Industry report calls on airlines to adopt a shared approach to IT systems

A new report launched today entitled ‘It makes sense to share’, authored by Professor James Woudhuysen, a UK professor in forecasting and innovation, calls on the airline industry to embrace a shared approach to customer IT systems, to help the industry meet the dual challenges of increasing financial pressures and rising customer expectations. 
The report, sponsored by Amadeus, argues that the airline sector, which has long pioneered collaborative technology solutions, should adopt next generation Customer Management Solutions (CMS) to overcome the complexity and disorder found in the legacy systems that underpin the industry.  The concept of an outsourced community platform, a shared system used by rival airlines to manage customer processing, means airlines benefit from the latest technology whilst remaining free to innovate and differentiate.  The option of implementing airline-specific business rules ensures the system is able to support each individual airline’s customer and marketing strategies. 

“The community IT platform is a genuine step-change in the development of outsourcing.  While the industry is familiar with the idea of outsourcing infrastructure or applications development, the idea that you can share business applications, developed and hosted by a third party expert is ground-breaking, and not just for the airline sector.  This approach is being pioneered by the airline industry and will enable carriers, from large to small, to avoid each having to pour millions of pounds into the development of badly needed next generation IT systems,” said James Woudhuysen, author of the report

According to the author, this transformation in airline IT represents a significant step forward for individual airlines as well as the sector.  Enhancing customer service and delivery and reducing costs are things all carriers have an interest in.  In addition, the sharing of IT systems means that airlines can rely on a business community with similar interests to support commercial developments such as alliance and network collaboration. 

“Airlines must be operationally responsive to succeed.  Through redefining how airlines operate and manage their relationship with customers they are able to improve bottom-line performance by identifying how to provide customers’ with increased value at each stage of their journey,” said Frédéric Spagnou, Vice President, Airline Business Group at Amadeus.  “Shared systems represent a significant step forward for the industry and the decision by Star Alliance to adopt a common platform for customer management represents a real transformation in airline IT.”

The report looks specifically at the development of outsourced shared platforms in the airline sector in the context of best practice management and business theory. 

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For a copy of the report please contact: [email protected].
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