The use of cloud and mobile service has helped Gatwick Airport to keep pace with dramatically increasing passenger numbers, according to Gatwick CIO Michael Ibbitson.
Ibbitson explained at Okta's Identity and Mobility Forum that annual passenger numbers have increased from 34 million to 39.6 million since 2012.
To keep pace with this growth Gatwick has embraced cloud tools such as Box and Okta on mobile devices to enhance worker productivity.
Ibbitson cited the example of runway workers who can now snap photos on their phones of any issues they see and share them instantly via the cloud so that the relevant personnel can assess them and respond as required.
"It's one of the components of a set-up which allowed us to take the runway from 50 flights an hour to 55 flights an hour," he told V3.
Gatwick directly employs 2,800 to 3,000 staff. Only a third work in front of a computer, but Ibbitson explained that this does not mean that other workers, including runway staff and security, do not need access to IT systems.
Ibbitson confirmed to V3 that all staff, whether they use a computer or not, now have access to training in how to use the new tools to ensure everyone can help improve the airport's efficiency.
"We've rolled out to everybody, whether you're a computer user or not, information system basics. As part of that training programme you get trained on how to use Okta and the self-service password resets," he said.
Meanwhile, increased collaboration with other airlines will make Gatwick more efficient. "We want our partners to get involved in Okta or similar solutions so that we can federate our apps," he said.
"My predecessors thought that innovation was giving 200 people iPads with no services and letting them use Hotmail and Dropbox."
Todd McKinnon, chief executive of Okta, also spoke at the event, saying that mobile and cloud is the future of the technology industry, and describing its development as "IT 3.0".
"What really drives us at Okta is the profound belief that this generation of cloud technology, of mobile technology, gives us this opportunity to transform companies," he said.
The trade-off in any IT system has always been between user experience and security, according to McKinnon, but he believes that the risks are worth taking.
"I think the biggest risk the industry faces with cloud and mobile is not embracing it, not using it to transform our products, organisations, companies and missing the opportunity and profound impact it could have," he said.
McKinnon told V3 that security is extremely important and that Okta has solved the "username and password problem" by reducing password reuse and the possibility of brute force and phishing attacks.
"From the very beginning we have invested heavily in security, data encryption, data protection and data isolation," he said.
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