The aviation IT sector is used to be one of the most advanced in the world. Airlines were early adopters of IT platforms and saw the potential of these emerging systems to revolutionise their business.
However a recent study by Harvard Business School visiting professor Thomas H. Davenport suggests that airlines have become â€˜laggards' in IT innovation such as data-handling, revenue management and loyalty platforms. Some of these systems in operation today date back to the 1970's.
I met with Virgin's Head of IT a few months back to discuss the issues facing the sector. She commented that although she had plenty of systems upgrades in mind, the level of integration with close to 100 other IT platforms means the project could take up to two years, by which several newer, more innovative and efficient platforms will have been developed.
So the decision to implement a new IT platform in aviation is not to be taken lightly. In the lead-up to the Aviation IT Show we've identified the top 8 IT systems that the airlines we speak with are looking to implement right now. These are:
1. Mobile technology
2. Social CRM systems
3. Cloud technology
4. Disruption Management Software
5. Self service baggage handling
6. Umbrella systems to consolidate legacy
8. Data services
One area that is particularly interesting is Point 3, Cloud Technology. This is an emerging area for airlines offering huge potential for improving business. Gulf Air are one of the first airlines to implement a cloud system for business management, for back-end business applications, platform services, virtual servers, storage and processing to front-end support services. All of these work to improve connections with Gulf Air passenger and should dramatically improve customer service and experience.
Gulf Air's CIO Dr. Jassim Haji will be talking about the implementation at the Aviation IT Show in London this September. If you would like to hear more please download the event brochure here.[Image: timo_w2s - Flckr]