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Joe Locandro of Cathay Pacific Airways: Soaring higher with technology

Nurdianah Md Nur | Oct. 7, 2014
We find out how Cathay Pacific Airways is utilising technology to innovate as well as improve operational efficiency and customer experience.

Social media, mobile and big data (and also big data analytics) are key trends that companies need to embrace. The advent of these technologies allows the customer relationship to be more granular and personalised. Internal marketing departments will be able to more effectively target offers and promotions that are seen as valued and more relevant by the customer. We are also adopting strategies of big data to assist us in analysing the large amount of aircraft operational data for engineering and fuel efficiency, while social media data are analysed for sales and marketing and tailored offers.

At Cathay Pacific, we have embraced social media and mobile technology for our customers and employees. We understand that social media allows companies like ourselves to feel the pulse of customer experiences and trends in near real time. It is also a valuable tool to engage with customers seeking comments and ideas. For our cabin crew, we have a dedicated social media site for them to connect with each other and to socially engage. This has been particularly useful for a large mobile workforce that is not office based.

What is next for your IT department?
We are on a continuous journey to ensure that the airline invests in the appropriate technology to maintain its reputation as one of the best airlines in the world. We are thus working on further collaborating with the business to renew key core systems in the customer support functions, operational functions and back office functions. We will continue to invest in new technology and infrastructure that will give us cost effective and scalable services to rapidly meet business and market demands as we continue to grow globally. We will also continue to work with the business to develop new and innovative uses of technology for competitive advantage. Besides that, we will continue investing in our IT people and talent pipelines as well as local talent with IT graduate programmes.

Let's move on to know more about you. How did you get into the technology field and what kept you in IT?
In my formative career years, I moved from business to the marketing IT department as a business/project analyst. Although my formal education is in business and economics, I was readily able to adapt to marketing systems and became a marketing MIS manager at an early age. I was very fortunate to gain more experience in technology from various companies globally. 

As the technology industry has been very fast moving and dynamic, it has been a very rewarding career as technology continues to be more embedded in everything we do. The rate of technology change in this century is exponential compared to last century. Technology allows business to make paradigm shifts in the way they operate and run. It has also given opportunities to new businesses such as Uber, Amazon, Facebook, Alibaba etc, all of which rival traditional industries that have been around for decades.  

 

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