The benefits of airplane connectivity are not confined onboard. The operation center benefits from the connectivity, decreasing the time it takes to perform several operations, from database loading to simply knowing the details of the current airplane configuration.
The connectivity to the internet is however a two-way pipeline and it carries security risks with it. Modern onboard servers allow the operator to firewall the airplane from external risks, diminishing the downsides of the onboard use of the internet.
As the airplane becomes a more and more integrated piece of the operator network, additional functions will be added to make the airplane a flying node in the overall customer operations.