Standard Solutions in the Aerospace Industry

Standard Solutions in the Aerospace Industry

The engineering and assembly of economic, military and personal aircraft is a fantastic technological achievement. For many, the aerospace industry implores images of colossal technologically advanced companies bringing to life marvels of engineering that are adaptive of zooming across the sky, protecting us from threats and taking us into space. Naturally, one might assume that the knowledge Technology (IT) supporting these activities is equally as awe-inspiring and technologically advanced. Nothing, however, might be beyond reality. The aerospace industry is very fragmented, with a little number of market-dominating global players and a huge network of suppliers that are subject to high degrees of state oversight and regulation. As a consequence, information technologies employed across the industry to manage business and productions are equally fragmented, conservative and are slow to vary.

As an IT leader, it's fundamental to look at all challenges as opportunities. Developing strategies and methods to utilize existing IT infrastructures, while maximizing support and expertise from external vendors, is vital to putting together a future-proof IT platform that's capable of supporting the business and its growth opportunities. For instance, a singular challenge to the aerospace industry is that the limited set of software designed and tailored to support its business and operations.

Despite the billions of dollars contributed to the worldwide economy by the aerospace industry, few software vendors have created out-of-the-box solutions that address the widespread issues and unique requirements within the industry. Most major software vendors have built broad platforms to support the quality, traditional manufacturing environments like the automotive industry.

While the aerospace industry does acquire heavily from traditional manufacturing, it differs enough to warrant a changed set of producing practices; for instance, the method of building a car and building an aircraft is extremely different. Aerospace manufacturing is lower in volume with a better level of customization and greater complexity. As an example, two adjacent aircraft on a production line will often differ significantly supported their engineering and installation revisions. Therefore, our industry must recognize the necessity to develop updated solutions together, share our property more openly, move to adapt as many “standard” manufacturing tools as possible, and most significantly to interact with software vendors as strategic business partners. At Greenpoint Technologies, we've been successful with this approach. We challenge our internal customers to supply the context for variation from out-of-the-box software capabilities. When customization is important to support a legitimate business requirement, we help them understand the event backlog, the priority of their request and supply them with information that sets clear expectations. We participate in conferences, host webinars and share our approaches and experiences with our suppliers and out of doors organizations. We are actively engaged with our primary software vendors (our partners) and regularly participate in feedback sessions, customer planning board seats, conferences and work to determine solid relationships between our in-house development team.

The opportunities that might lower costs and drive value are massive for several second and third-tier players within the aerospace industry. These organizations are sufficiently small to be nimble, allowing them to take a position in cloud technologies, systems, and adopt modern IT practices like DevOps and Agile development with a rapid return on investment. At a middle level, these suppliers boost the smaller players and new entrants to improvise, and continuously challenge the top-tier, traditional IT shops to advance innovation.

Like most advanced industries, aerospace features a unique set of challenges that defines its business, operations, and approach to technology. As an IT leader in aerospace, there are various opportunities to deliver business value that directly commit to organizational efficiencies and ultimately affect the rock bottom line. IT leaders often find themselves subject to the budget and technology constraints of their organizations, also as facing additional pressures like the consumerization of IT to weave employees’ work-life seamlessly with their lifestyle, new technologies employed by business partners and therefore the industry’s conservatism as an entire. Bringing together the monetary and human resources necessary to stay pace with these demands can often be daunting. To achieve success, aerospace IT departments must still redefine themselves from the attitude of being a cost-center to a business partner. Redefining requires a willingness to rethink the normal models of enterprise IT, expand internal development capabilities, and collaborate with software and hardware vendors to create the aerospace industry platforms necessary to support future industry and business needs.

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