1. What was the level of IT alignment at Cirque du Soleil in 2008?
We can observe how an art and stage performance company used IT like no one could ever imagine. Cirque rooted IT in all its business processes. Cirque Memory is a knowledge repository used to store all relevant information on artists’ make-up and costumes, sets, and staging. Advantages of Cirque Memory are to transfer knowledge across, ongoing improvement, knowledge, growth, improvement, good memory, ill-structured, design. IT life cycle, different departments for each thing e.g costume, makeup, props etc. The Cirque Memory was a reliable data source and provided valuable information to its employees anywhere in the world with the help of numerous applications. IT played an important role in the different processes of the touring cycle of the organization namely, creation, design, preparation, diffusion, logistics and resource management. In the creation phase, Cirque Memory recorded information, like scenography, choreography, and intentions behind the work. IT guaranteed that each aspect of the creation process was captured in the Cirque Memory and it was available to its employees anywhere in the world. The design stage involved the diverse artistic attributes, from costumes, accessories to aerobic equipment.
Cirque Memory had applications to assist the design process. In the Makeup Application recorded make-up related details for individual artists. The preparation phase is very important for any artist and an effective preliminary procedure helps an artist to feel confident before a live performance. IT played a significant role here as well. The fitness application, Kin-Cirque Application, helped in monitoring every artist’s individual fitness needs. In diffusion stage also IT played an important role in connecting Cirque with the customers. The Cirque website was very intuitive and facilitated the customers to access the products and services conveniently.
The approach helped Cirque to review its marketing approach as well. The logistics are really important for any arts performance. The IT team developed an Electronic Document Management System to record the technical information relating to the equipment. “IT road cases” enhanced the way information was available at the touring sites. The performance resource management process incorporated all the activities for managing the human resource needs to mount a performance. We can clearly see from the above description that IT effectively standardized the procedures at every stage of the touring cycle of Cirque.
2. What was the level of tension between the business needs and IT capacity? How did it evolve over time, if any? Explain.
Upon Danielle Savoie’s Vice-President of Information Technology and Knowledge Management arrival at Cirque du Soleil in April 2000, some members of the staff and even managers were wondering about the role that information technology (IT) could play in an organization where creativity, imagination and inspiration were paramount. Some even considered IT as useless and too expensive. Danielle Savoie’s first mandate had been to find effective ways for IT to support the upcoming substantial growth planned by Cirque. To achieve this, she had to convince the top management team that IT could be more than just a cost center. IT team at Cirque was very positive in concentrating the needs of the evolving business processes at Cirque.
The IT applications provided reliable information to the employees that were extremely critical to the overall growth of the business. 3. What are the key requirements, in terms of IT architecture, of the support provided by IT at Cirque du Soleil? Cirque had reached the rationalized data architecture stage of Ross’ IT architecture evolution. To achieve this architectural stage following steps were necessary, support knowledge management to capture, leverage and transfer knowledge across processes and across projects was the most important role of IT. Cirque was able to do so mainly because of the vision of the Danielle Savoie. IT at Cirque had progressed in a way to support innovation at every level.