“The most complex technology project in our history.” That is how Chris Daniels, the former head of digital transformation at Sydney Opera House describes the reality of the iconic Australian’s transformation programme.

The Sydney Opera House is one of the world’s busiest performing arts centre and Australia’s number one tourist destination. Each year it welcomes more than 8.2 million visitors on site and stage more than 2000 performances attended by over 1.5 million people.

Under the circumstances then, orchestrating a re-platforming, content and data migration was a huge undertaking.

According to Daniels, “It required a complex change management strategy that touched all areas of the organisation from marketing, technology and visitor experience, to ongoing consultation with our digital transformation partner Adobe.”

Attendees at this weeks Adobe Symposium – which is being held at Sydney Opera House will be able to see a presentation on the project.

“Our partnership with Adobe is a true collaboration, and as one of the first major performing arts organisations in the world to adopt the full Adobe Experience Cloud, our staff are at the forefront of digital transformation in the arts industry,” he said.

“Ultimately, I think that success depends on three things: empowering staff to come on the journey with you, maintaining communication and collaboration to get the most out of your investment, and acknowledging that ‘go live’ doesn’t mean transformation stops – it is just the beginning and should be seen as an opportunity for continuous improvement.”


“For many of the millions of visitors their Opera House experience actually starts on a screen, making it vital that the Opera House offers an online experience that’s as bold and inspiring as the building itself according to Daniels.

“As Head of Digital Transformation, I was responsible for working with our amazing team to look at how we could reimagine the digital visitor experience and identify creative ways to engage more effectively with audiences and visitors across our web, email, mobile apps and social channels.”

He described innovation is part of the Opera House’s DNA and says this was a consideration in choosing Adobe as a partner.

“With our shared values of innovation and creativity, Adobe was a clear choice. Together we worked to decommission our legacy marketing technology platforms and implement the Adobe Experience Cloud including Adobe Campaign, Analytics, Target, and Audience Manager.”

The organisation also worked with SapientRazorfish to develop its first new website in more than a decade, which launched in March 2017 and is powered by Adobe Experience Manager.

“The website is mobile-first and has been built entirely around the user experience with new features including emotive search, an online ‘Backstage’ news portal and a robust e-commerce and ticketing system.”

About the author

Adobe is a corporate member of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit. Member provides their research and insights for the benefit of our readers. Member fees apply. Andrew Birmingham is the director of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit.


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