August 8, 2018 by admin
Qantas’ decision to split its international and domestic operations sent shockwaves around the airline in July, but one team was already preparing for the job of splitting IT systems.
The restructure complicated an already nuanced technology operation whose tentacles touch every part of the airline – from freight to frequent flyers. It was also a catalyst for improvement as it exposed weaknesses in outsourcing, enabled the relocation of IT people to where they were needed most and, ultimately, saved $30 million.
It all began when the airline looked to outsource parts of the project, exposing gaps and weaknesses in the technology operations.
”We had many sources of truth and this old state created complexities,” said Qantas IT financial controller Larry Morrissey.
”We had multiple sources of data, which led to lots of reconciliation, and also lack of consistency in what we were reporting to the business.”
So the airline made an early decision to install a project management application in October 2011 that would provide visibility of all legacy systems as well as help with the difficult task of prioritising projects along domestic and international lines, explained Qantas chief information officer Paul Jones.
The CA Clarity PPM system would also ”liberate” the knowledge locked away in spreadsheets and silos.
”By having this single source of truth it allowed us to have a look at the entire portfolio and relating that to which projects make sense in an international and domestic sense,” Jones said.
Qantas now more accurately aligns IT spending with commercial goals, according to Jones, because the project management application centrally stores technology project information such as where it is installed, phases of implementation, and upcoming projects.
”That means it’s easier to take a portfolio view across the entire airline rather than everyone having their own pots of technology,” he said.
The new system also gives visibility to the distributed technology operations where seven outsourcers – IBM, Fujitsu, Telstra, Optus, TCS, Satyam and Amadeus – manage 80 per cent of the carrier’s technology systems and support.
The remaining 20 per cent is provided in-house where, from August 1, IT staff were relocated inside the various divisions – from catering, freight, engineering, international, domestic and loyalty – assembled into mini businesses, each with its own chief executive.
”The airline is very complicated so you need IT people with the customers,” Jones said. ”Every sub-part of the airline [needs] tech people working day-by-day.”
He said five technology strategies added value to the airline: IT staff located within divisions, technology modernisation programs, single project view, employee engagement and IT cost reduction.
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