5 Super Bowl lessons to help enterprises win

Author: Nick Reese

In the Super Bowl, every play is a high-stakes proposition. Sound familiar? Every decision an enterprise makes has the potential to impact millions of customers, countless employees, and the health of the bottom line. To help inspire you for the business season ahead, here are five Super Bowl lessons you can add to your playbook.

1. Trust the data

Every year, a Super Bowl victory can come down to a handful of critical decisions. But coaches are no longer making these decisions based on their gut. Instead, they're increasingly using advanced data analytics to understand which decision has the highest probability of success and insight into what they can do to increase their odds.

Harnessing the power of advanced analytics can help you make more strategic game-time decisions, such as for when to enter a new market, invest in new technologies that improve the customer experience, improve the operations of your network and more. Just as a coach needs to make split-second decisions during the game, you can empower your organization to use data for near real-time decisions based on current market data, customer sentiment and competitive actions.

The savviest coaches are able to crunch the numbers to predict what their opponent will do based on who is on the field, where they are positioned, and how they've reacted to similar game situations before. Similarly, you could use advanced analytics to help evaluate customer purchases and market patterns to predict future market shifts, allowing you to take the initiative instead of waiting to react.

2. Be ready for anything

Coaches know to expect anything except predictability during the Super Bowl. To help their teams overcome chaos, they design every play to have multiple options.

Similarly, your team can benefit from the ability to adapt instantly as your business faces new challenges and opportunities. At Verizon, we call this Enterprise Intelligence. Technology plays a key role in providing the agility you need to stay responsive. Cloud-based solutions, scalable databases and modular IT architectures can help allow you to capture and leverage data from across your organization, no matter if it's generated by machines, employees or customers. Digitizing processes and workflows can help you quickly react in the case of new information. And innovative solutions like Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) can help you unlock new ways to enhance operations, improve the customer experience and generate more value.

3. Connectivity for the win

A coach may have a winning play in their back pocket. But if they can't communicate with the team on the field, then the team might have to make up their own plan—or try to run a play with no plan at all.

By investing in your connectivity, you can help your team better communicate and collaborate. Technology like wireless business internet helps employees connect with your data, your applications and each other, even in the event of an interruption to wired internet connectivity.

Wireless business internet can also enable employees to work from anywhere, turning the home office into an enterprise-grade workspace. This way, your star players are always in the game, even when they're not in the office.

4. It's all about the experience

Customer experience is critical for success. For stadiums, that means what happens off-field is also important—fans don't want to miss the action because they were waiting too long to pass security or to purchase food and drinks. Many NFL stadium operators depend on Verizon for the connectivity needed to create and deliver a first-class fan experience.

This can include accelerated access with opt-in facial authentication technology, which can help reduce wait times by verifying guest identities for access control and accelerated ticketing in near real time.

Another way to improve the fan experience is cashierless checkout. Instead of waiting in long lines to make a purchase, fans can take food, drinks or merchandise right out of a concession stand without missing a beat—or a crucial moment in the game. It all happens in four easy steps:

  1. A fan enters the store via a turnstile, checking in using their credit card or the venue's branded loyalty app.
  2. Cameras and a computer vision system keep track of each item the customer selects.
  3. When the fan is done shopping, they simply exit the store.
  4. A digital receipt is automatically sent to them.

All of these technologies are designed to make things as easy as possible for fans. Enterprises can benefit from thinking the same way regarding how they manage the customer experience. Where are the points of friction and how can you make your customer interactions as seamless as possible? The end result could be the same—improved customer spending and satisfaction.

5. The best offense is a strong defense

In the Super Bowl, it's often the defense that wins the trophy. It's no different for enterprises; a strong cybersecurity strategy can be critical for ensuring the uptime and data protection required to help employees do their jobs. It may be helpful to not think of cybersecurity as an IT task but as a critical strategic imperative. By making cybersecurity a core part of your identity, you can help protect your business no matter what a hacker throws your way.

Key to an effective defense is your ability to respond to an attack quickly. By leveraging solutions like Managed Detection and Response, you can prioritize, investigate and respond to incidents before they do too much damage. Similarly, Rapid Response Retainers ensure you have experts on-call who can help augment your response with on-demand expertise. With Cyber Risk Monitoring, you can identify gaps in your defense before an attacker has the chance to exploit it.

As a key partner of the NFL since 2010, Verizon is proud of the role our technology plays in delivering the game to the world. From helping coaches communicate to powering the game-day experience, Verizon delivers the data, connectivity, cybersecurity and resilience the NFL depends on to win. Learn how Verizon has helped power the Super Bowl experience.

The author of this content is a paid contributor for Verizon.