IoT Transforming the Aviation Industry
By An interview with Joni Sundelin, SVP, Finavia
Building a Connected Ecosystem
Joni Sundelin has been serving as the Senior Vice President of Finavia since 2012. He is an active member of the Group Management Board, where his responsibilities vary from Airport Network Business Division, Corporate Sales & Marketing to Group Ground Handling Companies. In an exclusive interview, Sundelin outlines the scope of IoT in the industry and cites ways to turn those capabilities into business advantages.
Scope of IoT
The view about the evolution of IoT depends on the perspective of looking at it. When I look at it from my industry standpoint—the aviation industry—many of the things have been developing quite rapidly. The technology has transformed the way we manage our airports, the influx of aircrafts in general and of course all of the systems related to that. At the same time, I also opine that the implementation of IoT and its extension for the end users is lagging a bit behind.
Challenges in the Field of IoT
Most CIOs come across the challenge of adding intelligence into the IoT. For that, everyone is talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI), and of course, it’s one of the most vital elements. However, the concern is to utilize AI in proactively managing business operations and administrations effectively. More importantly, the IoT ecosystem is relatively new, and thereby, there is a struggle to feed the information at hand and utilize it in multi-stakeholder environments like airports. The key issue is to utilize the data to manage and collaborate with the ecosystem.
Many thought leaders are talking about IoT, but the problem is to efficiently implement the technical knowledge and transform the same into business innovations
A Strong Ecosystem
I think many of the companies in the ecosystem have plenty of data to utilize but nobody is really sharing it. To reap the advantage, we need to create an ecosystem where everyone collaborates, an ecosystem that directly works with the update-to-date data and passes on the understanding of what is happening. At Finavia, we are creating an ecosystem along those lines to run airport operations. An example would be an airport operation center, which manages not only data generated from an airport’s infrastructure but also the data generated by people in the airport. For instance, if an airline has to put an aircraft to the maintenance after landing and the next connecting flight or the rotation of the aircraft is disrupted, the ecosystem can pre-manage and get the right kind of resources and operations to resolve the issue. So, we utilize basic aviation operations related data in real-time and bring those data into use for analyzing the impact IoT is creating in a set of operations.
Whether from the IoT or the customer processes perspective, we have created innovative technologies. For example, to identify customers, we run facial recognition that manages the process from their arrival up until their departure. These technologies utilize tremendous amounts of location-based data, allowing us to analyze and manage operations optimally. These might seem basic in ways of operating, but we are focusing immensely on getting IoT and AI into commercial processes.
AI is obviously a vital factor, and it is being utilized in many ways at many places for process optimization, cutting cost, and boosting productivity. AI helps businesses to generate commercial revenues so that they can build business concept models based on these things. The second influencing factor is the impact of social media based on IoT. We should keep in mind that within the ecosystem everyone has information at hand. Therefore, while operating as a service company, businesses need to be capable of observing clients who have 90 percent information already at hand and function accordingly. Organizations need to strategically utilize and manage their data for customer service as well as efficient operations management.
A Piece of Advice
My advice would be more on the IoT related topics—innovate and manage it based on the business needs. At various conferences and events, many thought leaders are talking about IoT, but the problem is to efficiently implement the technical knowledge and transform the same into business innovations. We only talk about it, and I do not see too many things happening in many of the industries, especially in the service industry.