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Ardent Leisure turns to digital transformation

1/09/2015 by Sharon Shahzad


Strikes halfway point in cloud migration.

Theme park and leisure centre operator Ardent Leisure has outlined plans to transform its customer-facing technologies as it nears the halfway point of a cloud migration drive.

Ardent’s portfolio of entertainment assets includes theme parks such as DreamWorld and WhiteWater World, AMF and Kingpin bowling centres, Goodlife Health Clubs, and the Main Event Entertainment chain in the US.

Last week, the leisure company told investors one of its key aims over the next financial year would be to boost its digital offerings for customers following work on its back-end systems.

The transformation effort will be overseen by Ardent CIO Paul Young, who took on the role in September last year.

"We're reinventing and reinvigorating ourselves at the moment. The reason for me being chosen for this role is the recognition that we need to move into the 21st century with our digital strategy,” Young said.

“There’s a long-term plan for our parks, including DreamWorld, WhiteWater World and Skypoint. And what’s in place currently is not right for our long-term plans.”

According to Young, consumers now have different expectations of theme parks, bowling alleys and gyms, with an increasing reliance on mobile as the primary means of engaging with businesses.

“So at a park like DreamWorld, for example, how do you purchase tickets? Or if it’s busy, how do you reserve a seat at a restaurant or get notified when it’s available? We’re looking at how to transform the customer experience,” he said.

“Our current experience is manual. So the question is how you get close to your customer and provide them with a digital experience.”

Cloud migration reaches halfway point

Underpinning Ardent’s digital ambitions is a move to the cloud, a project Young said is now reaching its halfway point.

“There’s massive changes to our core IT to do this. We’re moving a significant part of our apps to the cloud with AWS,” he said.

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Montash is a multi-award winning global technology recruitment business. Specialising in permanent and contract positions across mid-senior appointments across a wide range of industry sectors and IT functions, including:

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Montash is headquartered in Old Street, London, in the heart of the technology hub. Montash has completed assignments in over 30 countries and has appointed technical professionals from board level to senior and mid-management in permanent and contract roles.

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