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Exit Interview by Patrick Donegan – Newsletter #2

By: Patrick Donegan

For some time, I’ve been looking for one “source” that curates modern takes on HR Tech, perspectives from the people who build it, and its impact on enterprise — something that’s tailor-made by professionals for decision-makers. 

I never found it — so I decided to build it. 

Every week, I’ll be sharing fresh insights on tech platforms, design, data, and the future of work — straight to your inbox.

My Thoughts

Vaccines are rolling out from Pfizer, Moderna, and Oxford-AstraZenenca. At least two vaccines have been approved in the US and more are likely to be approved. 🙌🎉 But don’t think that remote tech giants like SlackZoomServiceNow, or Atlassian are going anywhere. Consumer and enterprise preferences have fundamentally changed — the pandemic was just a jump start. These companies are surely hard at work to figure out how they capitalize on their success once we’re back in the office.

Tech Innovation at Work

Registration has started for the next HR Tech Virtual Experience, which will take place March 21, 2021. It’s always a good show for HR professionals looking to optimize existing systems — and for those making purchase decisions. 

Eightfold AI, designed to help clients diversify the workplace, is now valued at $1 billion. It could be a game changer — but only if hiring managers accept the outcomes. 🤔 A lot will depend on whether up and down processes can be redesigned to align with the platform. 

Big fan of this collaboration between Ralph Lauren and Snapchat. Earlier this year, more than 10 million users dressed their Bitmoji in Ralph Lauren and tried on the collection more than 250 million times. 🔥📸💅 Though RL will undoubtedly be waiting to see real ROI, especially in a deflated retail economy.

Photo: Ralph Lauren

Aspen Skiing Co. is offering a contactless experience — for meals, lift tickets, etc. ⛷️🚡 “The pandemic has offered us a unique opportunity to accelerate our guest experience roadmap,” CIO John Lilley says. The success of contactless is going to depend on change management — ensuring employees are conversant enough in the new features to help guests should they ask. 💳 😎

Great interview with Jack Altman, Cofounder & CEO of Lattice, by Sar Haribhakti. Altman’s take on the future of HR tech is more consolidation and not less. It’s all about the employee journey: “I think companies in [HR Tech] that can do more for the employees  will win, and being able to connect disparate moments in the employee journey — whether that’s a promotion, a tough conversation, an unhappy quarter, an ambitious goal — will be very valuable.”

Here’s a great explanation from @chiefmartec of how platforms interact with networks and the marketplace. They put it this way: “The biggest advantage of platforms is their adaptability. The ecosystem of things built around them can continually evolve, to rapidly address new use cases and emerging innovations, without having to explicitly coordinate their actions with a central authority. Platforms with a large ecosystem of creators are extremely resilient.”

We often have to explain to clients what a platform is and how it benefits them via analogies. This is a simple, clear graph that breaks it down: 

Graph: Scott Brinker

Is Fintech the answer to inequities in banking? There are approximately 14 million Americans without bank accounts. Reasons include not having enough money to meet minimum balance requirements and fear of overdraft fees. These same Americans will be slow to receive aid and stimulus checks. Fintech can help — their apps are designed to appeal to consumers who’ve shied away from traditional banks. Governments should take their cue from Fintechs and direct consumers to free banking options.

The Changing Workplace

Whole Foods now publishes the average pay of its employees on its website. 👏✊💲 There’s no denying that wage transparency works. Beyond being an incentive, it helps you improve as a company. “When you reveal a pay structure very transparently … sometimes things aren’t just. And people will complain about it. And that gives you an opportunity to correct it,” CEO John Mackey says. 

It should be obvious by now — but people skills are a must for tech workers.  💪👨‍💼🌟 According to Robert Half, the pandemic has increased the desire to hire for soft skills and emotional intelligence. IT teams have to work closer than ever with other team members and customers. 

All About Data

Here’s a great breakdown of trends in data infrastructure and data, analytics, and enterprise AI. Not surprising that the data stacks are getting simpler, but data pipelines are getting more complex, and there are more data sources available than ever. 📈🚀

Interesting take on the future of banking. APIs, new distribution channels —and data especially — can make banking more accessible. 53 million+ Americans don’t have a credit score, and they’re not all high risk. Data and machine-learning can help make them customers.  💳🏦📈

Wondering about where retail is headed after the recovery? If you need more proof about omnichannel as the future 🛍️💳👩‍💻, here are some takeaways from Harley Finkelstein, President of Shopify: From November 23-30, sales increased 84% from 2019.67% of sales were made on mobile vs 33% on desktop.Black Friday and Cyber Monday are global events — sales up 347% in Japan, 211% in Italy, 189% in Germany, and 122% in the UK.  

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Patrick Donegan

Managing Director

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