[Re: Systems down at BA, 22 November]
Over the last five years, many companies have misunderstood the transformational element of “digital transformation”, thinking it’s simply the “patching up” of customer experience rather than reforming IT platforms for a new generation.
British Airways is the latest example. On 30th October, the airline’s customers were informed that they “may be impacted by our upcoming improvements” set to last for 4 days, finishing on 17th November. Nine days later, customers were still unable to use British Airways to book, change or log in to the Executive Club. Digital transformation is not a project, it’s the entire business. It’s not a technical person’s responsibility, it’s the responsibility of the entire C-suite.
This short-cutting, obvious in many companies who have failed to prioritise the transformation of the actual infrastructure that powers the digital customer experience, is masking the long-term change that must happen. British Airways is a good example of where the digital product experience is always inconsistent, the apps bounce to websites. Sometimes you see the new branding, sometimes you don’t.
It’s not too late for them but businesses like this need to truly understand their customer pain points and assemble cross-functional teams who can work with agility to fix the customer experience for the long term. This can be iterated so that the experience gets better over time rather than significant outages and inconsistent experiences.