Two organizations that show the importance of aligning a company’s business strategy with their IT strategy are Cirque du Soleil and Major League Baseball. Both of these organizations rely on digital technology to make it easier to provide to their customers better entertainment through collaboration.
Cirque du Soleil, which was founded in 1984, has met a large amount of success in its short 30 years of operation. This Canadian multinational entertainment company has venues all over the world based in Canada, the United States and Japan. Along with these venues they perform their shows in multinational tours across the globe reaching over 40 countries. The large amount of success however did not come without the strategic use of technology to awe the crowds and feed the inner workings of their organization.
Initially, there was speculation about the prominence of IT in an organization like Cirque du Soleil, where creativity, imagination and presentation skills were considered vital, until Danielle Savoie helped the company achieve success. To facilitate the smooth flow of knowledge across different processes and projects of the organization, Danielle integrated all data gathered from different activities and supporting knowledge management systems. This was achieved by developing IT applications from scratch depending upon the custom requirements of the different groups within the organization. Cirque Memory was the repository that gathered all the data from different activities and integrated these. It was custom built and it stored Cirque du Soleil's data from various stages of its touring show life cycle.
Cirque Memory consisted of multiple modules which leveraged different activities of a touring show. These were, Open Eyes (an application for managing makeup), a Costume Memory, MediCirque, Virtual Tour Scout etc. These modular applications helped in increasing the effectiveness of the processes involved in a touring show.
The life cycle of a touring show begins with the show creation process. This involves composition of music, choreography of artists, setting up the central theme of the show, etc. Cirque Memory plays a pivotal role in this stage to maintain various information such as comments, observations, and character and costume details. The Open Eyes application also helps in enhancing this creative layer by allowing the employees to share their creative experiences with the entire company. This is aided by their robust Intranet. In the design stage of the show, a custom developed costume application is used to automate the process of designing and customizing costumes based on the measurements obtained from artists. It also acts as a database to store comments and notes, along with the actual design patterns of costumes, which is used for requirement planning of costumes prior to the touring shows, while the make-up application helped in the storage and retrieval of information related to the make-up processes easier. During the...