Today’s consumers are increasingly connected, meaning organizations must reimagine their customer journeys to keep up with their needs. Yet for the hospitality sector, the adoption of digital strategies has not been so obvious. In an industry that traditionally relies on in-person service, building a successful virtual relationship with customers requires creative thinking and collaboration across the business. Dynatrace got to explore this challenge as part of our 2021 Perform series when we spoke with Mark Forrester, Digital Readiness Manager for Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) – one of the UK’s largest restaurants and bar groups.
Mark outlined M&B’s vision: “That face-to-face interaction you would have with a guest, we’re trying to replicate in a digital world,” he explained. “If you offer bad service at a table, you won’t see them again, so we take that same ethos into the digital sphere. Every journey matters, and we have to deliver on every single transaction.”
Breaking down the silos between IT and operations to form a DevOps team, and then extending this to other departments to achieve BizDevOps, has been central to reaching this goal. Bringing teams together around DevOps metrics made it easier for M&B to identify how it could create better digital experiences for its customers and optimize revenue.
Beginnings of BizDevOps
M&B’s BizDevOps journey started when Mark’s team figured out that some of the data they had from Dynatrace could be useful for other departments. For example, DevOps monitoring data could help visualize a return on investment from an email marketing campaign.
Whilst the marketing team initially argued they had Google Analytics to understand the impact of an email campaign, Mark’s team could add value by coupling this data with wider DevOps metrics such as real user data. Using Dynatrace, Mark could show the marketing team in real-time if customers interacted with the site after clicking the link, how many of those customers went on to make a booking or order, and even capture the value of the food and drinks in their baskets. These insights revealed the true business impact of the marketing campaign.
Using a single platform, M&B could assure the entire delivery chain from email to customer was delivering the expected results. For Mark, this was the beginning of a two-way conversation between departments, with a common goal of streamlining the guest journey.
Discussing the collaboration between IT and marketing, Mark said: “Just as much as we want to pass them data, they’re requesting data to build on that relationship and turn it into fully-fledged DevOps collaboration, in which we’re not just making decisions on gut feel, we’ve got some real data to make that decision.”
Mark added another layer to BizDevOps by collaborating with security. According to Mark, the digital infrastructure at M&B is continuously evolving because of the multiple suppliers, vendors, and technologies in the mix, which can make it difficult to identify the source of vulnerabilities when alerts come through.
Using Dynatrace’s new Application Security module, Mark was quickly able to identify which technologies were deployed and on which hosts. He then shared these insights with the security team to resolve vulnerabilities quickly. “With the fast-changing digital infrastructure, it would be impossible to try and track all those versions and different instances, whereas Dynatrace does it for us,” Mark said.
M&B can now continuously monitor changes in real-time so, when vulnerabilities arise, they can be patched within a continuous delivery process before they affect the security of its systems.
Why stop at your own virtual walls?
M&B has now expanded its BizDevOps strategy even further. “Where is the definitive line of BizDevOps?” Mark asks. “To me, there isn’t one. Why stop within the virtual walls of your own company?”
With Dynatrace, Mark customized a dashboard for one of its suppliers, so they can see in real-time how their services are impacting M&B and its customers. This creates a single source of truth between the companies, supporting better collaboration.
“The desire is to see the end-to-end journey. If we’re in the middle – taking data in and pushing it to another supplier – we’ve got upstream and downstream that are invisible to us. We’re using BizDevOps to have that end-to-end view and collaboration across all companies, so our guests get the experience we’re trying to achieve.”
For M&B, building a successful digital relationship with customers starts with strengthening collaboration between its own teams. DevOps metrics from Dynatrace became BizDevOps metrics that helped to eliminate silos by bringing marketing, security, and external suppliers onto the same page. Through this collaboration, M&B was able to successfully adopt a digital strategy and deliver better customer experiences.