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Cloud Computing for Restaurants: Solving the Pains Every CIO Faces
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The battle is real. We get it. Can a journey to the cloud help restaurant CIOs and their brands?

Every CIO goes to work daily facing major challenges. For CIOs of large restaurant organizations and their teams, keeping up with complexity and demands for innovation can seem like an impossibility. Let's take a look at some of the challenges that fall on the shoulders of today's restaurant CIO.

Providing Value More Efficiently

Customer expectations are always on the rise in the restaurant industry.  Guests expect a lot from restaurants, including mobile access to menus and reservations, personalization of the experience, loyalty memberships, and more. CIOs have to lead the delivery of these valuable experiences to consumers in an efficient manner.  The information technology budget is not unlimited. CIOs have to drive forward value where it matters most: to restaurant customers.

The Expansion of IT Expectations

In today’s market, a CIO has to be more than the organization’s technology guru. They need to be a business Sherpa of sorts – a leader who can tie strategic objectives and business vision with technology innovation. CIOs face big and constantly expanding expectations, and the need to keep up with information technology advances never ends. Examples of trending demands include figuring out how to deploy and manage  ever-growing ordering and payment channels with all of their technical and integration challenges. Besides just keeping the infrastructure running, they also need to deal with data integrations, securing network and data, and the like. GDPR and new customer information protection laws being passed in the US, for example, have been a seismic shift in how companies manage data. This may be the tip of the iceberg.

Dealing With Complex Integrations

In order to deal with driving forward value, for a long time, large organizations have taken an approach known as best of breed. The idea is to take the best products from vendors that specialize in certain solutions – such as staff scheduling – and integrate them with core systems such as the POS or payroll and with one another. These integrations, though, create a lot of complexities. While they may operate effectively in the end, they also potentially bring with them a high cost. 

The integrations also lead to exposures and potential data breaches. We see what this did to massive corporations such as Target, which cost the company hundreds of millions. In 2019, DoorDash suffered a breach it blamed on a third party. Integrations are not easy. And the best of breed strategy, which made a lot of sense years ago, now creates issues for CIOs beyond privacy.  Managing multiple vendors, dealing with contracts, and keeping up with vendor costs are all downsides of this approach. Plus, when integrations fail, you often have vendors pointing fingers at one another, leaving you – and your business – hanging while you try to find the root cause.

Expectations of Constant Uptime

For a restaurant, breakdowns of mission-critical systems such as the POS wreak havoc and kill sales. The expectation is for everything to run around the clock, seamlessly. If something goes down, a CIO is to blame. But when everything is running smoothly, no one notices, because that's what everyone expects you to do.

Rip and Replace Is Not An Option

CIOs know they need to modernize their infrastructure, but are often all but paralyzed by the daunting question of where to begin. And because the business is completely dependent on the technology that’s running it, change is fraught with complications and risks.

Find the Path to Solving Your Pains

There are paths to success for CIOs, and the path to innovation looks different for each organization. As a cloud-first technology provider, Xenial can deliver a strategic approach that helps CIOs and their teams lead the way in innovation and contribute to business goals with fewer of the pains so many legacy technologies bring. Xenial has  worked with regional and national brands and their tech leaders to bridge the gap between the old and the new, helping them take important steps toward modernization.

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Rubik's Cube Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Article contributed by guest blogger Michael Kowalski

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