A 100 percent cloud strategy, global IT teams and internal know-how help TUI through the corona crisis. For Chief Digital Officer (CDO) and IT boss Elke Reichart, legacy reduction, standardization and intensive training are the recipe for success.
“From one day to the next, our business was stopped when the borders closed and sales dropped to zero,” TUI-CDO Elke Reichart recalls the outbreak of the corona pandemic in Germany. Tourism was one of the sectors most affected by the COVID 19 crisis. TUI applied for a government loan in the billions. For the manager, this meant reducing costs and a baptism of fire for the previous IT strategy.
In February 2018, TUI started the “Agile Cloud Journey” to move its mixed IT infrastructure from distributed data centers across Europe to the cloud. From now on, new acquisitions such as SAP Success Factors should be cloud-ready. The goal was to operate 100 percent in the public cloud in five years. The group worked with Amazon Web Services (AWS). It was planned to first move the entire TUI-IT to the cloud using a “lift and shift” approach. Afterwards, the individual components should be optimized there and redundant items switched off.
That changed in 2019. In addition to technical consolidation, TUI started to reorganize its decentralized IT organization. With the “Domain Model”, local island solutions were to be replaced by global applications and rolled out across all markets. This made large parts of the old applications in the cloud superfluous.
“We save the effort of migrating the old regional applications to the cloud, but will simply shut down the data centers,” says Reichart. “We are already developing the new global applications cloud-native exclusively in the AWS cloud parallel to the existing landscape.” Accordingly, IT sorts out old redundant apps and only migrates those that are already fit for the future.
When it comes to new developments, Reichart attaches great importance to efficiency. “For infrastructure and standard applications such as backup, we use AWS tools wherever possible,” reports the CDO. “This allows us to concentrate fully on our core business and further develop tourism applications that differentiate us in the market.”