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Why did BA’s systems go down?

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It’s still not clear exactly what caused British Airways’ massive IT system failure that grounded all of the airline’s flights over the weekend. But some fingers are pointing to recent decisions to outsource some key IT functions.
As of yesterday afternoon, most of BA’s systems were back up and running, and flights were leaving Heathrow and Gatwick airports in the UK.
Alex Cruz, CEO of BA, told customers: “Many of our IT systems are back up today and my colleagues across the airline are working very hard to build back our flight programme and get as many of our customers as possible away on their travels.
“At Gatwick, we are running a near-full operation, though some flights may be subject to delay. At Heathrow, we plan to fly all our long-haul services – but the knock-on effects of yesterday’s disruption will lead to delays.
“That is also true for our short-haul operation, and there are some short-haul cancellations I know this has been a horrible time for customers.”
The IT failure was blamed for flights being cancelled, a situation that was exacerbated because the airline’s contact centre was badly affected by the outage as well.
BA’s IT systems are located in two data centres housing about 500 cabinets.
About one year ago, the airline decided to outsource some IT functions to Tata Consulting Services (TCS), making about 200 people in it application delivery team redundant. The move was expected to shave about 30% off IT operating costs.
Plans are also apparently underway to move more IT jobs offshore, affecting as many as 900 IT personnel.
The latest outage is not the first time this year BA has experienced IT issues. In April, its web site was offline for more than eight hours.