3 Examples of How Companies Use Technology for Greater Agility

BrandPost By NTT DATA
Nov 12, 2020
Cloud ComputingDigital Transformation

IT leaders who combine the observe-orient-decide-act loop with customer feedback and strategic technologies can pivot quickly to meet ever-changing customer expectations.

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Credit: iStock

While some industries such as hospitality and transportation find themselves operating in markets where spending has drastically changed, other industries like grocers and home entertainment have seen unprecedented growth. Regardless of the challenges, there is a clear need for agility to quickly adjust to changing markets.  

But there’s good news. The OODA Loop (observe-orient-decide-act) concept can help IT leaders achieve this level of agility. John Boyd pioneered this strategy in the Korean War to react as quickly as possible to fast-changing circumstances on the battlefield.

CIOs who successfully navigate the OODA loop can make smart decisions faster and accelerate past the competition. That includes taking cues from customers:

  • Observe – What do customers want, need and/or expect in this moment?
  • Orient – After observing how customer behavior is changing, determine which observations are relevant to the business and which are not.
  • Decide – Decide on a course of action that helps the business get closer to the customer, meeting their needs and desires.
  • Act – Build, if necessary, the infrastructure needed for business agility, delivering on the decisions you made. The more agile the platform and tools the team has, the faster it can deliver solutions to customers, helping grow customer loyalty and lifetime value.

Act with Technology

Technology is a strategic enabler on the journey to delivering OODA loop-inspired action. For example, a technology platform that supports agility with IT automation and DevOps best practices can help IT accelerate business initiatives. By removing countless hours of mundane, tactical work, the team can increase the time it spends on strategic work that brings value to customers.

For example, G6 Hospitality initiated a program called IT 2.0 to help modernize its infrastructure and overcome competitive industry pressures. IT 2.0 targeted core systems and architecture for cloud migration, including the organization’s HotelKey Property Management System and Above Property for reservations. The initiative saved the company the equivalent of an FTE and made the check-in experience faster, more consistent, and more engaging, in turn increasing guest satisfaction. 

HomeAway provides another excellent example of a company that used customer cues and technology to gain important market agility. Prospective customers said they would travel if it were not for the fact that their children thought Santa would not find them at Christmas. As a result, Reroute Santa was born – a website that lets parents alert Santa of their child’s away-from-home location. HomeAway pivoted quickly and launched the Reroute Santa campaign to eight markets in seven languages around the world while scaling to meet traffic that peaked at different times. Designed for high availability, there was not a single failure over the entire duration of the campaign, allowing HomeAway to reach over 300 million unique global viewers, securing bookings while directly addressing its customers’ top holiday concern.

ROKMETRO, a professional services firm that helps universities deploy the Safer application on the ROKWIRE open-source platform is another great example. Seeing an immediate need to address community concerns about COVID-19, researchers at the University of Illinois developed an application called Safer Illinois, which helps the university with symptom checking, digital test results, exposure notification, and facilities access management. The university made the application open source this summer.

To quickly provide the application to other higher education institutes, ROKMETRO needed to first build a foundation to host the ROKWIRE platform. NTT DATA Services worked with ROKMETRO to quickly build a strong AWS foundation that would bring the platform to market as quickly as possible, using our Build Cloud Foundations and Deploy Containers for AWS reference architectures. In just a few weeks, ROKMETRO achieved a self-serve developer system facilitated by AWS Service Catalog, and a serverless environment with AWS CodePipeline Continuous Deployment (CD). The foundational start allowed ROKMETRO to integrate and host the ROKWIRE platform just in time for this year’s critical back-to-campus season.

The market is destined to remain uncertain into the foreseeable future, meaning CIOs must be able to effectively navigate new normals. IT leaders who marry the OODA loop with customer feedback and strategic technologies hold the secret to quickly pivoting to meet ever-changing customer expectations.

Learn how NTT DATA can help you build a solid technology platform to experiment more and accelerate cloud-enabled digital transformation to meet changing customer needs.