There is a good chance you have heard the term ‘cloud computing’ which has been trending for quite a few years now. Cloud computing is seen as the solution for the implementation of new business models to navigate dynamic ecosystems enabling flexibility and access to innovation. It holds significant promise in enhancing business agility, operational flexibility, and access to innovation, but what about in the context of airports?
In this blog, we explore how airports can take advantage of cloud computing to improve efficiency, optimize resources, and drive innovation in the aviation industry. Let us start by taking a closer look at the definition of cloud computing and how it can act as a catalyst for transformation.
Understanding cloud computing and its significance
In a nutshell, cloud computing is a way to store and manage data via the internet rather than local servers . Cloud computing saves you from having to maintain any physical infrastructure – instead, all one needs to do is rent access to applications, databases, computing power, and storage from a selected provider . Embracing cloud technology and innovation is no longer a luxury for airports. It has become a necessity to keep pace with the rapidly evolving trends in the smart passenger journey experience globally.
Benefits on how airports can leverage cloud computing
As airports aim to enhance their overall performance and meet evolving passenger expectations, cloud computing can be a huge investment. By migrating their systems and processes to the cloud, airports can experience a range of benefits.
1 – Operational efficiency
From a resource management perspective, cloud-based solutions enable airports to centralize their systems and applications, leading to streamlined operations. More specifically, by consolidating various processes such as passenger check-in, baggage handling, and security screening, cloud computing eliminates data silos, providing real-time monitoring and analytics. Given that airports operate in dynamic and competitive environments, the ability to quickly adapt and respond to situations is critical. Cloud-based solutions allow airports to scale their infrastructure and services rapidly, allowing them to meet increasing demands during peak travel seasons or unexpected disruption . Furthermore, with cloud-based solutions, airports gain the ability to scale up (or down) their technology resources based on immediate requirements.
2 – Cost reduction
Since traditional IT infrastructure often requires significant upfront investments in hardware, software, and maintenance, airports can reduce their capital expenses and move to a pay-as-you-go model . By doing so, airports only pay for the resources they use, eliminating the need for costly equipment upgrades and minimizing operational costs. Another added benefit is that cloud computing eliminates the need for individual applications to be installed and managed on every device, reducing licensing expenses and easing software updates and maintenance.
3 – Innovation and scalability
With emerging technologies such as AI (artificial intelligence), machine learning, and big data analytics transforming nearly all industries, including aviation, airports can explore and adapt without the need for local installations or infrastructure. These technologies can be leveraged to enhance airport operations by optimizing resource allocation, predicting passenger flows, and improving security management. Cloud-based platforms also offer broad marketplace options, enabling airports to integrate and customize applications tailored to their needs. Furthermore, whether its expanding server capacity during peak hours or reducing resources during off-peak periods, cloud-based systems allow airports to be agile and responsive to changing demands.
4 – Collaboration and partnerships
Cloud computing enables real-time data sharing and collaboration, facilitating better decision-making across airport departments and stakeholders. This is especially advantageous for supply chain integration as these departments can leverage accurate and up-to-date information, while making informed decisions regarding resource allocation, maintenance schedules, and flight plans. Thus, departments see optimized operations, reduced delays, and improved passenger experience.
Cloud computing can also provide ease of access to smart contracts at massive scale . The use of blockchain on cloud platforms can help in automating centralized processes with vendors and partners, ensuring transparency and efficiency.
5 – Security and compliance
Airports and their tenants oversee sensitive and confidential data, including passenger information and security protocols. Protecting these information and technology assets is becoming more complex and critical each day . Cloud computing providers invest heavily in state-of-the-art security measures, ensuring data protection and compliance with industry regulations. By adopting cloud-based security solutions, airports are in a stronger position to leverage advanced encryption technologies and firewalls, augmenting their existing security infrastructure. Cloud-based systems also enhance disaster recovery capabilities, reducing the potential impact of data loss or system failures.
6 – Sustainable practices
When it comes to sustainability, airports have a fantastic opportunity to adopt sustainable practices. Powerful cloud technologies can make a significant contribution in this regard through the implementation of green computing strategies. By deploying cloud-based infrastructure, airports can optimize energy usage and reduce their carbon footprint. For example, servers running in the cloud are typically more energy-efficient than traditional data centers, resulting in lower energy consumption and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. These sustainable practices align with global environmental initiatives and demonstrate an airport’s commitment to minimizing its environmental impact. To learn more on airport environmental sustainability, we recommend reading IATA’s November 2022 study which addresses why sustainability should be an integral part of airport planning and the investments required to become a ‘green airport.’
7 – Capacity building and skills development
In this new digital age, skill development and continuous learning are essential for airports to keep pace with rapidly evolving technologies. By adopting cloud technologies, airports can foster a culture of training and capacity building among their staff. Cloud-based platforms provide opportunities for teams to learn and develop new skills while navigating the digital transformation journey. For example, Winnipeg Airport’s adoption of cloud-based technologies and solutions allows them to transform their I.T. backbone, enabling employees to enhance their knowledge and adapt to emerging trends in airport management. The continuous learning not only improves operational efficiency but empowers their teams with the best tools available.
8 – Customized passenger experience
A personalized and seamless travel experience goes a long way. For airports to meet the expectations of modern-day passengers, cloud-based applications offer personalized services tailored to individual preferences. With cloud-based solutions, airports can collect and analyze vast amounts of data, enabling them to gain valuable insights into passenger behaviors, preferences, and needs. As a result, airports can differentiate themselves in a competitive market and foster increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Embross’ multi-architecture cloud-computing options
As airports serve diverse needs, it is critical for them to have flexible solutions that can adapt to their specific requirements. Embross offers a range of possibilities to meet the need of different airports. With several architectures to choose from, Embross ensures centralized administration and efficient management.
Odyssey CUPPS – distributed hybrid cloud
Embross’ Odyssey CUPPS solution incorporates the advantages of both cloud and on-premise hosting. In this architecture, the configuration server functionality is hosted in the cloud, allowing for easy distribution of updates to on-premise micro-servers. This ensures that airports can leverage the benefits of cloud technology while retaining control over critical components of their infrastructure. This enhances flexibility and scalability, making it an ideal choice for airports with varying needs across various locations.
Odyssey CUPPS full cloud DaaS architecture
For airports looking for a fully cloud-based solution, Embross provides a DaaS (Desktop as a Service) architecture. This architecture is built on a VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) and DaaS infrastructure, providing a secure and robust environment. It offers the highest level of flexibility, as access to the system can be granted from any device with an internet connection.
A promising pathway for airports
By leveraging sustainable practices, airports can reduce their environmental impact and contribute to global environmental goals. Cloud technologies offer opportunities for capacity building and skills development among airport staff, ensuring they possess the knowledge needed to navigate the digital transformation journey successfully. Additionally, cloud-based applications enable airports to deliver personalized services, enhancing the passenger experience and increasing satisfaction. Airports can benefit from cloud computing by embracing these advantages and positioning themselves for future growth and competitiveness in the global arena.
Why should airports settle for a one-size-fits-all solution when Embross offers cloud-based solutions for their unique needs? Partner with Embross and revolutionize your airport operations today: firstname.lastname@example.org
References: https://airlines.iata.org/2012/03/31/heads-clouds  https://www.future-processing.com/blog/a-brief-guide-to-cloud-computing/  https://www.oliverwymanforum.com/mobility/2023/jun/airport-evolution-travel-trends-by-2050.html.html  https://fastercapital.com/startup-topic/Benefits-of-Cloud-Computing.html  https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/introducing-enterprise-smart-contracts/  https://www.aviationpros.com/aviation-security/article/21142403/data-security-and-privacy-at-commercial-airports
Omar Abbasi, Marketing Manager at Embross