Delta outage highlights how airline industry needs new IT approaches – ZDNet


August 10, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Uncategorized


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Delta blames a power outage in Atlanta for bringing its systems down, canceling flights, and stranding passengers. Southwest’s systems stumbled last month after a faulty router and nixed about 2,300 flights. United Continental grounded flights over a bad router in July and June. Welcome to the world of cobbled together legacy systems and an industry that needs to move toward cloud computing much faster.

IT outages are a fact of life. And now that technology is no longer a separate entity from business, screw-ups hit more people and damage reputations. The big question is why in 2016 airlines are being brought down by single points of failure when cloud services offer resiliency zones, backup options, and redundancy to keep critical systems running.

Delta cancels more flights as it recovers from system-wide outage | Delta Air Lines says power problems are behind computer outage that grounded flights

Instead, airlines (now bulked up and very profitable) are run by cobbled together systems that were bolted together in an era when there wasn’t capital and bankruptcy was more likely than profits. American Airlines was formed by the merger of two companies (US Airways and American) that previously restructured in bankruptcy. Delta combined with Northwest and both companies restructured in bankruptcy. United, which restructured in bankruptcy, combined with Continental and to this day hasn’t completely ironed out integration issues.

From a business perspective, the state of IT affairs in the airline industry makes sense. Simply put, the companies (outside of Southwest) didn’t have the money to invest in systems. You don’t sweat next-gen technology when you’re trying to survive another day.

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