Chief Information Technology Officer Rishma M. Khimji on the digital transformation journey delivering seamless passenger experiences to millions of travellers at one of America’s busiest airports

It’s been a busy couple of years for Rishma M. Khimji. The Chief Information Technology Officer has been overseeing a far-reaching digital transformation of Harry Reid International Airport (known as LAS). The commercial airport is by far the busiest in a system of five airports run by Clark County’s Department of Aviation. These serve Las Vegas and the wider region of Southern Nevada. Championing tech innovation while delivering a seamless passenger experience for millions of travellers is an inspiring tale of continuous improvement driven by teamwork.

Taking off on a digital transformation journey

Since taking up her role at LAS in May 2022, Rishma has been addressing technology gaps across the organisation, focusing on the project delivery cycle and implementing feedback loops to improve internal communications. “In our journey towards digital transformation, I strategically crafted a new organisational chart for our technology team, aptly named Information Systems (IS). I should note here that although we are a Clark Country department, our technology teams are independent as our needs and missions are quite different. The new organisational chart prompted a structural shift which empowered us to establish new business lines within IS, primarily focusing on two expansive teams: the Operational Team and the Project Management Office (PMO). Assigning proficient directors to these teams ensures a harmonised approach to day-to-day management and operational excellence, underpinned by a strategic vision of the airport.”

Charting the route to success

“Our major achievement during my time at LAS is that technology now has a seat at the table,” states Rishma. “We’re now able to help the other divisions map their business needs to what kind of technology solutions are available. And if technology solutions are not available in the market, then how do we develop those in-house?”

Rishama notes the IS division has shown the success of being service-oriented for the airport. “Cultivating a customer-centric ethos is fundamental to our operational philosophy at the airport. Every stakeholder, whether an internal user, airline partner, concessionaire, or vendor, embodies the essence of a customer in our ecosystem. However, our passengers hold a special significance as they are at the heart of our mission to deliver exceptional experiences.”

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