Michael Ibbitson has been CIO of Gatwick Airport for less than two years but he has already won backing from the board for a project to move its IT infrastructure in the cloud, eliminate on-site datacentres and hundreds of unnecessary applications, and to refocus IT effort on making life easier for passengers.
The Airport is predicting huge savings as it stops providing employees with BlackBerry devices, and instead encourages staff to use their own smartphones and tablets.
Ibbitson, who prepared for his new job by watching every episode of the BBC’s Inside Gatwick series, is a veteran of airport IT, having worked in airports in Abu Dhabi, Mumbai and Doha.
Gatwick’s board had some initial revelations when Ibbitson presented his modernisation strategy to the board, he says. But they changed their minds once they saw what the cloud could do.
“By the next board meeting every executive was using it for their board papers,” says Ibbitson. “They really got the idea and the concept.”
Between now and the end of the decade, Gatwick plans to simplify its aging IT infrastructure by moving as many services as possible into the cloud.