Already transforming the aerospace and defense industry, digital is generally defined as a set of technologies that include social, mobile, analytics, big data, and cloud. Accenture takes this technology-focused definition further, focusing on the impact that digital technologies have on this industry.

We take two perspectives. The first is digital customers, markets, and channels—understanding how digital can deliver a consistent, meaningful, and relevant customer experience across all channels, customer segments, and geographies. The second is the digital enterprise—demonstrating how digital can optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of internal operations and the delivery of products and services.

To evaluate the impact of digital in the industry, Accenture surveyed a global set of executives from several leading commercial aerospace companies to understand how they view, value, and are investing in digital.

68%

of aerospace and defense companies are comprehensively investing in digital technologies as part of their overall business strategy.

Our research shows that the industry is ready to take the next step. Digital is now starting to transform every aspect of the aerospace value chain, from the design of aircraft through to the onboard passenger experience.

97%

of aerospace and defense executives say they are willing to digitally reinvent their business and industry.

The executives we surveyed are increasingly making strategic investment decisions through a digital lens, looking across the asset lifecycle from supply chain and manufacturing, to the in-flight experience and aircraft service and support.

50%

of aerospace and defense executives believe their organization’s top priority is innovating new products and services.

Combined with the existing digital foundation in engineering, these developments mark an opportunity to optimize cost, service and revenue. Our recent Digital Thread survey shows that design, supply chain and MSO/ spares management are the core systems that companies are using to manage assets across the product lifecycle.

Driving the digital strategy

Digital’s promises of improved data accuracy, timeliness and insight underscore the potential benefits that survey respondents expect from implementing a digital strategy. Apart from the above outcomes, 89 percent of aerospace and defense executives acknowledge the criticality of driving the following three outcomes in parallel:

  1. New levels of efficiency
  2. New sources of growth
  3. Personalized experiences

Building digital capabilities

As aerospace companies begin to translate digital strategies into reality, they remain concerned about the maturity of digital technologies. From increased integration of design and manufacturing to new customer experience driven revenue streams, digital is driving fundamental changes in this industry.

90%

of aerospace and defense companies believe they have entered an era of technology advancement that is no longer marked by linear progression, but by an exponential rate of change.

Recommendations

Based on our research results, we suggest four key steps that aerospace companies should take to realize digital’s promise:

  1. Develop a comprehensive digital strategy across the organization
  2. Establish a digital governance framework to coordinate the development of digital assets and capabilities.
  3. Use digital to support the end to end product lifecycle.
  4. Use digital to improve collaboration across the extended supply chain from manufacturing through to service and support.

Conclusion

As digital strategies offer new and improved ways to optimize the supply chain, reduce time to market, and increase revenue, many aerospace and defense companies are considering how they use digital to generate and sustain business results—”seizing the digital opportunity in aerospace and To defense.”

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