Given the business’s scale and complexity, the airline industry was among the first to embrace digital technologies to carry out business. This adoption was a tremendous breakthrough, but given the state of the art of computer technology in the 50’s, it not only brought a lot of limitations but also conditioned and shaped the industry and the way we interact with our customers adding complexity and falling short of today’s people’s expectations, both passengers and employees.
As of today, technology has not only evolved massively but also access to it has been democratized. Hence, it is within reach of any organization, allowing not only to make all previous restrictions unnecessary but also unlocking new ways to interact with people and do business. Natural language processing allows for better human-like interactions; Artificial intelligence enables us to create more relevant offers to better suit their travel needs.
Legacy technology, though typically reliable, often poses significant challenges to implementing disruptive experiences. These systems, built for a different technological era, frequently increase the cost of integrating with modern technologies. They also tend to slow innovation, and offer limited observability and maintainability, thus prolonging development cycles and impeding the timely delivery of new features. Scalability issues can also arise as legacy systems struggle to meet the demands of growing businesses, eventually getting us to failure by success.
At Globant, we believe that it is paramount to start leveraging new technologies and shifting the mindset to break the inertia that started with the deployment of those systems 50 or so years ago, not just to create delightful experiences for customers and employees but also a way to reduce the dependency on legacy systems and untangle the existing legacy business rules that cause frustration and struggle with adding value to the business, making it more expensive to operate and maintain.
New Engagement Models
For years organizations relied on IT companies to help support their need for digital capabilities such as software development, infrastructure, and any other IT need. Traditional engagement will work on staff augmentation mode with the vendor supplying the needs capabilities and the customer managing them and ensuring productivity. The vendor will be responsible for replacing any person not meeting customer expectations.
The model has evolved with the adoption of Agile frameworks and the emergence of models like time and material where vendors could help the customer on managing complex delivery operations and assemble more effective organizations sharing the load and responsibilities with the client but still operating in a more conventional way where technology will be just a support of the traditional business. Today organizations need to be digital, so Digital Talent is now of the essence for conducting business, reshaping how organizations interact with people. Digital Talent is also scarce and has high expectations of his contribution to the business, the organizations, and why not society as a whole, so a new type of organization is required to meet both ends.
At Globant, we believe that the best way to be successful is by engaging with our customers as a single organization, sharing the same goals, risks, and rewards, putting skin in the game by putting forward our industry expertise with a transparent model of operation where we embed into a single team with our clients ensuring that the right people are on the proper roles regardless of their badge, creating a compelling culture, combining the capabilities of the airlines to help connect people easily and safely with our unique digital capabilities to build a unique and delightful experience together.
Solutions vs. Products
The establishment of a “best of need” ecosystem for offers and orders, and the future architecture and modularity, is a hot topic that many are actively discussing.. This ecosystem often is discussed in conjunction with build vs. hybrid vs. buy, especially in the context of the airline’s larger ecosystem.
This typically goes hand-in-hand with the questions or discussions about buying products or establishing solutions. A product is typically created once and used by many – like Microsoft Office. Everyone uses the tool, and while there is some ability to configure the product to one’s liking, it is, in essence, the same product with the same capabilities. For certain areas, especially commodity components, this may be just fine. The bigger the “product”, the less modularity it will provide, restricting future change and adaptation to specific needs even less.
However, strategic components that differentiate a business or a process are not well suited to an off-the-shelf product. Utilizing solutions designed to meet specific needs and adaptable to the changing requirements will provide a competitive advantage over time. Ballast of unused or unnecessary features can be avoided, making the solution focused and cost-effective to what is required. Further, a “solution build” approach will allow you to control the technology and dictate the timelines for development and changes. In the airline industry, “off-the-shelf” products are updated “only so often.”
At Globant, we recognize building solutions by yourself is difficult work – there are lots of skillsets not typically found in airlines needed. Globant works across industries, and its airline engagement model and solution blueprints bring that power to the airline. Read more about that in our blog post here.