Delta's Latest Struggles Prove the Need for Digital Infrastructure Management
I woke up at 3:30 am on Monday morning for my 6 a.m. flight out of Boston -- and man, I was glad my flight wasn’t on Delta. And it appears the week hasn’t gotten much better for them.
The technical issues that impacted Delta this week brought the business to a grinding halt. What was once described as a power outage has now been described by Delta as an issue caused when ”some critical systems and network equipment didn’t switch over to Delta’s backup systems.”
This failed backup has cost the organization in more ways than one. Delta has cancelled almost 1,700 flights since Monday and is now offering travel vouchers to customers who were delayed more than three hours. And who knows how much the business will lose in the future when travelers choose other airlines for their flight arrangements.
Delta isn’t the first airline to experience these issues -- and they most likely won’t be the last. But the continual issues airlines face highlights crucial issues on the back-end of their systems.
Our own Matt Goldberg, Vice President of Global Solutions, covered this issue when he spoke with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The airline industry is very much about customer-facing technology, because it’s very competitive,” Goldberg said. “It’s great to have flashy apps and a flashy website, but if you can’t board a plane, it’s a problem.”
Matt’s analysis is spot-on. The digital infrastructure is under more pressure to perform than ever before. It needs to scale to support demand, working every time, all the time, or the business risks losing customers, confidence, and revenue. If the basics of your business won’t function as expected, customers won’t be very understanding. How many of us have decided not to make a purchase because a web page won’t load fast enough -- or worse, gone to a competitor’s site?
Mergers, lack of investment, and growing complexity all add to the issues organizations face when it comes to managing their digital infrastructures. Delta’s particular issue also highlights the need for a well-thought out backup plan. "The large global brands we work with all have very large redundancy," Matt told The Philadelphia Inquirer. "Whether a power issue, internet issue, router issue, or whatever the particular issue, they have the capability to fall over to another site not geographically located in the same area."
In the end, organizations that manage their digital infrastructure with a platform that provides end-to-end visibility are at a distinct advantage.
The value in the platform lies in being able to determine the “who, what, when, where and why” of any infrastructure, application or service delivery issue. Performance metrics tell a user what happened where, and logs indicate why it happened. Network flows help identify to whom it happened or who may have caused it, and end-user experience data reveals how they experienced it.
For users, this means that instead of wading through separate data sets and then trying to connect the dots, they have instant access to all the data and intelligent assessments of what it means – right at their fingertips in a single dashboard or report. They can then act accordingly, heading off issues before they’re being covered in every news outlet across the U.S.