“Monday morning a critical power control module at our Technology Command Center malfunctioned, causing a surge to the transformer and a loss of power,” Giles West, COO of Delta Airlines said referring to the August 8th error that grounded the entire airline. “When this happened, critical systems and network equipment didn’t switch over to backups. Other systems did. And now we’re seeing instability in these systems.”
The lack of system fluency will result in $120 million in losses.
Giles did not credit the error to the power surge, which was the root of the problem. Instead, he blamed the actual issue that could have been avoided: outdated technology. Rightfully so. An establishment as large as Delta that is responsible for so many lives should not, and cannot, be completely grounded by a power outage.
A quick overview of the archaic technology that has many airlines still use: It dates back to the 1990’s when major airlines started to merge into four large carriers that now account for 85% of domestic air travel. The technology is responsible for everything from scheduling flights, to flight crews, to frequent flier programs and points, and everything in between. Hold on – how can a program from the 90’s keep up with all of that? Hint: it can’t.
There are ample reasons as to why. One of the most obvious being that older programs can’t run at the capacity they need to, especially when air travel is more accessible than ever and the advanced systems they run on aren’t necessarily compatible. IT specialists say the programs are being updated, just not quickly enough.
While end-to-end business solutions like ASPIRE aren’t ultimately responsible for lives, they are responsible for a range of vital information. If a glitch were to happen within your finance software, that information could be exposed to anyone, and it could take a while for you to identify the problem. Lucky for ASPIRE users, it is an up-to-date solution that is constantly improving to ensure such glitches don’t occur.
As for any technology or software, it is always best to keep things updated. Don’t wait until your software sunsets to begin to bring things up-to-date. Whether it’s your finance solutions, your airline management software, or even Microsoft Word (we all have lost a document or two to an error without a recovery option), the updated version could save you a world of hurt.