Gatwick Airport flying into the Cloud

Airplane in cloud above Gatwick

More efficient processes

London-Gatwick, the second largest airport in the UK with around 35 million passengers passing through each year, has been able to retire some 200 servers by moving applications and processes to the cloud, coupled with a BYOD policy.

Gatwick is now using around 12 cloud services, all managed by another service to provide a single sign-on for users.

The immediate benefits for Gatwick are twofold, first a reduction in costs by moving services to the cloud, but also creating more efficient business processes, for example sharing files via a cloud storage service rather than through the traditional method of FTP. To support this shift from on-premise to cloud services, Gatwick has also upgraded their bandwidth, from a couple of 100Mbps lines to two 1Gbps fibre-optic lines.

Changing Practices

The challenge to all cloud service users, but particularly large enterprises who are dealing with vast amounts of personal consumer data, is that of security and due diligence – the main concern being that the cloud services chosen adhere to EU data security laws.

Related to this is the shift to BYOD, enabling far more expansive (and cheaper) use of cloud services by employees, in particular communication services – not just email, but also apps like Yammer in order to communicate with each other easily, particularly during the London Olympics last summer.

Targeted efficiency

Whilst it is unlikely that Gatwick would be able to move 100% of their processes into the cloud, for example the vast amount of security video that is captured every day; by targetting the processes that can get the most benefit from moving to a cloud model in the immediate future, enterprises like Gatwick airport can benefit from cost savings and efficiency gains.

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