In industries like travel and hospitality, personalized experiences are the draw that keeps customers coming back for more. To create stickier relationships with customers, more businesses are turning to programs like IAG Loyalty. Part of the International Airlines Group (IAG), the company operates the loyalty programs for IAG’s airlines—British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus—and 125+ global brand partners in travel, retail, and financial services.
As IAG Loyalty adds to its family of brand partners and brings new products to market, sustainable growth remains a top priority. “Our business has an ever-growing need to deliver new products and features more quickly,” says Colin Lewis, Head of Core Engineering at IAG Loyalty. “We don’t want the growth of our team and complexity of our operations to grow linearly with the growth of our business. We need to do more without scaling our operating costs.”
To deliver on those goals, IAG Loyalty underwent a major digital transformation—including migrating to the public cloud and adopting a DevSecOps approach to operations.
Prior to IAG Loyalty’s efforts to modernize their operations, the company was challenged with long detection and resolution times for customer-impacting incidents. The existing triage and communication process was inefficient and ineffective. “People worked in silos, making it difficult to get teams together when there was a problem,” says James Headon, Cloud Operations Manager. “And when they came together, a lot of time was wasted. This slowed down the ability to resolve issues and get back to what they should actually be doing.”
The team wanted a solution that was flexible and scalable. “In the DevSecOps space, technology moves very fast,” Colin Lewis says. “We need solutions that can be easily integrated into our environment—and for that integration to be simple, so we can flex and adapt as needed.”
IAG Loyalty determined that they needed one platform to manage their digital operations. The team piloted PagerDuty with their identity management service—integrating monitoring data into the platform, setting up on-call schedules, and defining escalation policies.
After initial success, best practices were documented and PagerDuty was rolled out across all products. A consistent solution for incident management gave the platform team visibility across engineering, while allowing product teams to manage the technology locally without interference. Broad adoption also helped with collaboration and sped up incident response. With all of the data in one place, the right responders were mobilized immediately to focus on resolving the highest-urgency issues.
To drive even faster resolution and lower operating costs, the team turned to PagerDuty AIOps and its machine learning capabilities. Using AIOps, they reduced noise on certain services by 70%. PagerDuty also surfaces actionable insights and provides required context from past incidents to determine probable root cause and drive to resolution faster. “There’s no shortage of data these days,” Colin Lewis says. “But gathering insights across the top of that data is very hard. AI helps with that.”
With scale in mind, automation is a top priority for the team. PagerDuty was configured with code using Terraform to speed up onboarding of new teams. This ensures quality best practices and codifies service ownership at scale. “Where we are today with PagerDuty is a noticeably more automated way of working,” says James Headon. “We’ve reduced the amount of time to get people up and running, and the amount of time to resolve mission-critical issues. Now, we’re able to deliver value faster.”
“Now, we’re able to deliver value faster.”
– James Headon, Cloud Operations Manager at IAG Loyalty
At IAG Loyalty, PagerDuty isn’t just for engineers. When there’s an issue putting the business at risk, the leadership team must immediately understand what’s happening and what’s being done to resolve the problem. “We operate a decentralized model, where visibility is absolutely paramount,” says Colin Lewis.
Private Status Pages provides key stakeholders a customized view and proactively communicates the status of key services. During customer-impacting issues, it keeps teams aligned on a single source of truth and protects product teams from distractions. “The PagerDuty Operations Cloud gives us visibility of what’s happening across the estate—it shows us how we’re operating as a platform,” Colin Lewis says.
IAG Loyalty has built an automation framework that allows engineers to build products and services in a fast and safe way. This has laid the foundation for sustainable growth as a company.
An essential part of the framework is the PagerDuty Operations Cloud, which has helped:
“The services we provide are absolutely critical to IAG and the airlines. PagerDuty Operations Cloud helps us operate in a way that is reliable and can be trusted,” says Colin Lewis.
“The PagerDuty Operations Cloud shows us how we’re operating as a platform.”
– Colin Lewis, Head of Core Engineering at IAG Loyalty
The team is focused on continuous improvement to move the business forward faster. One priority is using PagerDuty Status Pages externally to field feature requests and proactively communicate with IAG Loyalty’s airline and brand partners. “Part of my team manages communications to partners,” Colin Lewis says. “To be able to write that update once and broadcast it, or get partners to come and collect it from the status page will take a lot of legwork out of that.”