A major revolution in the passenger experience is set to emerge over the next three years as airlines invest in the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT). According to the SITA 2015 Airline IT Trends Survey, the vast majority of airlines (86%) expect that the IoT will deliver clear benefits in the next three years and already more than one third (37%) have allocated budget to it. The results of the survey released today, show that IoT investments will be focused in the areas of check-in, bag drop and bag collection.
The ‘Internet of Things’ is when physical objects are connected to the internet, which enables tracking, data collection, analysis and control. As part of this revolution, more things in the airport are being connected up including buildings, equipment, bags, trolleys, tugs – basically all the ‘things’ that could emit a status. In reality, however, because today the vast majority (83%) of passengers carry smartphones, passengers and staff are connected and can be part of the IoT too.
SITA’s survey carried out among the world’s top 200 airlines shows that airlines are already considering the benefits of IoT and over the next three years more than half plan investments in this area. By 2018, 16% plan major programs and a further 41% plan to invest in research and development.
Jim Peters, Chief Technology Officer, SITA, said: “Our whole world is becoming more and more connected and airlines recognize that investment will be needed to harness the benefits of IoT efficiently. This year airlines are beefing up their investments in both business intelligence and data centers, which are key foundations required for the IoT. SITA is already working across the community, with airlines, airports and other stakeholders, to see how to make the IoT effective across every point of the business and passenger journey.”
All these things – objects, passengers and staff – that are being connected will create immense amounts of data and both business intelligence (BI) and data centers are vital to extract the data’s value. This year’s survey shows that airlines are heavily investing in these areas. Already 94% of airlines are investing in BI with 74% planning major investment programs by 2018. While 68% have a major investment program planned for data centres in the next three years, with a further 14% investing in R&D or a pilot program.
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