The emergence of cloud computing has not been a high profile breakthrough like the telephone or email. Rather, it has been more of a below-the-radar shift in how the world interacts with technology. While so far only a handful of travel leaders have noticed or leveraged the advantages of the cloud, it has begun to change the way travel businesses operate and connect with their customers. For these companies and others in the industry ready to look beyond their own infrastructure, cloud computing represents a compelling business opportunity.
Agility, flexibility and elasticity are the key values of cloud computing. Cloud computing is not a technology, but a new form of services delivery. It enables travel companies to move quickly, launch new products or expand systems without bearing the costs and delays of massive IT upgrades. For startups, it helps level the playing field by greatly reducing the initial capital costs of entering a tech-heavy sector like travel. Cloud computing can even be a cost-effective disaster recovery plan.
Travel’s Early Adopters
But it is not just startups that are taking advantage of cloud computing. Preferred Hotels has moved its data center to an outsourced private cloud. And since the early 2000s, ITA Software has used a SaaS model to deliver its QPX airfare shopping engine. The product’s distributed processing approach provides flexibility to meet the fluctuating capacity requirements of ten airlines and high-demand intermediaries like Kayak.
Cloud computing can reduce costs, improve productivity and create huge opportunities for travel companies. However, as with any innovation, established companies are skeptical and frequently slow to adopt this new way of using technology. In the end, better, faster, cheaper always wins. As the opportunities and benefits become more evident, travel companies will look to the clouds and see the future of travel.
PhoCusWright’s How Cloud Computing Could Revolutionize the Travel Industry summarizes this new delivery model for IT services and its far-reaching implications for the industry. Included in PhoCusWright’s Innovation Edition, the article demystifies cloud computing for today’s travel leaders, outlining in plain business terms the key considerations and potential benefits of this powerful new way of conducting business.