Rackspace Technology and IATA Pilot Next-Generation Airline Standards with DevOps and AWS

IATA logo

London, UK: Rackspace Technology™ (NASDAQ: RXT), a leading end-to-end multicloud technology solutions company, is supporting the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to achieve its goal of developing airline standards for the future.

IATA, the trade association for the world’s airlines, represents approximately 290 airlines and 82% of total air traffic, supporting with global standards for safety, security, efficiency and sustainability, but due to COVID-19, airlines on average have been working at 30% capacity in 2020 compared to 2019.  IATA decided to turn this slowdown into an opportunity to innovate its IT, starting with an architectural review of its environment with the support of Rackspace Technology.

The review revealed that legacy applications were hindering IATA’s digital transformation, but by enhancing the use of Amazon Web Services (AWS) including containers and serverless, it would achieve its goal to becoming leaner, greener and use meaningful data.

Through its relationship with Rackspace Technology, IATA has modernised its data management and is now delivering new forecasting applications that provide meaningful information to the whole industry with far less data than it had before. Rackspace Technology assured its compliance with data privacy regulations such as the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Rackspace Technology also implemented DevOps to save developers’ time with quality reviews and test processes when building software. IATA now aims to use self-service platforms and minimise custom software development. By integrating controls and applying automation, its developers will be able to trigger test automatically and put software into production at the click of a button.

IATA is planning to apply this level of automation across some of its back-office activities, such as financial services, as well as to implement contactless processes at the airports.

IATA also needed to lower its operational costs to accommodate the reduction in business operations. Rackspace Technology moved the company’s IT infrastructure to Rackspace Service Blocks, a flexible cloud services consumption model that enables IATA to select the services it needs at different stages in its cloud journey. IATA now also has access to CloudHealth for AWS, which provides complete visibility into all of its cloud platforms and can help with cost optimisation.

Pascal Buchner, Director of ITS and CTO at IATA, said: “We don’t expect aviation to run at the capacity we were prior to COVID-19 until at least 2025. The pandemic accelerated the need for us to work towards becoming leaner and meaner, in a way that can be learnt from and replicated by our members that are also struggling with the massive impact of COVID-19 on the aviation industry.

“This means taking advantage of a modern architecture and removing legacy technology and processes from the equation. Doing so at such scale, while aiming to reduce costs significantly, may sound difficult to achieve, but thanks to Rackspace Technology and AWS, we will be ready to operate as we want to by 2022.”

Amanda Sleight, SI Partner Lead of AWS EMEA commented: “The travel industry is one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, and pioneering organisations like the IATA have recognised the opportunity that AWS provides to reduce their infrastructure costs, and identify new ways to innovate.

“Working with Rackspace Technology, IATA will leverage AWS to transform and automate its operations, allowing developers to quickly test and deploy new ideas at scale. We’re excited to see IATA using the broadest array of cloud services so that it can easily adjust and continue to deliver exceptional security, and efficient services to its members."

Simon Bennett, Chief Technology Officer for EMEA at Rackspace Technology, added: “Our expertise in maximising the opportunities of cloud environments enables organisations, like IATA, to confidently embark on significant transformation projects that not only lay the foundations for a more efficient and innovative future, but to do so with resilience, and reducing costs which is critical in these more challenging times.”

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About Rackspace Technology

Rackspace Technology is a leading end-to-end multicloud technology services company. We can design, build and operate our customers’ cloud environments across all major technology platforms, irrespective of technology stack or deployment model. We partner with our customers at every stage of their cloud journey, enabling them to modernize applications, build new products and adopt innovative technologies.