Travo Summit 2016: Defeat tech rust with digital skills, says Tigerbay

Travo Summit 2016: Defeat tech rust with digital skills, says Tigerbay

Adoption and not developing or delivering new technology is the bigger challenge in travel, according to software specialist Tigerbay.

Speaking in a workshop at this week’s Travolution Summit, Carl Morgan, chief executive of the Cardiff-based firm the biggest change in 2016 will be people, not technology.

“Having worked with over 100 tour operators over 15 years the challenge has never been writing or delivering technology,” Morgan said.

“The challenge has always been getting a business to accept technology, to understand, accept quickly and use the technology in the best possible way.”

David Jones, former Tigerbay chairman current Welsh Assembly ICT Sector Panel member, gave the example of driverless cars and companies like rideshare Lyft to illustrate disruption.

He said the emerging technologies and sharing economy will drive down vehicle and driving licence ownership in urban areas in which cars take up 30% of the space.

However, he said although there are 250 million cars in the US, 240 million are not being used at any one time – an occupancy rate of 4%.

“With the scale of fundraising companies like Lyft are not toy companies any more. They have raised $1 billion in 2016 alone, with that firepower they can cause some damage.

“Sixty five percent of primary school children today will end up working in jobs that did not exist 20 years ago,” said Morgan.

“In less than 10 years’ time private car ownership is going to all but disappear in major cities. What are you going to do to keep up with the impact of that sort of disruption we are seeing ahead of us.”

Technology today was described as “the new rust” for companies as they battle to keep their systems up to date and relevant to new systems and innovation.

Morgan said technology was now increasingly threatening more blue and white collar jobs having automated much of the work previously done by humans in the agriculture and industrial sectors.

He said this raised the question of what roles in travel will be required in the future that we can’t even imagine requiring today.

“Sixty five percent of primary school children today will end up working in jobs that did not exist 20 years ago,” said Morgan.

“Travel companies employ predominantly travel people, they do not technology people. Should they today? Probably. Should they in five years’ time? Definitely.

“The pace is quickening. It becomes quite difficult to implement new technology when you have not done it for 20 years.”

Morgan said employees in the future will be required to know more about how what they do impacts on systems and technologies.

He said a lack of knowledge in this area makes it increasingly difficult and expensive for firms to implement even simple campaigns.

The modern employer needs people with “shallow expertise” in technology – enough to get by and add value, added Morgan.

“Travel companies employ predominantly travel people, they do not technology people. Should they today? Probably. Should they in five years’ time? Definitely.

“Where are we going to get travel technology people from? We need to wake up, as do other industries in the rest of the world.

“I employ people who will fit in. I like to have people who are both technical and know travel. It’s a difficult balance to recruit these people.”

However, Morgan said finding these sort of recruits will become easier as the younger generations are more tech savvy and enthusiastic about technology and devices.

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