Multichannel innovation-debenhams

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Debenhams Multichannel innovation presentation for Ecom UK

Debenhams Multichannel innovation presentation for Ecom UK

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  • 1. The innovation struggleDelivering disruptive technologies in large organisations Ashley Payne Head of Digital Operations, Debenhams
  • 2. Debenhams: founded in 1778, 2nd store opened in 1818• 2011/2012: – 240 stores in 28 countries – £300m sales online (+40%) – Website delivers to 67 countries – German language website – Mobile and apps, in-store ordering• 2013 and beyond – More online growth – More stores, modernisation – Continued international expansion
  • 3. Debenhams extended estate launched over 2 years IPAD APP IPHONE APP• Dedicated apps and m-site• Touch-screen in-store kiosks• Websites for ROI, Germany ROI WEB STORE KIOSKS M-SITE
  • 4. Technology is disruptive, the goalposts are moving• Customers are migrating to new technologies as they are released• Traditional ‘online’ teams are being pushed to innovate – Adopt more channels – Increase range – Better, targeted marketing … grow sales!!Entrepreneurial mindsets being encouraged and developed
  • 5. Standard project delivery has a certain pace…• Medium sized project development @ 6 months – Requirements / Build / Test• Project initiation can add 3+ months – Proposal, funding, requirements, partner selection, contracts• In flight projects will take priority over new ones• Legacy systems always slow down project deliveryAgile methodology is not the silver bullet
  • 6. Business and systems teams have conflicting approaches• The business want to adopt new technologies quickly, cheaply• Systems want to build solid systems and robust architecture• Customers adopting new technologies faster than we can deliverInnovation drives sales, loyalty and other benefits – PR, city buzz
  • 7. 2010 - Debenhams faced barriers to innovation• We were migrating platforms, all development declared throwaway• No obvious architectural buttons to push for new channels• E-commerce development broadly through partner agency• All teams fully engaged on migration• A full programme of work planned for the next yearBut we had a wishlist of apps, m-site, and international ambitions to fulfil
  • 8. The business decided to produce an iPhone app• Agency engaged who proposed a lightweight integration – Project was driven by the business – A set of lightweight requirements were used – Systems involvement was light• Project delivery in 8 weeks, and the app paid for itself in a fortnightThis proved it was possible to break out of the existing dev model
  • 9. We reviewed what else could be delivered tactically• We met with more agencies and looked at lots of products• Wanted a mobile website next, ‘throwaway’ cost the biggest barrier• Front end developers started to come up with bright ideas – The scope of these ideas was unusual, and needed hardwareWe jumped on the ideas and in 3 months delivered a mobile website
  • 10. Debenhams Direct has developed an agency-like culture• We test and innovate on a small scale, it is low risk, cheap• Low key internal platform and partner selection for project ideas• ‘Can do’ team - we like to think we can do anything in 3 months• Business teams solution and challenge e-commerce architecture• Development resources asked to stretch their skills and innovateTransforming perceptions of what is achievable and timelines
  • 11. Devolution of development presents new challenges• Tests and experiments evolve into business critical systems• Small teams and partners asked to provide 24/7 support• The business short-cut IT processes for change and deployment• A fragmented architecture develops, no clear owner• Innovation is at the expense of business tooling and flexibility• Systems team need to be on board but sometimes feel marginalisedOur best resources are bogged down in support and maintenance
  • 12. Sustainable innovation needs governance and process• Technology marches onward – platform fragmentation increases• A process for innovation that incorporates systems teams• Balancing maintenance, merchandising, support vs new projects• What resources do we recruit in the new world?We’ve evolved... It’s time to invest in a strategy for innovation