Qantas takes flight with Cloud-based data management

Australian airline uses CA Clarity project and portfolio management (PPM) to reduce data gathering time, improve financial reporting

Qantas has reduced data gathering time, improved financial reporting and reduced its legacy IT infrastructure through the implementation of project management software as a service (SaaS).

Speaking at CA Expo 2012 in Sydney, Qantas IT financial controller, Larry Morrissey, told delegates that the airline rolled out CA’s Clarity project and portfolio management (PPM) on 27 October last year as part of an IT cost reduction exercise.

Qantas had a number of legacy IT tools that were not integrated which meant it was difficult to get an accurate view of company data without manual intervention.

“We had multiple sources of information and a lack of consistency in the data we were reporting to the business,” Morrissey said.

“We also had increasing support costs for the in-house [IT] legacy systems and an inability to adapt to change. What we were looking for was a tool that would overcome these challenges.”

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According to Morrissey, Clarity PPM reduced the amount of time Qantas staff needed to gather data for reports which means staff can focus on the wider business, and, continue to reduce costs as the airline industry copes with financial issues such as high fuel prices.

In the future, there are plans by Qantas IT to remove the use of paper-based financial reports altogether.

PPM is hosted in the Cloud as a Web-based application so staff can access the data via a laptop, smartphone or tablet wherever they are based.

Qantas IT value management office project lead, Olivia Bakarich, added that the flexibility of CA's licensing model, cost effectiveness and support gave it the green light.

“From a SaaS point of view, we had to assess the offering. We also have strict guidelines around where we can host our data.”

Qantas hosts its data in the US which meant the implementation had to go through stringent IT security checkpoints.

According to Bakrarich, the airline went live with PPM after only 12 weeks of implementation. Two- hundred live projects were migrated and 400 resources were shifted over to the system.

“If you are looking at SaaS, I would recommend that you spend some time looking at what your systems are costing you now,” she said.

“When you add up all the time that it takes to reduce outputs in this space, what you will find is there are a lot of effiencies that can be gained by consolidating IT systems.”

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

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