Airlines are being fostered to transform their businesses, to catch up with – or be ahead of technological trends, such as social media, cloud computing, mobile connectivity or big data. Considering the current pace of market penetration, we can observe a huge difference in today’s market from a decade ago. For instance, the complete travel experience of the passenger is completely digitized or increased its maturity on the digital space to provide greater travel experience.
Although digital trends open new ways of doing business, airlines claim that the adoption of these trends are complex and slow due to internal challenges. The key to business excellence is to properly exploit technological trends, which means that the risks of investing into these new technologies must be identified.
Airlines need the right technologies to monitor the trends and make the right strategic adjustments – will enable them to sustain with ‘Digital Dependent’ Customers. Such airlines alone can survive, exceed their competitors and make a profit.
Current Travel Eco-System
The travel eco-system getting more innovative and flexible for the new age travelers. The travelers footprint is getting digitized and the concentration ever increasing as the way industry witnesses.
However, to provide such an eco-system, the airlines and TPAs are investing heavily in different forms of resources but the reality is highly chaotic. Why ?. Simple, The complexity, time and resourcing challenges. Above all, the ROI. Because, it has its own challenge to measure/present to the stakeholders invest on such digital transformation (Henceforth, ‘DT’). But the attempt is on war-foot to get its DT Strategy, right.
Airlines need the right technologies to monitor the trends and make the right strategic adjustments – will enable them to sustain with ‘Digital Dependent’ Customers
To make airlines’ life easy, I have drafted a sample on how the DT for the airlines can be prepared. Let us engage on the following framework so that you may move away from the chaos and start triggering the outcome. The high-level framework or a structured approach for any digital transformation is given below.
Framework for Airlines to achieve Digital Transformation
The framework is a logical structure. To make it real and workable, we need to work on the components to take us to the reality.
Assessment should be done for the organization on its current digital deployments and on its readiness for the future. Business functionalities, Customer demands and expectation as it is understood/perceived by the airline also need to be documented. Competitor assessment and advancement on the digital space and the technology fitment of the organization should be validated.
Business Customer Fitment
We need to take the Business view, Customer view and arrive at the delta. More than filling the gap, we need to consider the expansion plans of the airlines. Segmented customer profile-wise the fitment has to happen (Loyalty customers, Business Customers, Occasional travelers, etc.,) on how that we would like to get addressed also should be evaluated. We also need to arrive the ‘stay connect’ plans so that the engagement happens with the customer to retain our business
We need to prepare Prioritization in terms of infrastructure and at resourcing level. The technology prioritization should be clearly defined. We also need to create the queue for – Must to have, best to have and Optional to have. The queue need to be apportioned against the customer, employee. However, the queue should be incremental so that it shows our commitment towards the transformation.
Building Digital Transformation Map
We need to have year-wise, month-wise functionality coverage when you define your DT map, as follows.
Once the above components are supplied with the data against the detailed assessment, the actual sampling can be done to the major areas. For example, given below the prioritization for MRO DT. Every DT at the Business functional level should clearly articulate or show the tentative ROI like the productivity gain, customer (employee) convenience and increasing the automation rather than depend on conventional model.
Developing DT is explained in brief. However, There is no ‘Standard’ that you can adopt. We are witness on how the technology is beating its own past. Life is a travel. We need to experience as we fly. Digital Transformation life provides such an experience.