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The Problem With Abundance of Choice and the Pace of Change

There is a lot of sport available for us to consume through multiple ways. Sports moves fast. Sport is meant to move fast and to keep us entertained by the excitement of the action whether we enjoy the match at the stadium, watch the game at the pub or stream the event on one of our devices. There is an abundance of choice for consumers of sport. Working with a sports club or a venue gives an interesting perspective on how difficult the behind the scenes day to day grind can be to keep up with the action on the field. One of the key challenges organisations face today is the pace of change in technology and the enormous range of product on offer to them by incredibly clever vendors with dynamic and exciting approaches to improving the fan experience.

To effectively build the tech stack in your organisation with a view to long term success, whilst understanding that the pace of change will only increase, the way forward is to look at your technology stack as a pyramid structure with 4 layers of technology that depend on each other for success:

  1. Data layer – this is the output which business unit owners want to be able to query and turn into graphics and dashboards.
  2. Application layer – this can become quickly crowded if decisions about which applications to invest in are not shared across the business in a holistic manner. It often happens that the commercial side of the business will invest in a fancy new app only to discover that in stadia connectivity or data integrations are not meeting the requirements for the applications to work.
  3. Infrastructure layer – this layer requires that the IT team understands the requirements and is involved in the commercial decisions the business is making so that the right servers, systems, connectivity and end user devices match the requirements of the applications.
  4. Connectivity Back Haul layer – this is often the layer that is patched together after the above layers have been brought to life but found wanting of additional connectivity. Key issues are: What applications are best suited in the cloud? What connectivity is needed and where? How to provide the appropriate connectivity to your estate where during most of the week there may be 100 people on site but on match day there are 30,000?

In today’s climate of rapid change with a vast landscape of fan engagement and experiential applications requiring investment by clubs and venues it is vitally important to consider a holistic approach using the pyramid of technology layers. Always asking the question of where an investment will either increase operational efficiencies or grow commercial revenue must sit within the pyramid. Understanding the dependencies between these 4 key layers and using them to inform decisions and sorting through the abundance of choice will greatly increase your success in rolling out new products and allow speed of delivery.

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