September 30, 2013


Enterprise Transparency: How Will the Airlines Adapt to it?

The need of enterprise transparency in the airlines industry has been ushered in with connectivity and data, primarily driven by the increasing impact of mobility. No longer do customers anxiously await the agents at a departure gate to convey the latest departure time; in many cases, passengers are already aware of the departure time of a delayed flight before the update has been displayed at the gate. The need for transparency doesn’t stop at customers, but also is a key requirement of the airline business ecosystem. To learn how the leading airline organizations are running their business in a more transparent way, read on.

In a recently published blog titled Simplify Enterprise Functions… Be A Transparent Enterprise, the author Amit Gupta, Global Head for the Travel, Transportation, Hospitality and Logistics Industry Vertical at HCL Technologies highlighted that the lack of transparency is fast becoming a key challenge driven by a complex value network and a complex IT landscape. And, the responsibility of driving transparency across the value network and within the enterprise lies with IT. This blog will focus on the similar challenges being felt in the airline sector.

As the Airline industry continues to be more transparent, the opportunities and challenges associated with such initiatives will increase exponentially. For example, if an airline proactively notifies customers of baggage mishandling, will the customers (connected onboard with Wifi) know about it during their flight? Can they expect flight attendants to do something about their baggage delivery? Should flight attendants know about baggage mishandling before the customers get to know about it — so that they could appropriately react? 

The Quest for A Transparent Paradigm
The need of enterprise transparency has been ushered in with connectivity and data primarily driven by the growth in mobile devices. No longer do customers anxiously await the agent at a departure gate to tell them of the latest departure time; in many cases passengers are already aware of a departure time of a delayed flight before the update has been posted on to the Display at the gate.  “Flight Status Notification” is a great example of transparency at the customer level.  And remember, the need for transparency doesn’t stop at customers but is also a key requirement for interaction with partners and employees.

Today, the customers’ increasing demands revolve around Innovation, Agility and Visibility. The airlines industry needs to work towards enhancing the overall customer experience, including check-in, in-flight service, and baggage management experience. Are the airlines equipped to handle those requests?

Here is how the leaders would succeed in their quest for enterprise transparency. They succeed:

  • By implementing a Business Operating Platform that can help accommodate change driven by a business model change or by technology disruptions.
  • By utilizing a business process repository that details all airline processes that can be used for understanding and communicating changes driven by changes in  business processes and the  impact on IT systems
  • By taking a unique approach to mobility. A leading mobility platform takes an enterprise and functional led approach to drive change in the business.  These platforms are business process led and are supported by benchmarking, KPIs and benefits cases. It can map out a clear path to implement mobility across the enterprise ecosystem – customer, employee, supplier and partner and ensure that silos of mobile apps don’t litter the landscape.
  • By implementing “Application Factory”, a unique proposition that helps IT departments deal with ever changing and cyclical business needs, allowing a major change to the IT organization in terms of its ability to deliver successfully.
  • By using “Application Portfolio Optimization” methodology, a critical tool to help organization drive transparency internally.  It helps a business understand more about how its IT portfolio is structured, how its resources are allocated, the drivers of cost and how the IT department is structured to support the most critical business needs among other things.

There are several real-life cases that I would like to share, if you are interested. All you need to do is comment on this blog.

In the upcoming weeks, I will share the success mantra of enabling enterprise transparency for leading airlines and travel companies.