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Exploring airline revenue benefits of deploying the IoT

Traveling at the speed of knowledge, part two

With exponential technologies, airlines are transforming the curb-to-gate-to-destination passenger experience while enhancing their revenue streams. Find out how your airline can become part of the next frontier of air travel.

The IoT-enabeled passenger experience

The next frontier in the race for share of wallet is the Internet of Things (IoT)—networks of sensor-equipped, intelligent, exponential technologies that can gather data, interpret it, and take action. Actions that can increase revenue while simultaneously improving the overall passenger experience.

The IoT has the power to transform the curb-to-gate-to-destination experience and create valuable new revenue stream for airlines, but how? If the “old” internet was for pushing information out, and the modern internet permits personalized, two-way engagement, IoT steps beyond those modalities by equipping the airlines’—and their ecosystem partners'—operational assets to transition from sunk costs into drivers of incremental revenue.

Exponential technology in action: "Passenger first” customer experience framework

The “passenger first” framework centers naturally on verbs: Knowledge and intentions don’t make a difference until action happens. Here are actions that can channel the technical power of the IoT into revenue-enhancing changes in the customer relationship.

The IoT information value loop

To make these revenue opportunities possible, it isn’t enough just to wire all of an airline’s physical and IT assets and connect them to a network. There must be an architecture and a logic to how the assets communicate. The information value loop is that architecture—a flow that translates the right questions into the right answers and then the right actions, then back again.

For a piece of information to create value, it must move through all five stages of the loop:

  1. Sensors create information about a physical event or state.
  2. The originating object communicates the information to others over a network.
  3. The network aggregates different pieces of information from different sources and times.
  4. The network applies standards to analyze phenomena for patterns, relationships, or anomalies.
  5. The resulting analysis is a basis on which augmented intelligence can decide to act—to start, keep, or change a physical state.

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This relationship among the discrete steps of sensing, deciding, and acting is what turns the IoT’s connectedness into a source of value.

What airlines should consider next is to make intentional choices about how, when, and where to engage, understanding what passengers actually value and where revenue can be generated.

How to make IoT a reality to enhance revenue

When you combine exponential technologies with the self-accelerating awareness of an always-on network, then harness that power to an informed understanding of what airline passengers want and value, it’s hard to say what’s possible. But here is a way to find out.

Ideation and strategy. What is the art of the possible? Use your business strategy to identify improvement targets, but use ideation workshops and ecosystem contacts to reach beyond the mundane to the truly innovative.

Pilot and roadmap. Ideas don’t get off the drawing board without a plan for governance, structure, risks, and an analysis of capabilities. But don’t let planning slow you down: This is the iterative “fail fast” part of the process.

Capture, store, and process. The information flow of the IoT relies on a data architecture that is robust enough to handle it. Breaking down silos and building the capacity to secure the necessary data, store it in an accessible way, and analyze it are all complementary parts of the IoT evolution.

Scale and deploy. What objects are doing what jobs? What functions are most critical? Every step you take will inform and improve the next one, so instead of waiting to perfect a grand plan, scale and pivot as you go.

Operate. Now that it’s here, how can you make it really hum? Measure not only the way the solution performs, but also the way it contributes to business metrics. Then improve it, and measure again.

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Dare to imagine

The potential of IoT is more than theoretical and while a few of these ideas might seem a bit far-fetched, some of them are already happening. The enabling technologies are well within your grasp and there is real business value to be gained from connecting people, parts, and processes.

The challenge now is not merely to imagine what IoT can do, but to make hard decisions about what your airline wants it to do, and what investments it will take to get there.

Download the full report to learn more. 

Go ahead, think big, start small, and scale fast.

How can IoT increase your airline’s operational effiencies? Traveling at the speed of knowledge, part one explores the IoT’s potential to drive unit cost improvements.

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