put them into larger organisms, and build those components into two full pages.

For those organizations looking for gut checks, there is no shortage of online resources, hireable experts, and evaluation tools – many of which I’ve linked from my article. “Compliance” is a limited way to look at this. If some of your accessibility projects really energize your team, you’re on the right track.

Diginomica picks – my top stories on diginomica this week

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here’s my three top choices from our vendor coverage:

  • Google’s cloud performance impresses, even as Alphabet disappoints – Stuart on Google’s mixed report, redeemed by the platform: “What was of note was that Google Cloud Platform’s revenue growth is faster than Google Cloud, with infrastructure emerging as the current sweet spot, albeit one that’s still a long, long way behind Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.
  • ServiceNow exceeds Q1 2022 guidance as the platform continues to gain traction across the enterprise – Guess who’s in a spiffy mood? ServiceNow’s Bill McDermott – Derek explains why.
  • Microsoft beats expectations with Q3 performance built on clouds – It hasn’t been a special few weeks for tech stocks, but as Stuart reports, Microsoft is clearly an exception: “Nadella said Microsoft is focused on building a distributed computing fabric across the cloud and the edge to help organizations build, run, and manage mission-critical workloads anywhere. But it’s early days, he added.”
  • Workday – exit Power of One, enter Power to Adapt – Anyone looking for a handle on Workday’s shift in direction – and what that means for large enterprise SaaS – look no further than Brian’s analysis, pulled from a recent in-person analyst event. (sidenote: I think Brian is still smarting from me referring to him at “Dr. Frankensoft” on Twitter, though he had an edgy comeback).

A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:

Jon’s grab bag – Stuart gets the grab bag all to himself this week, with another love letter to his favorite tech billionaire scorcher on the company formerly known as “a place for friends” Facebook: Meta gets a boost on Wall Street despite mixed results – but nobody mention Elon Musk! Plus we get this nugget: “Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg noted that half of the time spent by users on Facebook now relates to video.” How exactly that translates to the enterprise needs a think, but I don’t think it’s a stat we should ignore either.

Best of the enterprise web

My top seven

  • Intel CEO says chip shortage could continue until 2024 – Not a massively unexpected headline at this point, but add it to the headwinds we must forge.
  • Understanding Cloud Renewal Price Protections: You May Not Be as Protected as You Think – Adam Mansfield of UpperEdge keeps it real for cloud customers (again). You might think you’re ready to negotiate your next cloud contract, but remember: “The conditions and fine print that are included often diminish the protection.”
  • DBMS Market Transformation 2021: Nonrelational DBMS Pureplays – This is part two of Merv Adrian’s solid DBMS market review. This one looks at the upstarts: “It’s not surprising that every cloud platform provider has amped up its response with document support, usually JSON capability.”
  • The almighty Metaverse – its Rise and Fate – Speaking of a good series, Thomas Wieberneit’s quixotic quest for enterprise value in the “Metaverse” has really gelled across his posts. One disconcerting aspect: you can see, from Wieberneit’s Metaverse stack, how much tech vendors stand to gain from these projects – even if they don’t deliver ROI for customers.
  • No Ops like ‘NoOps’ revisited: Is the vision a reality yet? – Just when I thought I was over “DevSecOps,” Joe McKendrick serves up “NoOps.” is NoOps hype? Yes, I believe so, but give McKendrick credit for a nice art-of-the-possible tone here. This seems like a worthy end goal – at least for some IT processes.
  • Is ERP software a security risk? – This piece may be basic for some, but given the amount of ERP vulnerabilities versus the sophistication of today’s threats, this bears review, from access rights to system complexity to the (on-prem) bugaboo of delayed updates.
  • AI models can be racist even if they’re trained on fair data – For a piece from the techbait page view factory at The Register, I thought this was quite fair/balanced – plus it contains a link to a major NIST report on algorithmic bias.

 

Whiffs

Okay, so this was a cheap shot:

But it felt right, so… Then there is this fellow, who didn’t need any further mockery:

I usually ignore tech execs’ views on the creative discipline of artistic greatness, but I couldn’t zip it this time:

Yes, Spotify can’t be expected to rely on Pink Floyd to solve its profitability problems, but musicians “interacting” with fans has nothing to do with making better music either. As I wrote in a yet-unpublished piece:

You think Pink Floyd would have benefited from checking LinkedIn while recording The Wall?

Okay, that was too easy. See you next time…

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.


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