Modern technology in the service of the customer

Successfully digitized Their iconic brand, managers in McDonald’s focus is to ensure that technology serves their customers. Daniel Henry, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at McDonald’s, discussed with McKinsey & Company senior partner Naufal Khan How, focus to help drive the technical decision-making, nurturing a product-driven culture within a long established global organization.

Editor’s Note: This interview recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic and has been updated prior to the publication of an additional issue reflects McDonald’s response to the crisis.

Personalized digital experience to the customers

Naufal Khan: In the past few years, McDonald’s has made some compelling dynamic innovative customer and employee experience, including, for example, digitized tens of thousands of restaurants. In your opinion, which two or three moves to have the maximum impact?

Daniel Henry: We have been relentless in building a first-class product experience. It starts with our global mobile application, because the technology is so important in creating the contact between the customer and McDonald’s. Mobile is how people participate in the now in every part of their lives, and there is no reason why they would want it to be any different at McDonald’s.

When you go to the drive-through–this is a passage that we have to invest a lot—we now have the ability to personalize the menu, by our outdoor digital menu Board. Experiencing music is powerful. How do we give the customer the trend of the project? How do we get product to them in a targeted manner? So it’s not only digital menu boards, but they are all open.

Is a product fascinating organization


Is a product fascinating organization

Naufal Khan: You’ve talked about the need for a”product-obsessed”technology organization. What does it mean to you? How is it reflected in McDonald’s?

Daniel Henry: When you’re a product obsessed organization, you think about consumers before the technology. Technology in itself means nothing. When you look at a solutions through a consumer it makes you look at you in an attempt to provide a different way, it makes you look at the results is different.

We strive for a start, in a very large company. If you’re not careful, you can become big and slow. Our goal is to be big and quick, combined with we believe that will create an unstoppable force. Therefore, we have embraced agile, and together, with our product-centric focus, we see the device roll out much faster. We see higher quality. We see customers rewarded us, because if we provide a technical solution will not work for them, we can quickly pivot.

The production impact of the acquisition of


The production impact of the acquisition of

Naufal Khan: You have announced multiple partnerships and acquisitions over the past year to accelerate growth through technology. What you usually see when you look at the purchase and the partnership? And what are some of the most exciting things about recent People?

Daniel Henry: We have been very active in the acquisition space. Our first consideration is the top talent. Smart people like to work with smart people. So when you get this company’s movable or Apprente, not only is their technology sophisticated, accountable to the people, it is also incredible.

Whenever we consider access to technology, we always ask ourselves if it will have a major impact on the business, if it will help us to personalize and improve the office and the customer’s experience, and if it will increase the complexity. We are also looking for fast results. The we obtained the chattel, for example. Two weeks after we closed the deal, we in almost 700 of our restaurants driving tea with technology. By the end of 2019, we have in most restaurants in the United States and Australia. So the acquisition and production of a fast return, and no increase in complexity to our technology stack.

Finally, because McDonald’s has a strong culture of innovation, we want to ensure that our procurement to promote innovation, and help grow our business.

The construction of a modern technical platform

Naufal Khan: A lot of the focus of the news, of course, is in what the customer see: kiosks, mobile applications, personalized. How has technology organizations began to work in a different way, in order to make these innovations?

Daniel Henry: When you see the McDonald’s technology organization, we start by updating the architecture, we put in place. Scale is a major advantage to us, and we want to make certain of our technology will continue to enable this advantage. So we’re careful not to build too much complexity into our technology, and to ensure that our modern structure provides a scalable solution. We’ve also been laser focused on reliability, which we bring to concepts, such as upstream development and operation of the design of our solution. If you do not have a safe and reliable platform, it is very difficult to achieve the value, it is desirable and dynamic pace of our business needs. So when you combine the reliability, scalability, and agile nature of the way we work smaller, more frequent version—this is a combination we desire in order to produce the desired results.

Make data a competitive advantage

Naufal Khan: We’ve talked a lot about the use of data in new ways. Many organizations face the challenge of through this. How do you make the data part of the colleagues of the Daily decision-making?

Daniel Henry: At McDonald’s, we view data as a strategic asset of the company. In fact, it is so important to us is that when someone starts in a McDonald’s, we give them a data map in which the direction of to teach them how to access our data and who to call for help. We start telling people where to find and how to understand the data, because we want to be a part of everything we do.

Therefore, we have established a data service Bistro. This is a set of self-service tools, training and support Desk, allowing business users to easily access the data support. We want to give people the power of data in their hands, because when you have this, it becomes a valuable asset.

That said, I can’t stress enough how important data security is to us, in particular customer data. We pay very close attention to the General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR)and the California Consumer Privacy Act(CCPA), because to protect data and ensure consumer privacy is of the utmost importance to us.

The changing role of the CIO


The changing role of the CIO

Naufal Khan: You have to work with technology leaders across the sector. What changes have you seen in the role of the Chief Information Officer and technical features? What matters now, in your opinion, for an effective technology leader?

Daniel Henry: The role of the chief information officer has changed quite a lot. This is not just a technology. It’s no longer just hit the project budget. It’s not just about reliability. This is about to produce results meaningful to the business.

I think McDonald’s has done an excellent job making the technology partner with the business. You’re not just a taker. You are driving a business, just like any other business unit, because technology is our growth. When you recognize that you have a valuable seat at the table, then you also recognize that your responsibility is not just a technology. It’s about partnership with the different business units, to ensure that you grow the business, see things through a customer’s lens, to ensure that this happens.

Response COVID-19 crisis

Naufal Khan: What is your experience as a chief information officer, by COVID-19 crisis?

Daniel Henry: First, we need to take care of people—our customers, our employees, our franchise owner-operators, and our partners to ensure that everyone and their loved ones safe.

The second is to ensure that our employees and partners Safe Work, Safe and effective, whether they can be on a global scale.

The third thing is to prepare. For example, the work we have done in the past few years in the digital business and the modernization of our technology has greatly help the process COVID-19’s effects. We are closely monitoring the evolving situation and the new normal and establish a strict plan of action and how our technical team, with our partners, we can help our customers and colleagues.

The road ahead

Naufal Khan: What will happen next McDonald’s, and your approach to technology?

Daniel Henry: Our focus has always been to attract the best talent, technology, the modernization of our technology stack, and change the way we work. I believe in the plan. I believe in our technology. I believe in what we are doing is a product-centric organization. I believe that many of the bets we will pay we will of course adapt as we learn more information. Although I don’t know what a post-crisis world looks like, but I know that we will continue to innovate, to improve and enhance the experience of our customers and our crew.

About the author(s)

Naufal Khan Senior partner in McKinsey’s Chicago office.

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