One day when I was retrieving my email, I saw this message from our CEO which made me happy and sad.
"In these challenging economic times, the way we do business has to evolve and follow the changing times. With the advent of technology and inseparability of the influence of technology over businesses, we need to equip ourselves with first the infrastructure and next, the mindset. Times have changed from those days where technology is a tool for the business. Now, to ensure that the company is ahead of its competitors, we need to be very innovative and to use technology to achieve this. It is no longer a tool and the department has to be very commercial and business driven to ensure company leverages on technology effectively. In line with these rapid demands on us and what we need to become, Information Technology has to evolve from just a supporting role to a more comprehensive outlook with a more defined role in the business environment we are in. With that, I am pleased to now announce that Information Technology will now be known as Innovation, Commercial and Technology (ICT). This department has to evolve in order to sustain the needs of the business. No longer can AirAsia be confined by the conventional operational functions of Information Technology. This is a challenge not only to the newly named, Innovation, Commercial and Technology department but also to the entire group of the challenges that are awaiting us ahead. This is more than just a name change, this is a challenge to all to support this new endeavour and initiative in order for us to move ahead as one.
We need to incorporate more technological advancement and innovation in what we do in our day to day basis and make this among the core competencies for each department to embrace and utilize in getting us to where we want to be."
I remember 2 years ago when I was an engineer, I have highlighted the urgency for technology to implement fully automated IT system to the organization, we have tried very hard that time and the campaign failed due to lack of support and lack of integration within departments.
The dream was to create a strategy for mass growing fleet which can potentially caused communication breakdown due to manpower constraints because it will be a totally different ball game once we reached fleet of more than 60 aircraft and there are 225 aircraft in order. A good example for fully automated system is Cathay Pacific where they integrate Ultramain and other IT systems to create fully functional data communications to remove the "middleman" for transferring data from one system to another. And I know that Singapore Airlines have been trying very hard to learn the infrastructure from Cathay Pacific.
Imagine how many head counts can be reduced if we work towards the possibility to transfer passenger information from flight booking down to check in, and down to the pilot that calculate weight information during pre-flight, and combining passenger and flight information, data can be transferred automatically to the Engineering IT infrastructure and Flight Operations and costing automatically transferred to Finance for cost measurement and passenger load data transferred automatically to the revenue department. This will be the future ahead for AirAsia and I think we need to continue pursuing our dream. Thanks for the encouraging note, I hope we are not too late.