A barren patch of land outside my hotel at the HP Discover conference reminds me of how the city started many years back. If you were the CIO of Las Vegas at that time, you would have had all the flexibility to evolve this stretch of land into what it is today. Not so today. Welcome to reality. Suddenly, you are faced with a labyrinth of casinos and other supporting infrastructure that takes up every inch of space -- except for the accidental patch of barren land in front of my hotel. Enterprises are like Vegas -- with existing investments, legacy infrastructure and an endless maze of applications. Enterprises need to have in place a transformation strategy just like the city of Las Vegas
Let us see how:
Customer Experience. This city needs to constantly improve its overall customer experience to be one that brings together the various amenities including food, shopping, entertainment and of course, making your best bets. Enterprises must monitor the customer experience they provide today and continue to differentiate themselves with value added services. As Forrester Analyst Sarah Repps points out in her post on wearable devices, we are evolving to a world where such devices along with flexible displays from HP Labs are taking us to a world of endless possibilities. As a city of endless possibilities, Las Vegas must facilitate the introduction of such technologies to improve the overall customer experience.
Information Management. Las Vegas symbolizes the information explosion. There are thousands of financial transactions being made while breathtaking stunts, magic shows, and comedy acts take center stage at every Vegas casino in parallel. Processing all this data into meaningful information is vital to provide a seamless customer experience. Imagine having the ability to look at a holographic preview of a show you want to see and click on the character of your choice to find out the possibility of meeting them in person in another live act being performed in town. As Jeffrey Katzenberg mentioned in his keynote at the conference, “People are not interested in accessing data ... they are interested in accessing information”. Just like the city of Las Vegas does, enterprises need to have the right information management strategy in place to constantly improve the overall customer experience.
Infrastructure. The city of Las Vegas needs to ensure that the underlying infrastructure is keeping up with the times and can continue to enable the increased volume of tourists and transactions resulting from the plethora of mobile devices. Imagine having the ability to virtually play blackjack at your favorite casino from any other remote location. Now, extend that to a multi-casino game. Imagine going global. Enterprises are no different. The traditional data center needs to be modernized into an optimal mix of traditional, private, public and managed environments to sustain the impending growth.
Security. Security takes several dimensions in Vegas. A city where transactions happen every second with people praying and playing for a financial windfall can be a prime target for planned, well-orchestrated security violations. Protecting the confidentiality of its customers, ensuring the integrity of the information collected and early detections of attempts at identity fraud must be given proactive consideration during the transformation process. Enterprises need to have a comprehensive security strategy in place as well. You don’t gamble with security even when you are in Vegas.
Integration. Having a monorail of sorts across The Strip with easy on-off junction points will greatly benefit the transportation of the visitors from one end of the strip to the other. The instructions for the HP Bloggers attending the conference went like Wear Comfy shoes … something else... wear comfy shoes... something else... wear comfy shoes. A point was being made about being in comfortable gear ready to walk a lot. Having an “integration bus” of sorts that connects the different casinos would certainly help. No different from enterprises of today having an integration service bus across its landscape of applications.
Thus, the City of Las Vegas can and should go through a transformation even though it is much more difficult to do it now than it would have been when The Strip was just a strip of land.
Wanna place your bets on when Vegas would successfully complete such a transformation? I say at least 2020. What say you?
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