After a system meltdown of historic proportions this travel season, Southwest is still picking up the pieces. While airlines across the United States experienced weather-induced delays, the trouble at Southwest was uniquely its own – and it serves as a cautionary tale for businesses with systems that are creaking with age.

Quick – do a systems health check rundown. Do you check any of these boxes?

  • Outdated, legacy systems that haven’t been upgraded in years
  • Difficulty executing cross-system workflow to ensure business flow
  • No single source of data truth across your teams

The Southwest system failures in 2021, and again recently in 2022 are a sobering reminder of the importance of implementing software that can scale with a business as it grows. As companies expand, their systems and processes must evolve to accommodate the increased demand. Failing to do so can lead to costly disruptions, and a lot of customers left out in the cold (pardon the travel pun). 

One of the key advantages of software that can scale with a business is that it allows companies to avoid the costs and headaches of constantly having to replace or upgrade their systems. With scalable software, businesses can gradually add more capacity as needed, rather than having to overhaul their entire infrastructure all at once. This not only saves on costs but also reduces the risk of system failures and disruptions. 

Another important aspect of scalable software is its ability to handle unexpected spikes in demand. This is particularly important for businesses that operate in highly competitive or rapidly changing markets, as it allows them to respond quickly and effectively to changes in the environment. 

To ensure that your software systems can scale with your businesses, it is important to regularly review and update them. This includes conducting regular system audits to identify and fix any potential bottlenecks, as well as testing your systems to ensure they can handle increased loads. Additionally, you should also consider using cloud-based solutions and cloud-native technologies, which can provide additional scalability and flexibility. These technologies will allow your business to easily add or remove resources as needed and can help them avoid the costs and complexity of maintaining their infrastructure. 

Practice good system planning by leveraging the following framework:

Raise your technical debt consciousness

Identifying and acknowledging technical debt is critical to addressing it. Systems don’t collapse in a day. It takes years of build-up and bolt-ons before it becomes untenable. Manual intervention that causes delays and errors, information silos, and application handshake bottlenecks are just some early warning signals.

If you are not sure where to start or lack the in-house expertise, team up with a transformation partner. At Odessa, we like to start with an in-depth business discovery plan that involves key stakeholders like business process owners and end-users. This helps to explore gaps and inefficiencies in everyday processes. 

Re-evaluate your total cost of ownership

The path of least resistance might seem like the economic option, but in the long run, or in a time of crisis, the soft cost of ‘obsolete’ is immeasurable. Consider employee time spent addressing inefficiencies that result from manual steps, duplication, and remediation. Estimate IT intervention cost to triage outages, release patching, and execute customizations. It adds up quickly.

Odessa’s full-service SaaS solution is a one-stop solution that provides enterprise system management, maintenance, and monitoring – all with a transparent TCO.

Drive value from continuous improvement

As technology improves at breakneck speed, keeping your systems updated with the latest tech is a great strategic advantage. Regular enhancements enable more business agility, more innovative go-to-market, and a better customer experience.

This is why Odessa has not one or two, but four general availability releases each year. New features and functionality are routinely delivering value to customers and the leasing industry at large. 

The Southwest system failure serves as a stark example of the consequences of failing to plan for a business's growth. By implementing software that can scale with a business, you can avoid costly disruptions and ensure they can effectively respond to changes in the market. Regularly reviewing and updating systems and utilizing cloud-based solutions can further bolster your company's ability to scale and adapt to changing demands. 

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