FREMONT, CA: The key drivers of change in the airport industry are sustainability and efficiency. When in an airport, customers expect pleasant experience and prompt services. The adoption of digital technology carries the promise of delivering practical and tangible solutions for the airport industry.
The advent of digital technology has not only increased the possibilities of innovation. However, the digital world comes with its threats and flaws. To convert the potential of digitalization into effective services, every airport needs a well-developed strategy to leverage the potential benefits of the digital age.
The critical challenges for the airport sector include expansion, revenue growth, customer satisfaction, operational efficiency, automation, staffing, terminal security, and cybersecurity. The digital strategy needs to address these challenges and produce effective solutions.
Innovation is vital for digitalization of airports. Most of the solutions utilized for landside and airside operations in the airport are designed for localized utilization. Until recently, information technology (IT) did not play an essential role in the airport strategy. However, the digitalization of processes lifted the significance of IT and necessitated digital integration. The cloud hosting requirements and the importance of enterprise data in innovation projects have made it imperative for airports to promote digitalization.
The digital transformation should incorporate the critical technology trends such as AI, analytics, API-first, cloud-first, mobile-first, robotic process automation (RPA), ledgers, IoT and so on to complement the traditional approaches. Several international airports which have adopted an innovation-led approach are witnessing the benefits in the form of simplified processes and increased customer satisfaction.
The digital driven initiatives again depend on the availability and access to airport entity data. Many airports have implemented application integration initiatives over the last decade to enable data sharing to enhance functionality. However, it has been restricted to on-premise systems. An effective digitalization strategy calls for integration architectures with high performance, innovation-led technology.
Effective integration of the digital strategy in the airport ecosystem can boost the traditional approach. The utilization of hybrid cloud to deliver IT services will enhance the connectivity between the corporate data center and cloud hosted systems. Integration is also vital for a successful digital strategy, not only to connect the cloud systems but also to provide innovation projects with the necessary information.