While the term “business transformation” has been floated around for decades, digital and the deployment of modern technology remain the cornerstone of today’s investment decisions. Customer expectations have changed greatly in recent years. Strong brands like Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google, which investors often refer to as FAANG, have changed consumer behavior. Not only have the ways in which these companies successfully operate altered customer expectations, they have also forced airlines to think and act differently. Airlines are after personalization, ease of use, and innovation. And they must think as if Amazon can get into their business tomorrow.
Yes, this relates to enhancing a mobile app so that it is easier to (or automatically!) check in for a flight, navigate an airport, schedule a shuttle, chat with an agent, or manage points. However, companies must modernize many other back-end, non-customer-facing technology investments – for example, technology that helps predict maintenance or systems that help with inventory management. These are the systems that keep the wheels turning and that have a direct impact on productivity, not to mention the customer. Digital transformation is also about investing in new technologies, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
That said, transforming or growing a company isn’t just about the deployment of exciting new digital technology. It could be about implementing a new revenue-management system that helps airlines better forecast and optimize revenue. It could be a branded fares and segmentation initiative. It’s also about reengineering more traditional business processes and cutting costs to become more efficient, as well as about creating the best experience for employees and customers at the lowest cost possible.
To succeed in this business, leadership must have a vision for the future and a commitment to its stakeholders. Without either of these, a company will not likely be a leader in the space, let alone be around for long. At the end of the day, the right choices empower growth. Having the right initiatives and strategies in place can help ensure growth and profitability.
Perficient published a new guide that focuses on the airline industry – the companies that operate air transport networks. It looks at the current and future state of the industry. Specifically, it discusses some of the initiatives on which airlines are focusing in the hopes of driving growth and value for their businesses, as well as their customers, employees, partners, and shareholders.