Could international travel expansion require new IT solutions?

Managing transport operations across multiple territories can be IT intensive, requiring companies to focus on updating the systems they use for these operations. A recent expansion project has brought the opportunity for revamped logistics, as the United States prepares for an international rail bridge that will link it to Mexico. Decisions like this may come with their own necessary tech considerations, as operators implement a scanning system for train cargo security.

USA Today reported on this newly announced development, which will update a previous line that dates back more than a century and could represent more economic activity between the two nations. This specific railway, the West Rail Bypass International Bridge, has been in the works for five years and was celebrated with a recent commencement event.

Because this involves meeting 21st century needs while following in the footsteps of an older project, managers may need to consider the new technology and data management capabilities available for handling this kind of system.

In an eWeek article from 2009 about evolving rail company mainframes, Union Pacific CIO Lynden Tennison discussed the process of updating the data processing strategy from the IBM mainframe previously used.

"When we brought the [mainframe] in here in the 1960s, a lot of the people [working on it now] came in with it," he said. "It's getting harder and harder to find the right people to work on it. It's a whole lot easier to find people skilled in new languages." Later, he added that adopting consistent IT and software among all employees "eliminates a ton of management headaches that typically come with distributed environments."

Building off of this idea, train company IT administrators should re-examine the ways they are commuting legacy applications to newer platforms. A lightweight, browser-friendly modernization technique will preserve important data while keeping it accessible for future upgrades.