Build Straight Forward Processes Accept Rapid Fire Change
By Dave Doyle, CIO & SVP, IT, Regal Entertainment Group
Technology to Support Marketing
The overall increased demand on IT is certainly a challenge. While there is sometimes room for negotiation and compromise, the days of perceiving IT as the “no and slow show” are over. Fortunately, we have a strong foundation of process and solutions that help meet our business needs. Currently, we are looking forward to several projects in support of our marketing group, particularly enhancements to our point-of-sale and loyalty systems. With over 10 million active members, Regal Crown Club tests the limits of some systems. But our technology partners offer solutions that are extensible and grow with our needs. We count on these solution providers to be knowledgeable and responsive.
Potential to Transform Customer’s Transactional Experience
There are always concerns but I sleep fairly well at night. I am privileged to be surrounded by great people who keep our systems reliable and secure. Clearly there is a need to focus heavily on information security, including intrusion prevention, threat detection, and the approaching Chip & PIN payment. I prefer to focus on the dream, not the nightmare. On a positive and related note, alternative payment solutions are gaining traction. There are a lot of players in the “Mobile Wallet” space, and many have the potential to transform the customer’s transactional experience. Regardless of the driving forces, the way consumers pay for movies, popcorn and drink will change.
Mobile Wallet has the potential to transform the way consumers pay for movies, popcorn and drink
Digital Cinema and Mobility: Trending Now
The transition from film to digital content had a very positive impact on our industry. Digital Cinema is great for customers with more reliable picture quality and more efficient for operations. This transformation continues with the delivery of movies via satellite to our theatres and more alternative content, such as concerts and sporting events. We are also very interested in mobility– for both customers and employees. Some of our cinema employees now use mobile devices to help them with their jobs and mobile ticketing capabilities are growing. While Regal has brick and mortar locations, increasingly we secure entertainment dollars from guests on the go before they arrive at our doors.
My Role as a CIO
An increasing pace of change has complicated the role of the CIO. Meeting the demands of the business and keeping up with new technologies is challenging. Innovation is advancing in the magnitude of “dog years” and keeping up with the pace of change requires an imaginative mindset that embraces new ideas. At the same time, we must continue to appreciate the traditional need for process and governance. Our industry is called ‘show business’ because it’s a marriage of creativity and managerial skill. I believe that agility and compliance can coexist. The trick is to build straightforward processes that are accepting of rapid fire change. Process and simplicity will set you free.
Lessons Learned as a CIO
It is critical in our business to deliver an entertaining experience for guests. Our key strategic discussions revolve around how to provide great entertainment within the most efficient business model. I’m very fortunate that at Regal, IT is respected as a transformative force and not an afterthought. Last year, I heard an analogy about the CIO’s role and business/ IT alignment that stuck with me. It was described as a Star Trek reference–which most technologists can relate to “If you’re Scotty, your place is now on the bridge not the engine room.” I’ll translate that for the non-Techies, your seat is in the executive board room not the data center.