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Pre-Takeoff Prep for American Airlines Flight in the Cloud

Tim Beerman

Tim Beerman
Chief Technology Officer, Ensono

American Airlines CIO Maya Leibman has been putting cloud providers through their paces in her quest to move key portions of and additional applications to a cloud platform. The company’s plans to take advantage of the on-demand computing power offered by cloud infrastructure were first reported in the Wall Street Journal article, “American Airlines Plans Major Cloud Move.”

At Ensono, we applaud AA’s decision and believe the company’s bold decision to move to a cloud infrastructure platform will provide significant benefits from both a cost and service perspective.

We also know firsthand that this is no small undertaking.

The decision Leibman made is a huge first step, but the benefits achieved by this major IT transition outweigh the risk. AA’s next step, however, is no less important—developing a process that carefully aligns the pros and cons of evaluating the features, performance and capabilities of the different cloud platforms available.

According to Leibman, their process of assessing cloud providers has not been straightforward. AA is finding that costs, service levels and terms and conditions in contracts are not easily comparable between the three vendors being considered: AWS, Microsoft and IBM. According to Leibman,

“Tools that make up a cloud framework can be open source or they can be tools more proprietary to the provider. Do I want to go with a provider with a more locked-down tool set or one leveraging an open source environment? There’s no one right answer.”

This is not surprising. Determining the optimal cloud service provider that will work best for any business is complicated, time consuming and not without risk. The importance of implementing a clear procedure in preparation for any major IT migration cannot be understated.

Lucky for Leibman, there are resources available that can help with the decision making, and more.

Companies taking on a digital transformation like American Airlines can benefit greatly from sourcing insight and knowledge from IT service providers who know the technology inside and out. Even better is a partner that takes on the bulk of the decision making, eventual transitional responsibility and ongoing application management so American Airlines can focus on what matters to them—their customers.

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