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CIOs mean business

Beth Stackpole | Aug. 2, 2016
This year's CIO 100 honorees are serious about winning customers and driving revenue.

The team also made sure there was a universal understanding of the roles and responsibilities connected to agile and scrum while ramping up its investment in agile training, Gonzalez says. The other key piece was embracing a DevOps approach, incorporating automation toolkits and techniques geared toward greater efficiency to create an ecosystem and culture of continuous improvement and continuous deployment, says Matt Smith, AT&T DirecTV's IT director for program management and the Agile Center of Excellence.

"You can sit in scrum meetings and you don't know who's in IT or in the business," Smith says. "We've created one team out of a cross section of the entire organization to deliver on our value base."

With the changes in place, DirecTV was better positioned to launch the responsive website and deliver ongoing improvements in a timely fashion. Key to the design is a single code base for all devices, support for open-source principles and tools like NGINX, Node.js and Play, along with a new decoupled architecture that allows improvements to be made via UI/UX changes and without impact on back-end processes, Smith says.

Armed with an agile delivery ecosystem, DirecTV is now better situated to deliver web apps and new functionality in an iterative fashion, in two-to-three-week sprints as opposed to four-month cycles, Gonzalez says. The launch of the responsive website also increased reach and engagement with customers -- within the first month, customers lined up for 38,000 additional digital video streams, 49,000 recordings and 3,400 pay-per-view purchases.

The hardest part of the project wasn't the technical work, but rather the cultural and organizational challenges of getting everyone to embrace transformational change. "After a couple of failures, people were kind of burnt out and pointing fingers, but once we got through that hump and we embedded a sense of ownership, we saw a spark in them," Gonzalez says. "We've increased revenue, improved speed to market, made quality improvements and are delivering more flexibility for customers."

Your pizza, your way

When the bulk of your customer base belongs to the millennial generation, what's the best way to make your pizza stand out in the crowd? Create an experience that lets digital-savvy consumers order from whichever device and whatever medium they like best.

jun fea cio100 vasconi

That's the strategy behind the $2.1 billion Domino's AnyWare ordering technology, part of the fast-food company's ongoing digital transformation. For some customers, voice ordering via text is the most satisfying while others queue up their orders with pizza emojis via Twitter. "We embrace the fact that the next generation of customers grew up as digital natives, and we want to be the easiest company in the world to have a relationship with," says Kevin Vasconi, executive vice president and CIO at Domino's. "We never want to lose an order because we don't have the right platform or the best experience or because the system doesn't perform."


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