Why a 35-year-old travel IT company decided to slash its technical debt – TechCrunch

Amadeus migration to the public cloud will take 3 years

public travel systems The provider Amadeus opened its doors in 1987 when four airlines wanted to offer a centralized reservation system. Today, the company facilitates reservation and inventory management for 216 airlines, as well as hotels, trains, airports, online travel companies, and even corporations. In short, it covers just about every conceivable aspect of travel IT.

As an IT-intensive business grows, its computing, software, and systems requirements change as well. For Amadeus, those pressures came to a head in 2015, when the company realized it needed to move beyond the private cloud it had been running. Adopting a public cloud infrastructure would give the organization greater flexibility to react to customer needs much faster than it could with an on-premises technology stack.

The challenge that Amadeus faces is not uncommon: like many companies of its size, it has to pay enormous technical debt, which is the idea that as certain technological decisions are made, they end up driving modernization and the “interest” accumulates, making it difficult to modernize. Eventually, competition and broader market forces put pressure on you to pay off that debt and interest by upgrading your entire code base, infrastructure, and even the way you produce software. .

It’s not just giants like Amadeus that are facing tech debt. Even much smaller companies have to deal with technical debt eventually and accept massive technological changes.

To learn why and how Amadeus has initiated such a dramatic change, we spoke with Fredrik Odeen, Corporate Strategy and Public Cloud Transformation Leader, and Sébastien Pellisé, Deputy Public Cloud Transformation Leader. Odeen and Pellisé also explained how the company implemented the new processes and technology, what the changes mean for the future of the company, and what smaller companies can learn from Amadeus.

Why Tech Debt Piles Up

When you launch a business and make key decisions about your technology stack, you probably don’t stop to think about the impact those decisions could have on your business in the future. You want the business to work, and most early-stage companies can’t afford to consider their tech stack that carefully.

Over the years, Amadeus began to realize that there was a downside to operating its own infrastructure. Their homegrown cloud stack was causing a huge delay in their ability to update their software and systems, react to customer needs, and experiment. The company knew that to improve its customer experience, it had to update its systems and how it produced software, or eventually these issues would catch on.

The pandemic drove that point home. As the industry suffered major travel cutbacks, finding ways to operate more efficiently and react faster to customer needs became even more crucial: The company needed to find a way to save money as revenue grew. they ran out

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