I was on the long road back home the other day when hunger (and a bit of hangover) consumed me and directed me off the interstate into the waiting arms of the McDonald’s drive through. As I rounded the corner and grabbed my food and drinks and made my way back to the onramp it dawned on me what had just happened. Automation and Orchestration.
Let me back up a bit first. As a hungry driver, I was no different than any other end user that is craving a service from the IT team. I knew that I was hungry, and I knew that I was not going to be too picky, because frankly, I just wanted something delicious in my belly. I also was alerted via a few self service portals (aka Billboards) along the side of the road that there was an opportunity to order a custom meal made up of my favorites. I have eaten the Egg White Delight a few times and because McDonalds (aka IT in this story) was able to create a predictable experience across all of their locations, I was assured that the Egg White Delight I was about to order, was going to be exactly like every other one I had ordered before. So I committed.
After exiting the interstate, I was placed into the queue for EWDaaS and quickly realized that lots of people wanted to order this service. So many in fact that this McDonalds had not one, but two drive through lanes to service their customers. Both lines leveraged an outsourced level one ordering resource that greeted me and offered one of the specials. I declined and was seamlessly transferred to a level two ordering specialist that took me through my options. All of the information was clearly displayed for accuracy so that I knew that when I pulled around the building my expectations would be matched to what the organization was going to deliver.
As I approached the window I quickly paid for the EWDaaS that I went ahead and upgraded to the combination platform containing coffee and hash browns because the cost difference was minimal. McDonald’s was very transparent and packaged that solution in a way that made it irresistible. I wanted a coffee, and I basically got the added benefit of the hash brown at no additional cost. And I promise, that I made sure that I implemented the entire hash brown solution. No shelf-ware for me! Once the EWDaaS was paid for, I got a peek into the operation team’s data center (aka Drive Thru window). My coffee was delivered via an automated system that poured and topped my container to my exact specifications so that the team inside could focus on the more important tasks of doing QA on the assembled final product. It was all packaged in an easy to consume format.
Just like in IT, the automation in their operations allows them to double their capacity and allowed them to add a second drive through lane. I quickly sped off and got back on the road for home not realizing how relevant that experience was until the hangover had subsided and the work week resumed. It’s all around you and the examples are endless.