FORRward: A Weekly Read For Tech And Marketing Execs
Zoom Forfeits Goodwill By Failing To Secure What It Sells
COVID-19 has crippled many companies, but one that surged, at least at first, was Zoom Video Communications, Inc. Zoom’s failure to secure what it sells, however, turns one of the few bright sides of physical distancing into a parable of product security: Releasing a product with shocking security flaws and privacy issues will come back to haunt a company at the worst possible time. Four class action lawsuits, along with bans by school districts and enteprises, have cost Zoom the positive momentum it built early in the pandemic. Zoom has now frozen feature development, brought in multiple security consultants, and launched an apology tour led by its CEO and founder Eric S. Yuan. To his credit, Zoom’s founder seems authentic, providing transparent details about Zoom’s use cases, lack of foresight when it comes to privacy and security, and what it plans to do moving forward. Make no mistake, Zoom helped “flatten the curve” by making social distancing tolerable and allowing people to connect in a way that was easy for end users. But Zoom’s narrative has irrevocably shifted: from a company that helped us stay connected while battling the coronavirus to a cautionary tale that amplifies the importance of product security and user privacy.
Three Scenarios For The US Economy And Tech Market
With an ever-expanding range of quarantines, shutdowns, and other measures to contain COVID-19, it is impossible to make definitive predictions of the impact on tech spending. Instead, we are using three likely scenarios for the economic outlook, which drive three potential scenarios for US tech market growth. The best-case Scenario A model predicts that US tech spending will fall by 5% in 2020. Scenario B indicates that US tech spending will drop by 9% in 2020 and an additional 5% in 2021. Scenario C is the worst case, in which the pandemic recurs and the resulting economic shutdown extends well into 2021. In this scenario, the revenue declines will be so deep and so prolonged that firms will start breaching or renegotiating contracts on a widespread basis. For more information about these scenarios and recommendations for CIOs and tech decision makers, read our new research.
AI Accelerates Government And HCO Efforts To Answer Questions About COVID-19
Concerned citizens are flooding government and healthcare organizations (HCOs) across the globe with information requests about COVID-19. But wait times in many of these situations can exceed two hours. To help address this, firms should use AI to put critical data and information into the ears, apps, and hands of their citizens. For instance, IBM is providing such value for clients at no charge through its Watson Assistant for Citizens. This service on the IBM public cloud brings together its enterprise AI search services — Watson Discovery and Natural Language Processing — to understand and respond to common questions about COVID-19. It leverages existing information from government websites, news articles, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, and local school, park, and facility closings. Organizations such as the City of Austin, TX, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, GA, and the National Health Service (NHS) Wales in the UK are taking advantage of this service to help residents and patients find the information they need when they need it. If you are using AI to aid your response to COVID-19 or reimagine how work gets done in this new operating environment, we want to hear from you.