Embracing cloud computing and large data for fulfillment
At Sonny’s BBQ, like many franchise companies, we've a comparatively small IT staff in comparison to chains that own many or all of their restaurants. Once I joined in 2014, I wanted to form sure we didn’t need to use our vital few resources to stay an outsized data center running. We made the conscious decision to “get everything out of the building.” At that point , cloud services and storage were at the purpose where it had been so much more economical to outsource our infrastructure than to stay in-house.
With good service level agreements in situ , we began to send everything to the cloud. Two years later, the sole major systems we house in our building are for document management and accounting, and that we are considering moving one (or both) soon. It's so nice to not need to worry about power surges, generators, HVAC, disaster recovery, and everything else that comes with having to support an outsized infrastructure. Instead, our IT team concentrates on the items that make us unique, just like the administration and support of our global restaurant management and franchise management systems (which also are housed within the cloud).
“I learned way back that if you don’t understand “why” something is being done, you've got little chance of succeeding"
On paper, big data analytics is our ultimate goal, but it comes with its challenges. As a 48-year-old company, Sonny’s BBQ features a great history of success despite our overall scarcity of quantifiable data with which to form decisions. A primary goal once I joined the corporation was to style an information infrastructure that might allow us to utilize data so we will make the simplest decisions. Today we are rolling out systems altogether of our franchise restaurants which will allow us to capture transactional data on sales, labor, usage, and our supply chain, but are still working to garner the deep analytics to return.
Simply bringing in big data from multiple sources and finding correlations isn't our end game, knowing this might cause false assumptions; the key's “causation,” as your college statistics teacher will tell you. simply because you'll find an immediate correlation between rainy weather and therefore the sale of pork sandwiches doesn’t mean you ought to cook more pork when the forecast involves rain.