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Author's profile photo Torsten Welte

Aerospace and Defense: Flying High in the Digital Economy

Cutting-edge new products, soaring volumes of flight and operations data, advanced manufacturing, disruptive new competitors… the technology evolution is taking off, disrupting how business is done around the world and fueling fast changes in aerospace and defense (A&D).

Digitizing and transforming business

In the digital economy, simplification and business innovation matter more than ever. A&D businesses need to provide more for less, find new revenue streams, and adopt new technology faster. And to do this, you must reimagine business models, business processes, and work.


A five pillar framework to guide A&D companies on their digital strategy

The increasing volume and variety of information available along the A&D product lifecycle provides ways for you to innovate with new solutions and grow in new markets. You can reimagine business models and:

  • Pursue revenue in adjacent markets with customer-tailored Big Data solutions and enable digital aviation platforms
  • Develop partnerships to bring new innovations to market faster and access new markets and technologies
  • Focus on the aftermarket with new services based on real-time operational and engineering data
  • Transform the value chain and fulfillment with technology such as 3D printing

Digital technologies enable business-critical operations from engineering and manufacturing to supply chain and maintenance, repair, and operations. Automation, hyper-connectivity, and artificial intelligence can bring much needed increases in throughput times and cost reductions. Reimagine business processes to:

  • Employ smarter, more connected manufacturing operations
  • Enable non-conformance management with early warning systems and predictive quality controls
  • Predict machine failures and optimize production asset utilization
  • Gain global visibility through real-time, responsive supply chain processes, embedded machine learning, and predictions and simulations
  • Enable full lifecycle tracking with smart parts
  • Integrate sensor-based product data and predictive analytics to support reliability programs
  • Redesign customer service processes for greater efficiency

Technologies such as smart glasses, 3D printers, and geospatial functionality change how people learn, interact, and grow. Reimagine work and:

  • Enable efficient decision processing across large volumes of operational data through exception based interaction with proposed solutions
  • Improve governance and collection of information from assets
  • Enable access to the right information at the right time on the right device with role-based presentation
  • Understand Big Data by automatically detecting significant signals from noise with predictive and self-learning software
  • Improve user learning and daily tasks with interactive technologies like augmented reality and deliver the right visual, text, video, and audio information on demand
  • Eliminate data silos and enable cross-departmental optimization with a single source of truth

Getting started

SAP brings expertise, assets, and proven methodologies to support the development of your digital business strategy. We want to be a partner in your journey and help along each step of the way. Here’s how it works:


  1. Strategy alignment – Understand your business objectives and SAP strategic direction and identify initiatives
  2. Opportunity assessment – Identify and prioritize your strategic initiatives
  3. Solution road map and ROI – Develop a solution road map that delivers the solution, strategic plan, and expected ROI
  4. Value realization – Implement the solutions on time and within budget
  5. Solid governance – Maximize investments and speed value creation thanks to executive engagement and continuous innovation

Why SAP – your business benefits

With solutions from SAP, you can build a digital core for the next generation of your aviation business to simplify processes and drive innovation. The solutions improve collaboration and connect sources such as equipment, geospatial, airline operations, and customer service data.

With an advanced digital business framework, you can drive outcome-based customer experiences. You can replatform core business processes and bring together transactions and analytics in real time to be smarter, faster, simpler – and more efficient and profitable. You can engender a skilled, flexible, and engaged workforce across all employees and contractors and improve supplier collaboration. And you can harness assets and the Internet of Things to drive real-time insights and new business models.

Take off with the SAP Aerospace & Defense community at the Innovation Days on March 7th to 9th in Dallas Texas.  Your industry peers are sharing their digital journey.  Find out more about the free event  – click here 

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