Learnings from Attending ACI-NA’s Annual Conference and Exhibition

By Tyler Subasic, US Airport Lead, Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Prior to working at AWS, Tyler led airport affairs for Amazon Air, where he increased network destinations by 500% and led selection criteria and negotiation for four nine-figure projects.




For the past few years, I’ve been fortunate to attend Airports Council International-North America’s (ACI-NA) Annual Conference and Exhibition. These conferences attract airport leaders and solution providers from across the globe, initiating transformational changes and presenting cutting edge technologies.

While much progress is being made, it’s clear from my time at the 2023 Annual Conference that the collective participants want to move faster. Conference participants – which include airport CIOs, CTOs, and other leaders – frequently face headwinds from three topics: procurement, staffing, and risk tolerance. These common challenges are sometimes accepted as the nature of doing business.

The following three sections focus on ideas to improve common organizational roadblocks that can enable faster technology adoption and organizational advancements.

Reducing the Administrative Burden on Staff

Staffing shortages are common challenges, especially in government. Cloud-based technology can alleviate some staffing challenges by offloading repetitive and often mundane tasks. This creates more time for staff to tackle differentiated problems.

The Amazon retail platform uses cloud technology and automation extensively to improve efficiency and operate at scale. Amazon has been using artificial intelligence (AI) for over 25 years for items like product placement, package sortation, and delivery routing. Amazon’s technology infrastructure scales to meet the volume of customer demand, enabling staff to focus on business differentiators like invention and customer obsession.

AWS Managed Services (AMS) can provide similar benefits to organizations migrating to the cloud. AMS offers complete services to provision, run, and support your infrastructure. Common tasks like change requests, monitoring, patch management, and cost optimization are automated. This reduces the training and staffing worries that many organizations have about migrating to the cloud. Because AWS is pay as you go, organizations can use AMS for a few months while training staff or longer.

In addition to AMS, there are other managed service providers like eCloud Managed Solutions, a woman owned small business. eCloud Managed Solutions provides cloud and data center managed services and has shown success at Punta Gorda Airport.

Airports are common users of managed services, whether it be parking, janitorial, or legacy on-premise IT management. Similarly, airports should look at automated cloud management for improved efficiency and security. Most importantly, managed cloud services can free up IT staff, increasing focus on strategic airport initiatives.

Simplifying Procurement

E-commerce has changed the way we buy. Consumers can now shop from the comfort of their own homes, and have items delivered to their door. This convenience has transformed customer expectations and drastically changed the retail landscape.

Meanwhile, most procurement rules and regulations stem from a time when contracts were based on time and materials. As software solutions have proliferated, the procurement process has mostly stayed the same.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace is an e-commerce like experience for software solutions. AWS Marketplace is a digital store that offers thousands of software listings from independent software vendors (ISVs). These listings make it easy to find, try, and buy software solutions. Organizations can compare solutions, read reviews, and quickly deploy software with just a few clicks. Cooperative purchasing contracts, such as Omnia Partners, are also available via AWS Marketplace.

Six U.S. airports, including large hub airports, have used AWS Marketplace today. This convenience saves airports time and money, and make it easier to find, trial, and purchase the software they need.

Risk Tolerance

Quick decision making is crucial to ensure effective resource allocation and prompt response to changing needs. By fostering a culture and toolset that enable prompt decision-making, organizations can streamline their operations and enhance their ability to meet public expectations.

Amazon’s decision-making philosophy can be summarized as one-way and two-way door decisions. This philosophy is derived from an analogy originally coined by Jeff Bezos. The one-way door refers to a decision where, once made, there is no going back. It is a decision that will have long-term implications and requires careful thinking.  The two-way door decision, on the other hand, refers to a decision that can easily be reversed or changed at a later date. Two-way door decisions should be made quickly to prioritize an organization’s valuable resources.

AWS enables two-way door decisions for organizations to experiment and innovate with IT infrastructure. Cloud services allow organizations to quickly build, test, and securely deploy new applications and services, without having to invest in expensive infrastructure. Similarly, AWS Marketplace allows organizations to trial a software solution the same day. Organizations can quickly try a new idea and see which ones add value, without having to commit to long-term contracts or spend a lot of money upfront.

If you’re interested in learning more about AWS Marketplace, AWS Managed Services, AWS Artificial Intelligence, please contact awsairports@amazon.com.









This article was provided by a third party and, as such, the views expressed therein and/or presented are their own and may not represent or reflect the views of Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), its management, Board, or members. Readers should not act on the basis of any information contained in the blog without referring to applicable laws and regulations and/or without appropriate professional advice.