Digital transformation in the defence industry


The ability of the industry to establish a unique value proposition based on digital technology is one of the important success elements in the transformation of the defence sector. This means focusing on future technologies for French business, such as Big Data, robotics, unmanned systems, connected items, broadband networks, cloud computing, augmented reality, augmented vision, immersive displays, and cybersecurity.

Our ability to harness dual technologies is also critical to the transformation’s success. Some parts of the aerospace industry now profit from the dual nature of its key technology, such as cockpit systems, air traffic control, surveillance radars, and GPS, and this will become increasingly essential in the future, both technologically and economically.

Last but not least, the international factor is critical because overseas markets provide defence contractors with economies of scale and headroom to fund new developments, allowing them to grow and compete when domestic markets are no longer sufficient. An international footprint is also beneficial in gaining access to new talent and strengthening relationships with research institutes and innovative start-ups worldwide.

Need of Digital transformation in the defence industry

The digital transformation is introducing new companies to the industry and changing the competitive landscape. Non-traditional players are providing the military with innovative business models and turnkey solutions. Leading defence companies are eyeing development potential in “as-a-service” models, which are ready for deployment and can adapt and prosper in a rapidly changing environment. The usefulness of these new service models, however, is still debatable.

How is a digital transformation happening in the defence industry?

When the term “digital transformation” is spoken, the defence industry is unlikely to be the first to spring to mind when considering transformation projects. However, like practically other industries, it is undergoing a complete digital transformation to stay up with the rate of technological progress. Digital advancement in defence is arguably more vital than in any other area, both in keeping the country secure from physical and digital threats and ensuring we are prepared for new kinds of combat.

Like most other organizations, defence organizations confront comparable issues in determining where to deploy resources, manage business risks, and improve cybersecurity levels both during and after these transformation programmes. Above all, the defence sector is under more pressure to enable and provide cutting-edge technologies than any other.

While the pace of technology change continues to accelerate, the defence sector should carefully consider its adoption pace, seeking competent and trusted guidance to guarantee that it adopts a deliberate, mature, and rational approach to digital transformation.

Major challenges in the defence industry

  • Stronger focus in Asia-Pacific Region

One of the biggest game-changers in the defence industry this year is the increased focus on Asia-Pacific. Many countries in the region reevaluate their defence capabilities, and governments are developing industrial solutions to address rising economic and security issues. As a result,

support networks for design, research, commercial production, and other defence manufacturers have grown.

  • Military spending is up globally

Governments all across the world are increasing their defence spending, both in terms of new weapons and infrastructure upgrades. According to current projections, between 2020 and 2023, worldwide spending would grow at a CAGR of over 3%, and total global spending will be around $2.1 trillion. The United States, China, Russia, India, and a slew of other countries will all pitch in.

  • Mergers and acquisitions will continue space

For some years, M&A has been a big driver in the military space, and there is no reason to believe that will change. Consolidation will aid in the resolution of increasingly complicated supply chain and scale difficulties and provide opportunities to avoid governmental barriers and gain access to new technology.

  • Steady implementation of More-Electric Aircraft (MEA)

In the aerospace and defence industries, there is a growing desire for more fuel-efficient aircraft. This is largely due to a desire to reduce acquisition and ownership expenses. Despite the fact that there are still barriers to a full transition to All-Electric Aircraft (AEA) technology, such as safety and efficiency concerns, the military industry will undoubtedly witness a significant push to incorporate MEA solutions.

Digital future in the defence industry

  1. Invest in digital to speed up R&D, development, and manufacturing, automate transaction processing and gather corporate intelligence.
  2. To establish and incorporate novel technology capabilities, consider forming relationships with commercial actors, Silicon Valley, academia, or other groups.
  3. Create new platforms and systems to improve speed and agility, and actively search the commercial landscape for technical innovation that could support a tech-enabled strategy (which will be key to sustaining a competitive advantage).

Mapping the route to a digital future

Companies must build a cloud-enabled, Artificial Intelligence-powered, digital-first attitude across all elements of their business to take advantage of the three-point approach and push purposefully towards digital transformation. This entails putting digital at the centre of operations and enhancing digital capabilities throughout the value chain. In addition, firms must pay close attention to transformation management in order to create a working culture conducive to the success of digital efforts.

A successful digital transformation will rely on identifying clear goals from the start — businesses must map out a path with a thorough digital vision. This should be comprehensive enough to include their own organization and the larger ecosystem and describe the vision to all stakeholders. The digital value proposition must also be developed in advance, clearly understanding the performance drivers and strategic objectives that will drive innovation and value creation. Companies must then create a digital roadmap with clearly defined milestones based on their goal.

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