Digital capability has been at the helm of travel companies’ ambitions over the last few years. While many have achieved pockets of digital innovation, most have yet to realize the full potential.

Before the pandemic, companies were managing under legacy on-premise technology, hesitant to make big investments in cloud due to concerns about cost, time and security. But in a world after the pandemic, the travel industry must adapt fast to survive. Also, industry convergence with mobility, health, financial services, and supply chain further accelerate travel ecosystem collaboration. Cloud is a critical enabler of change. The value it delivers goes beyond technology to organizational transformation, making the journey through cloud in travel a key CEO priority.

It’s time for travel companies to see cloud for what it is—the passport to future value.

Cloud and travel industry growth

Many travel companies still view cloud as a cost-effective, capital light infrastructure rather than a platform for new business efficiencies and growth. But cloud has so much more to offer travel. Imagine the possibilities:

  • Hotel brands and airlines leveraging each other as new distribution channels, simplifying the leisure travel shopping experience
  • Omni-channel, digital and physical customer service for air, car rental, cruise, and hotels
  • Airlines and airports reinventing airport experiences: From contactless, smooth passage, through bag drop and security to airside shopping for travelers who have pre-filled biometric data

Transforming travel technology: The path forward

To survive challenging times and thrive in the future, travel companies need to transform what they do, how they do it, and get there faster. Whether it is to rehost property management systems, develop a platform for new business models, or to upsell ancillary services—each area should be considered in the context of an overall cloud strategy, with a clear view of how they can all work together. Cloud also serves as a catalyst to complement the sustainability agenda.

The path here is more intricate than just investing in cloud and watching everything fall in place. Travel companies must future-proof their businesses built upon living systems and processes enabled by agility and scale. They need to take a deep relook at strategy, organization, practices, technology and talent functions. As travel rebuilds as an industry, cloud-related investments will deliver many times higher returns on capital than investment in new aircraft, new hotels, and new ships. Maximizing the benefits of the cloud means tearing down entrenched silos—both within travel organizations and across an ecosystem of partners—and adopting more open, collaborative mindsets.

The goal? To realize the possibilities for cross-functional collaboration with cloud and supporting technologies to enable and accelerate growth where possible, drive efficiencies across functions, and foster organizational innovation and transformation.

Moving toward cloud in travel

Only strongly sponsored top-down initiatives, created to help build a data-driven culture, will achieve the full benefit cloud offers. The journey will be unique to each travel player aligned to their strategic business priorities with an industry process architecture-first mindset. This drives business use cases of tomorrow enabled to and through the cloud delivering speed, scale, agility and future value. Your current technology landscape and maturity of cloud investments will also influence your cloud journey. The following guidelines can help tailor your enterprise technology architecture decisions as you define your cloud strategy:

Compete for investment capital

Cloud-related investments drive business changes needed for increased productivity, smoother traveler experience, vertical integration & resilience.

Move non-core applications

Move non-core applications and functions to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) on cloud.

Rehost scalable functions

Rehost high-volume, scalable functions on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).

Establish modern data infrastructure

Establish a modern cloud-based data infrastructure to take advantage of data, AI and machine learning.

Power advanced products and services

Leverage Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and innovations from cloud providers to power advanced products and services for your travel business.

Adopt digital decoupling

Build new systems with critical functionality that execute on top of legacy systems using new tech, development methodologies and migration methods.

Align to the value path

Perform rapid migration, guided by the value path.

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Cloud is the future of technology in travel

Cloud is central to the travel industry’s survival and future growth. There’s no time for delay. Companies must use this crisis as a springboard to scale up cloud adoption, improve resilience and innovation capabilities, and create the seamless, contactless and effortless experiences travelers demand

To get you started on your cloud journey, a compelling cloud value business case is essential: Assess, architect and simulate cloud solutions to determine the best fit your business requirements to maximize value.

RELATED: Accenture Cloud First Launches with $3 Billion Investment to Accelerate Clients’ Move to Cloud and Digital Transformation.

Shantha Maheswari

Managing Director – Technology Lead, Travel

Anshul Gupta

Associate Director – Accenture Technology

Jonathan Sullivan

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy & Consulting, Travel


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