Learning From McDonald’s Move to the Cloud

In a previous post we discussed how President Obama’s IT czar, Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra is spearheading a “Shift to Cloud First” policy, which means that cloud computing should be the default option whenever possible. Another major organization that understands the advantages of moving to the cloud is McDonald’s. The multinational fast-food giant understood how its application development teams could cut costs and enhance flexibility by taking advantage of cloud computing. Here are the 2 key takeaways from McDonald’s move to the cloud.

1. McDonald’s values the flexibility of the cloud.

Scott Farnum, McDonald’s global infrastructure lab manager, is responsible for the company’s application development strategy. In a July 2011 interview with eWeek, Farnum expressed the importance of finding a computing model that is flexible enough to meet any business condition and any development condition. He expressed, “There are several months when we do very little development and several other months when things are very busy.”

Besides the flexibility of requesting higher computing power when it is only truly needed, Furnam indicates that he also enjoys the flexibility to set up shop anywhere. “Other benefits include easier pilots. I’m not dependent on internal infrastructure folks to spin up a box and grant me administrative right,”, he pointed out. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) options such as a contract management system delivered through a browser empower staff to work from anywhere, anytime.

2. McDonald’s values the cost savings from the cloud.

Farnum and his team praise the elasticity of the SaaS model because it allows them to focus on their core competencies and avoid hiring staff to implement an in-house solution. “McDonald’s is a hamburger company; we don’t want to be in the IT business,” Farnum said. “We want to focus on what we do best.” A cost-benefit analysis revealed that the company would benefit greatly by outsourcing services from consulting companies on their respective niches.

The flexibility of SaaS allowed McDonald’s to stop worrying about how many software licenses they needed. The problem with buying licenses is that most projects are like Goldilocks, either she find that there are too little or too many licenses in place. Furman and his team decided to stop worrying about having to come up with money for extra licenses by cutting up costs elsewhere or to find alternative, sub-optimal free open-source solutions. With a robust enterprise-level SaaS solution, McDonald’s was able to deploy a solution for all users across the entire enterprise.

Just like McDonald’s you need to understand that there is no need to buy expensive servers and create a massive IT division to cover your whole team only during peak moments. While maintaining redundant computing computer is a safe practice, the cloud enables you to save money outside of peak periods and still have access to extra computing power when necessary.


Learn from McDonald’s move to the cloud and enjoy the flexibility and cost savings that SaaS offers. Contract Logix’ Contract Management System has all the features you will need to manage every aspect of your contract management tracking and lifecycle management.