In recent days what was once “the world’s favourite airline” British Airways has become a global laughing stock. Not that there’s been too much laughing for the poor passengers and front line staff affected by the IT failure attributed to a “power supply” problem.
I read this article about the Delta airline glitch a few years ago in America and it looks like a similar public relations smokescreen was used to obscure the real truth.
As it happens I once briefly worked with the then future Chief Information Officer (CIO) of IAG who struck me as a very honourable and no-nonsense professional. Eventually (as we all do) he departed the role and interestingly wasn’t replaced. Even more illuminating to yours truly is the fact that IAG’s subsidiary BA also eliminated the CIO role and split it into two.
So much for having technology leaders with board representation underpinning a global airline which invests strategically in technology focusing on revenue rather than cost. By not putting customers first though building a long-term sustainable business strategy and focusing instead on driving short-term bonuses you reap what you sow!
The unions have attributed the shambles to outsourcing of key technology roles offshore to exploit short term wage arbitrage, something that rings true to this retired ex-CIO watcher I’m afraid. Compensation would have been calculated based on cost savings in a far more explicit & weighted fashion far more than any customer service metrics I’m sure.
Lastly, the long term easy option of export of jobs from UK plc to overseas has got to stop and preferably reverse for the sake of future generations living in this country. I wonder which of our politicians in the forthcoming election are brave enough to say so and act accordingly?
Let’s hope that IAG CEO Willie Walsh and BA CEO Alex Cruz, who both are evangelical about cost cutting and globalisation, now pay the price for this short term selfish thinking. Alas I have my doubts…