When I began writing this blog, I really thought that why did I even think of broaching the topic of change in the aviation sector. I am not an expert in this area so to say. But I am not a novice either. I mean around 4 years in this area has made me realize that this is an area incorporating change on a regular basis. Change is inevitable and has a deep influx in a domain that has been technology driven for ages. But the important factor is that when change is ‘properly guided’, it can yield excellent results in every aspect of this area.
Airlines today are not just about size, stature or time span of operation, but more about adaptability to change. For ages, it was an industry dominated by IBM (mostly) and Unisys machines. No longer seen as too feasible to continue with, the industry is looking for alternatives in the ‘Open Systems’ domain. There is no doubt that this will take time to stabilize, but there is no denial of the eventuality taking place some time soon in future.
So what do we (neither experts nor novice) people do in such a scenario. My personal take on this is that we let ourselves amass as much knowledge as we can. The reason being that whatever is the technology used, the industry would not give up its current practices/functions entirely. It might keep changing them from time to time to suit its needs. It takes months to build a software product, but years to build practices and turn them into standards. We need to understand that domain expertise is something that takes time to grasp and is an added boon. To add to it should be our ability to translate it into the technology desired by the end user.
It may not be as easy like this all the time. But change is what one needs to keep looking out for. For instance, today airlines are not just interested in plain reservations or check-ins. They are also interested in knowing where are they going wrong, what are they doing right, where can they improve. And this is what we can also focus on. Data Warehousing for instance today is a necessity for airlines rather than a liability. Web based services that enhance passenger – airline associations are of considerable importance too.
These are just a few examples that I am citing, but the crux of it is still that people who have a broader picture in mind are ready to look at the old system in a new way. It would be foolhardy to ignore the changing trends. But it cannot be achieved in a day either. It is for each individual to analyze his/her own personal strengths in the domain (this is apart from programming). The reason being that every one of us has a different way to interpret information. That is what separates an analyst from a programmer. And to understand this subtle difference, one needs to not just look at the current generation of work but look at what in the future can take it’s role. This is what I personally believe is the right recipe to bring about the guided change.