Blog

How the Internet of Things is transforming travel (Part 2)

January 17, 2018

Tim Sherwood   

Vice-President – Business Development, Mobility & IoT Solutions, Tata Communications.

In part one of this blog I looked at how IoT could bring to change to the travel industry through competitive services into new geographies, as well as helping flight crews operate more efficiently. In part two, I will look at two other key areas where IoT can enable a business to have a greater business impact.

  1. World-class customer experiences

The IoT doesn’t just let travel companies give customers a seamless experience. All partners in the supply chain can get involved too. Imagine an integrated travel package, involving airlines, ground transportation, hotels, insurance companies, all linked for a seamless end customer experience. The IoT removes the manual intervention to make a seamless experience both possible and considerably more efficient.

Let’s take the example of a baggage handling team at a busy airport: give them the ability to access real-time information about missing luggage, and they will be able to operate more efficiently, while also introducing transparency into the delivery chain. In addition to supporting this key partner, the business will also be helping to enhance customer engagement and loyalty.

To make a success of an integrated supply chain, organisations need to provide a consistent experience across different channels and platforms, adopt a connected communications system to avoid information silos, and have the ability to scale solutions as demand fluctuates. Critical for all of this is to invest in an IT infrastructure that supports these new services and capabilities.

  1. Getting rid of the risk

As businesses invest in digital business services, they also potentially increase their exposure to malicious hacking and cyber-crime. Addressing potential security vulnerabilities is crucial to ensure that a digital transformation programme won’t expose the business or its commercial supply chain partners to security threats.

Minimising risk isn’t just about securing data and applications against external threats. It is also critical to ensure service continuity and near-zero business disruption to avoid disruption to customers’ travel arrangements.

Sound risky? It’s not as risky as avoiding the digital transformation altogether – and being left behind. In terms of device and cloud connectivity, businesses need to access the IoT data over a secure, private network and ensure effective asset and policy control. Robust security services will protect the business from a range of cyber threats, but a secure mobile connectivity environment provides an extra layer of security for data to keep travellers and reputations safe.

A journey to somewhere new

To expand into new markets and across borders, travel companies need to take a global view, where a global network infrastructure, with global connectivity options becomes an integral foundation for a digital transformation programme. For those organisations equipped with the right tools and support from technology partners, the opportunities to enhance their business and gain global market share are significant. Manage the associated business risks well, and those opportunities could be outstanding. Deploying IoT as part of a global digital transformation strategy can optimise productivity, maximise efficiency and enhance the customer experience. Now that’s a trip worth taking.

Read one of my previous blogs on how the Internet of Things is changing the healthcare industry.