Airline CIOs Show How To Move From The Old To The New
The everyday issues as a CIO and educating others in the business on the value of technology in information can keep the majority of us occupied. Imagine if you were assigned the task of developing a strategy to combine the IT operations of two major airlines. You can’t mess this up. Even the smallest mistake could cause a decline in sales for tickets that the airline could not handle. The integration of systems would need to be flawlessly executed. Do you think you could accomplish this?
In the latter part of 2013, American Airlines announced that it was purchasing US Airways. Both companies were huge, and both had their own IT infrastructures in order to manage such duties as maintaining track of frequent flyer programs and allowing reservations to be made. In the wake of this announcement, the merger between both companies was the beginning of an IT plan that would integrate both IT systems.
In the event that American Airlines was purchasing US Airways, which signified that US Airways systems needed to be integrated into American Airlines systems. In the realm of mergers between airlines, this is among the most difficult tasks to complete. Of all the systems that had to be integrated into current American Airlines systems, the US Airways reservation system poised the biggest challenge.
The reservation system of airlines is essential to its effectiveness. It is able to store a huge amount of information, including bookings, flight schedules, and all the airline’s customer data. This is an undertaking that other airlines that have joined have tried to accomplish previously. It is, however, an extremely complex IT job and caused service disruptions as well as delays when the process was not a success.
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Maya Leibman, who is currently is in charge of her hands on the CIO post in American Airlines, has a real task ahead of her. She needs to be aware of the risk involved in this kind of massive IT project can be, and therefore she should ensure the IT department is doing all to minimize the risks associated with it.
The first thing IT at American Airlines IT department did to minimize their risk was to move their US Airways frequent flier program as a separate initiative. This project is now completed. The plan that the airline intends to employ to move customers to reservations made through the US Airways reservation program to the American Airlines reservation program is described as”drain down. “drain down.”
The way this can be achieved is to let the switch to only using the American Airlines system take place in a 90-day time frame instead of a sudden “flash cutting.” Users of US Airways’ US Airways website who are trying to book travel that is outside of the 90-day timeframe are directed directly to an American Airlines system to make reservations. On the day that the 90 windows are closed, the switch to using only American Airlines systems will be completed.
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Every major IT project comes with its own risk factors. These American Airlines plan to merge their computer systems that are crucial to their business with the systems from US Airways has more than its fair share of risks. In the end, American Airlines CIO is going to be in the hot seat in the blending of two massive systems that all of the company relies on.
The positive aspect for the person holding the CIO post is that in the industry of airline in recent years, there has been a few airlines that have merged, and thus this type of venture was previously completed. The project is expected to run for 90 days. Therefore, it is clear that America does not intend to cut a flash. The frequent flier programs have already been integrated. US Airways passengers will slowly be directed on American Airlines’ website American Airlines website to make reservations until the current system is finally turned off.
CIO as CIOs, we must be preparing for the next major IT initiative. In the case of American Airlines, they know what the project will consist of – the merger of the major systems and US Airways. Through careful planning and the provision of sufficient time to allow for the merger, American believes that it will be able to minimize the risk that comes with the IT project this large. We’ll have to keep an eye on the project and watch what happens!