IT in the travel industry: From dark rooms to the spotlight

As an IT professional, would you believe me if I told you I had never even touched a keyboard or a computer before entering college? Well, it’s true! When I decided to attend the University of São Paulo to pursue a degree in computer science, it marked the start of my adventurous career into computers and technology.

Once I graduated and obtained the official title as a computer scientist, I immersed myself into programming, client server platforms, complex operating systems and more. But nerd language and tech nostalgia aside, my career has enabled me to experience the changing landscape of the IT industry over the years. From sitting in back rooms crunching codes to playing a key strategic role in organizations, IT has vastly transformed to become the crucial function it is today.

An industry transformation

Forty years ago, IT didn’t have quite the charm it has these days. It mostly served to parse and record past information, and occasionally process bureaucratic transactions. Looking specifically at the travel industry, the back-end environment for processing reservations – how the GDS was created – was something revolutionary, considering the limited communication protocols and volume of transactions executed for that time. Before the internet, very few industries enjoyed that level of sophistication in their business processes.

As the industry started to transform, IT moved from dark rooms and piles of papers to solutions like dynamic pricing, chat bots, biometric processing and deep customer individualization through analytics. IT professionals started to have more and more active participation in key organizational strategies. Chief Information Officers and their teams were no longer detached from business talks, but were considered a critical part of future organizational success. Moving forward, the emphasis placed on IT only seemed to be accelerating.

IT and travel

With the onset of this technological revolution, the travel industry is no exception to the fundamentality of IT. For example, an airline cannot configure a flight, depart an aircraft, sell seats, check in a passenger, nor strategically price their services without a sound IT platform and team. As it has become more sophisticated, IT has enabled airlines to offer a smoother, more efficient travel experience.

Amadeus is an organization that anticipated the revolutionary change and acceleration of IT in the travel industry. In a time when most organizations did not directly take on the dynamic new business era, Amadeus reinvented itself to grow with the trend and become an industry leader.

The future of IT

Moving forward, I believe that Amadeus is now experiencing a third wave of technological innovation, following the first and second waves of GDS and Airlines PSS, respectively. This additional wave will enable us to reach a new level of advancement. For instance, the convergence of airlines and airport systems with digital and analytical capabilities represents an untapped opportunity that Amadeus is prepared to take on better than anyone else.

Innovation is in our DNA, so we’re always trying, testing, creating and recreating until we develop services and solutions that help the travel industry succeed. And the best is yet to come!

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