BIg IT Trends in Air Transport

As Chair of the SITA Board I’ll again be hosting the Air Transport Industry IT Summitin Brussels, which this year takes place on June 18-20. Remarkably, this will be the 14th Summit. I put the endurance of the event down to its focus on the big social and IT trends that air transport CIOs and other industry IT professionals are having to grapple with.  

Of the many trends we’ll be discussing over the course of the event, three in particular promise some exciting developments in air transport and I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more about them.

The first is retailing by airlines, or more specifically ‘retail enablement’. Airlines need to become much savvier at retailing when they engage with their customers. They need to look beyond the core task of moving travelers from A to B, as well as beyond their frequent flyer programmes, and focus on the entire customer relationship. IT is essential, but charting the course will not be easy.  

Then there’s the promise of BigData. Airlines, airports, tour operators and others will need to realize this promise and capitalize on the benefits of big data analytics. Again, we need to chart the way forward as an industry and as individual organizations: not just to gain better profiles of customers but also to gain insights from the vast amounts of operational data that our industry generates.

My third trend to watch at this year’s Summit is the so-called ‘mobile explosion’. We’re constantly hearing about the efforts of airline and airports to innovate in mobilizing their workforces and empowering passengers through their smartphones. The potential for mobile to enhance operations and CRM is vast, bringing with it the need for the industry to relook at processes. We will also see a big future impact on air transport coming from other industries, such as banking and retail, as mobility permeates their ways of working.

I think these are transformative times for the air transport industry and IT trends like this are at the very heart of it.

You can join the conversation on the Linked In ‘Air Transport Information Technology’ group.*2_*2_*2_lna_PENDING_*2.gmr_4443272.gde_4443272_member_240648445.gmr_4443272

And you can follow this year’s IT Summit at #ATIS2013 


About paulcoby
I am CIO at the John Lewis Partnership in the UK. I was Chair of SITA - the airline solutions company owned by the Air Transport Community - for 11 years. I am also on the Boards of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank and Pets at Home. Previously I was Head of BA Services and for 10 years CIO at British Airways. I am interested in Roman and Military History. The views expressed are entirely my own not my employers.

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