Leadership Transition At IBM Means More Cloud, More Cloud Services, More Cloud Focus

IBM is unlikely to ever have the economics of an Amazon, Azure, Google, or Alibaba. But it does have the largest footprint as a strategic partner of any vendor — 50% more customers than Accenture in our latest Forrester Analytics Business Technographics® survey on business and technology services, for example. Now that Arvind Krishna, the mastermind behind the Red Hat acquisition and an ardent technologist, will be at the helm (retiring CEO Ginni Rometty was a services person), IBM will double down on cloud of all kinds. We expect IBM to elevate its cloud messaging, more strongly link IBM Services to cloud transformation, and put James Whitehurst (the designated president and formerly the head of Red Hat) into the spotlight as a likely successor. Check out our cloud computing playbook for 2020 so you are ready when IBM comes knocking with cloud offers galore.

Consumer Collective Bargaining Returns Barbie To Her Iconic Place In Pop Culture

It’s no secret that Mattel has struggled with the relevance of the Barbie brand. The toy maker became infamous for tone-deaf missteps with its iconic doll. For example, “Slumber Party Barbie” came with a scale set at 110 lbs. (the average US woman weighs about 168 lbs.), “Baby Sitter Barbie” carried a diet book (at least 30M people in the US suffer from eating disorders), and “Teen Talk Barbie” said the first-world phrase, “Will we ever have enough clothes?” Once every girl’s toy of choice, the brand fell out of step with changing consumer norms around women and society at large. To improve that perception, in 2016, Mattel brought to market Barbies in different body sizes. This week, Mattel released a line of dolls that includes women with alopecia, artificial limbs, and wheelchairs. Mattel’s updates to the Barbie brand reveal the power of a concept we call consumer collective bargaining, a trend that creates tangible, reputational risk for companies. Mattel’s answer to this risk is the most progressive line of dolls the brand has ever attempted. A learning for all brands from this evolution: Make sure your brand manager is meeting with your risk manager regularly.

Product Security And Surveillance Capitalism Issues Flare Up For Security Companies Ring And Avast

It’s been a rough couple of months for Ring. Multiple security and privacy issues have plagued the physical security device maker, it responded poorly by casting blame on users, and now the Electronic Frontier Foundation has identified that the Ring app is littered with third-party trackers. At the same time, a security product — Avast — was outed for selling “every click, every search, every buy on every site” its users visited.

Avast issued a statement filled with buzzwords and empty promises that illustrated the company’s reckless disregard for privacy, fundamental lack of respect for its users, abdication of risk management responsibilities, and a culture that chooses to hide behind legalese to avoid any sense of accountability. After its users — and the infosec and privacy communities — reacted, Avast shuttered Jumpshot on January 30, proving that “sunlight is the best disinfectant” after all. The WIM: Personal data has value. So when harvesting user data became a nonviable tactic, the company died. There’s no better evidence of how much user data — and surveillance capitalism — mean to some companies. See more in this topic in our recent blog.