Interview: Domino's, UK IT Industry Awards finalist

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Sody Kahlon, Chief Technology Officer, Domino's
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Sody Kahlon, Chief Technology Officer, Domino's

"We're an ecommerce company that happens to deliver great pizza"

Every company strategy today involves IT as a critical and important aspect. IT is utilised not just by multinational organisations that run massive systems and databases, but also by small businesses that operate only a single computer.

The UK IT Industry Awards are designed to celebrate and promote the teams, projects, technologies, individuals and organisations - no matter their size - who have given so much, and those who continue to help shape the future of IT, our industry and digital society.

This year's winners will be announced at a live awards ceremony on Wednesday 9th November in London.

One of the finalists is Domino's UK and Ireland, in the running for the Development Team of the Year. We caught up with Sody Kahlon, CTO at the firm, to find out what makes his company different from others.

Sody is a key member of the senior leadership team at Domino's Pizza Group UK&I. He adopts a customer focussed approach to the application of 'relevant technology' in the delivery of highly performant, reliable, and secure solutions using geographically dispersed internal and Partner teams. Put simply, Sody has a proven track record of delivering business grounded technology evolution that drives strategic outcomes.

Computing: Please provide some background on your company for our readers.

Sody Kahlon: Domino's is focused on 'delivering a better future through food people love'. We do this by ensuring our brand is synonymous with value, quality, innovation, and great experiences. This standard not only applies to our pizzas but also every touchpoint with our customers. Given 90% of our orders are generated through our digital channels, we are truly an 'ecommerce company that happens to deliver great pizza'. Consequently, and as part of our strategic goals, we have committed to investing £20m on accelerating digital initiatives over the next three years.

What makes you different from other technology companies?

We care. We care not only about the systems that serve our customers, but also about our fellow colleagues who tirelessly design, develop and run them. Our thoughtfulness doesn't stop there; our charitable affiliations, sustainable sourcing, healthy menu options and financial assistance to struggling colleagues are just some examples that ultimately translate to being a caring company.

We also recognise that 'we grow and win together,' which is why we care that our franchisee partners succeed by using leading technology solutions to help them run their stores; from personalised and targeted marketing, reliable operational and inventory systems, to state-of-the-art GPS tracking for both customers and delivery drivers, all of which is underpinned by a rock-solid supply chain achieving 99.9% availability even during the pandemic.

What one company achievement in the last 12 months are you most proud of?

The Digital Acceleration programme that modernised our web front door. This ambitious delivery started in Q2 2021 and completed this year. It has propelled the Domino's UK&I website into a new era of business empowerment. It provides a joined-up, personalised customer experience with greater agility for the Digital teams to trade the site more effectively.

Through use of industry-leading platforms and modern engineering practices, the objective of self-serve and adopting a revitalised personalisation strategy is already generating demonstrable benefits. All this was only made possible by an expert delivery team who overcame numerous technical and personal challenges whilst working against a fluid baseline.

What are you working on this year?

The decoupling of the new website from the backend system allows our teams to continue evolving the website and personalisation strategy, whilst other teams can now start the modernisation of the backend and dependant legacy systems.

This new stage of our digital transformation will allow us to adopt a flexible architecture where interchangeable components can more quickly meet the evolving needs of our customers and business goals.

Why are events like the UK IT Industry Awards important to the IT Industry?

Domino's is incredibly proud of what our brilliant IT and digital teams have accomplished to date - and the greatness they have yet to achieve. Being shortlisted for a prestigious award affirms that it's not just us who believe we are privileged to have world class talent, but also confirmation from a reputable body and the wider IT industry.

It is events like the UK IT Industry Awards that provides the opportunity for our teams to soften their humility and shout their triumphs from the rooftops: "Domino's, We Got This!"

The UK IT Industry Awards will take place on 9th November in London. Click here to view the shortlist and here to book your table.

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