The State of Aerospace & Defense
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Author:CSC Town Hall
The results are in! What are the top priorities and strategies for growth in the A&D industry this year? CSC and the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) recently surveyed industry executives and senior leaders for their insights on business, economic and technology trends. In this Town Hall, experts from CSC and AIA discuss the report's findings.
- Bill Koss, Assistant Vice President, Contracts & Finance, National Security & Acquisition Policy, AIA
- Tim Ellis, Industry General Manager, Global Aerospace & Defense, CSC
- Joel Moss, Principal, Big Data Strategy & Execution in Manufacturing, CSC
- Jeff Caruso, Senior Managing Editor, CSC
2015 A&D Survey Results
CSC and the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) recently surveyed industry leaders for their insights on business, economic and technology trends. Experts from CSC and AIA discussed results of the 14th annual survey in this CSC Town Hall, and highlighted a few key trends.
“We're continuing to see pricing pressure in the commercial and government sectors,” says Tim Ellis, industry general manager of Global Aerospace & Defense for CSC. “There's a push to get more innovation into the products at a lower cost. There's a push for cross-selling and upselling, a trend toward expanding your footprint in other regions where your products are relevant. Talent management is a topic that's been around for years, but is starting to reach a fever pitch.”
Survey results also reflected the impact of reduced government spending and growing regulatory requirements. Those aren't new issues, but they loom large, says Bill Koss, AIA’s assistant vice president, Contracts & Finance, National Security & Acquisition Policy. "The regulatory burden precludes some businesses from joining in, especially for smaller companies who aren't prepared to deal with government oversight," Koss says. "In addition, companies are hesitant to invest in the industry because of the lack of government commitment at this point."
Technology modernization is a top priority in the industry. Ellis says the adoption of cloud technology is accelerating as more companies understand its value. "Today, I think most realize that maybe you don't need Big Iron or bricks and mortar. However, some of these programs are so long-lived, some programs need to deal with COBOL programs written in the ‘60s, so you need to take a more comprehensive approach to modernization," Ellis says.
Joel Moss, a principal in Big Data Strategy & Execution in Manufacturing at CSC, says survey results on technology reveal that the data revolution is clearly evident in the cockpit and on the battlefield today. "When I started out as a pilot, I carried a paper map with threats marked with a highlighter. Today, pilots receive real-time data streams, and predictive analytics help them develop routes that contain fewer threats," Moss says. "Technology like this needs to make its way to the shop floor to give machinery operators actionable insights that improve their performance and quality."
Moss says CSC is currently working with a client to implement a "predictive quality" program to help the company increase its yield, decrease scrap rate and reduce overall warranty costs. "For example, a part passes through 100 inspections, and if it fails, you may not know why. With big data analytics, however, you might find that parts that pass inspection points 15, 40 and 75 at the high tolerance range ultimately fail. Tying those inspections to higher failure rates can help you identify parts that should not be used.
Ellis says that today, the understanding and application of big data is about where cloud technology was a few years ago. "If you asked 10 people about cloud, you'd get 10 different answers. Now, everyone recognizes where cloud fits and they're trying to figure out big data."
Moss says the industry could benefit by looking outside the industry more often. "I think the industry is hesitant to recognize that a solution or methodology developed in healthcare could be applicable to A&D, and I think it would benefit the industry to widen its aperture to consider successes in neighboring industries."
Other topics discussed during this Town Hall include:
- Striking the right regulatory balance
- How traditional contractors are affected
- Increased spending on cybersecurity
- Impact of IT consumerization in A&D
- Technology's role in industry transformation