Problems with legacy airline IT systems, according to IAG. Disparate, complex, costly, order-centric

IAG's annual Capital Markets Day in early Nov-2017 included an outline of the group's digital and IT strategies, given by IAG Director of Strategy Robert Boyle. This presentation contained a neat summary of the problems with current airline systems.

As Mr Boyle pointed out, airline systems are a subset of the global travel ecosystem, and the airline industry "has been a global industry from the days when real time global transactions really weren't feasible". The architecture devised by the industry in the past was groundbreaking in many ways, but is no longer fit for purpose.

The IT infrastructure and systems in the airline industry were designed around batch processing and physical paper documents. Although much of the documentation has been transformed into electronic formats, there remains much that is legacy in the system. Customer records are not all in one place, there is complexity and unnecessary cost, and the airlines' ability to personalise the offer is limited by systems that are order-centric rather than customer-centric.

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