"The last time I spoke to Alfredo C. Tan, Chief Digital & Innovation Officer at WestJet, and Industry Professor at McMaster University, he was a fledgling WestJetter with grand plans and aspirations to bring this airline into the new digital world. He knew, as someone whose career resided primarily in technology, this move would involve endeavouring to move a few boulders uphill.
The art of transforming a legacy-laden service industry has its own challenges. Compound this with the heightened reputation sensitivities as the airline industry remains susceptible to the blowbacks from guest experiences. Creating new experiences that strive to keep up with intensifying customer expectations will impact both the operational and cultural organization. This is colliding with the speed of innovation as data explosion through IoT emerges, alongside the clear vulnerabilities inherent in data hacks, breaches, and data misuse. All the while, the consumer becomes much more knowledgeable about these impacts on their individual freedoms. I reconnected with Alfredo to address the state of the nation and his views on these imminent impacts to WestJet and the market at large."
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