In brief

In brief

  • Digital-era technology, which began as a differentiating advantage years ago, is now expected from every business.
  • Aerospace and defense companies are embracing digital business models to improve revenue generation, efficiency and supply chain performance.
  • Accenture’s Technology Vision highlights five emerging trends that will have a decisive impact on the entire value chain.

Growth on the surface, turbulence below

With aerospace and defense companies continuing to contend with myriad challenges—from insurgent competitors and breakneck technological change to geopolitical instability—being relevant is more important than ever. Industry players are working hard to develop new and innovative ways to serve the needs of their customers, suppliers, partners and workforce at the “moments that matter.” They are operating in a post-digital world where technology is the fabric of reality. Aerospace and defense companies can use it to meet stakeholders wherever they are, at any moment in time—if they rise to the challenge. As they do, they are becoming more like living businesses, building and sustaining symbiotic ties with all their stakeholders.

Five technology trends reshaping aerospace and defense

This year’s Accenture Technology Vision highlights five emerging trends that will have a decisive impact on the entire value chain, from aircraft design to passenger or pilot experience. In each trend, digital saturation is raising expectations, abilities and risk across industries, as well as shaping how businesses are seeking new ways to differentiate themselves as the world moves toward the post-digital era.

  1. DARQ Power: Understanding the DNA of DARQ

    The next set of technologies to master include distributed ledger, artificial intelligence, extended reality and quantum computing. Individually, they’re powerful. In combination they’re game-changing.


of aerospace and defense companies are already experimenting with one or more DARQ technologies, expecting them to be key differentiators.

  1. Get to Know Me: Unlock unique customers and unique opportunities

    Aerospace and defense companies are beginning to build new products and services that shift to individualized experiences, creating a one-to-one relationship with each customer.


of aerospace and defense business leaders agree that understanding customers’ behaviors around technology will be critical for their organizations to increase customer loyalty.

  1. Human+ Worker: Change the workplace or hinder the workforce

    As each worker is empowered by their skillsets and knowledge plus a growing set of technology-enabled capabilities, the workforce is becoming “human+”


of aerospace and defense executives believe that their employees are more digitally mature than their organization, resulting in a workforce ‘waiting’ for the organization to catch up

  1. Secure US to Secure ME: Enterprises are not victims, they’re vectors

    As aerospace and defense companies’ complex ecosystems grow, they are simultaneously extending, and absorbing, their ecosystem partners’ risks and vulnerabilities.


of aerospace and defense business and IT executives report that they know their ecosystem partners are working diligently, like they are, to be compliant and build security resilience.

  1. MyMarkets: Meet customer’s needs at the speed of now

    New technologies mean every moment is a chance to deliver a new product or service designed not just for a specific customer, but for their needs at a specific point in time.


of aerospace and defense companies agree the integration of customization and real-time delivery is the next big wave of competitive advantage.

Ultimately, the key is pushing past the comfort zone to develop a new stronghold. The process of becoming a Living Business not only offers a way to retain or regain traction now, but also ensures readiness.

A new kind of Living Business

To become living businesses, aerospace and defense companies should transform based on five key pathways.

  1. Target core and disruptive growth initiatives

    This path involves identifying new value and business models by rethinking investments based on a better understanding of customers’ digital needs. With that understanding in place, it’s a matter of deciding whether a new idea or opportunity is worth it.


of aerospace and defense executives anticipate the combination of DARQ technologies will be transformational, or extensively transform their organization over the next three years.

  1. Design products and services as hyper-relevant platforms

    The second path is about innovating compelling new experiences and maximizing the relevance of a product, service, or experience to customers.


of aerospace and defense executives report that customer digital demographic information is expanding the number of ways their organization delivers products and services to customers.

  1. Build, prototype, and scale new and innovative experiences

    This third pathway to becoming a living business is all about developing the kinds of engagement channels that allow continuous evolution—and an organization that can prototype, deliver and scale the most innovative experiences at breakneck speed.


of aerospace and defense executives report that the pace of innovation in their organizations has accelerated over the past three years due to emerging technologies.

  1. Scale by plugging into a broader set of ecosystem partners

    Embracing this approach means formalizing new or established collaborative relationships with alliance partners. It requires employing technologies like cloud and blockchain to connect employees and partners with the customer data that matters, and to do so seamlessly and securely. With this collaboration comes a strong requirement for security and trust.


of aerospace and defense executives agree that to be truly resilient, organizations must rethink their approach to security in a way that defends not just themselves, but their ecosystems.

  1. Rewire the culture by infusing a mindset that keeps customers at the core

    Relevance demands constant reinvention. On an organizational level, that means changing the company's mindset to put customers front and center, then equipping employees with the skills they need to become responsive.


of aerospace and defense executives believe that at least 40% of their workforce will move into new roles requiring substantial reskilling due to the impact of technology.

About the research

Every year, Technology Vision and Accenture Research professionals identify five technology trends that will shape business over the next three years.

John Schmidt

Senior Managing Director – Aerospace & Defense, Global

Marc Gelle

Senior Managing Director – High Tech Industry, Europe


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