IT pros from Boston's professional teams -- the Patriots, Celtics, Bruins and Red Sox -- met at Gillette Stadium to talk tech, the future of live sports, and how to deliver real-time, high-definition video to a crowd of 70,000.
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Heidi Labritz, pictured above, director of business applications and IT for the Red Sox, said her killer app is anything that will lure ticketholders into actually attending games. The Sox, while riding an unprecedented ticket sell-out wave, saw actual attendance at Fenway Park drop off sharply last season. The lost revenue is significant; Labritz said the average per-fan spend once they're in the park is $20. She's focusing on social media efforts and looking to trial in-seat payments, while looking to the Washington Nationals as a model. A roadblock is that the 100-plus-year-old Fenway is not exactly known for ubiquitous connectivity.
Finally, Lorraine Spadaro, the Bruins' VP of technology and e-business, pointed out that IT does benefit from a winning season. "When you get into the playoffs, the league sends you a manual of what's required to host a playoff game," she said. One legacy: Miles of fiber, which may be better than a big honking championship ring to a CIO.
InformationWeek Elite 100Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
The UC Infrastructure TrapWorries about subpar networks tanking unified communications programs could be valid: Thirty-one percent of respondents have rolled capabilities out to less than 10% of users vs. 21% delivering UC to 76% or more. Is low uptake a result of strained infrastructures delivering poor performance?
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.