Delta Air Lines’ tech horror emphasises need for airlines to move to the cloud

passengers on a plane

On Monday, Delta Air Lines was forced to cancel 1,000 flights (out of a total of 6,000) with additional delays.

Delta Air Lines current computer system which transports aeroplanes, passengers and baggage to their destinations completely failed due to a power outage at its base during the early hours of Monday morning.

Delta isn’t the only airline to have experienced a recent system failure. Last month, Southwest Airlines cancelled more than 2,000 flights over several days due to an outage it was blamed on a faulty network router.

In addition to this, United Airlines has also suffered a series of delays since it merged with Continental as the two technological systems of these airlines clashed.

IT outages are avoidable, but with this being common knowledge it is essential a plan is devised for when things go wrong. So why in 2016 are airlines being made completely inactive due to single points of failure, when cloud services offer backup options?

Modern day airlines are running on out-dated IT systems which are not efficient enough to provide them with the necessary needs, such as quick data recovery. As a result, one IT failure has had a catastrophic effect on a company which is known for “IT forward thinking”.

The move to the cloud can be public or private, either way, migration has to happen. If Delta had a cloud strategy adopted, the time taken to resolve the issue would’ve been significantly less due to the low recovery time it takes to regain data.

By converting to the cloud the crucial data needed for these airlines to function normally would instead be located at a continually backed up data centre, rather than a site not fit for disaster purpose, like Delta’s.

Despite the heavy focus on customer experience, airlines should match their infrastructure, “behind the scenes” efforts with their front of house efforts. This will result in a decrease of delay times and improve customer satisfaction overall.

For this move to the cloud to be successful, there needs to be an industry-wide technology infrastructure transformation. This will allow for all airlines to work cohesively in line with the same technology standards in place.

Once the airline industry takes the leap and updates their technical strategies they will benefit greatly by being fully prepared if events don’t go to plan.

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