Defence On Demand: The Role of Data-Driven PLM
Defensive technologies, tools and tactics are changing rapidly. As noted by research firm Deloitte in their recent whitepaper, Defense Trends 2020: Investing in a Digital Future, “digital technology is reshaping the nature of combat and the nature of business, and defence companies need to transform nearly every aspect of how they operate in order to compete.”
What does this mean for defence agencies? No longer is a plane just a plane or a ship just a ship. Instead, they now exist as hybrid resources — physical/digital nodes that contain vast amounts of usable data, so long as defence organisations can access it. For example, an aircraft on patrol isn’t simply evaluating potential threats and assessing current conditions; connected onboard sensors are automatically collecting relevant data and routing it back to command installations for further analysis.
Commensurate with the evolution of these technologies, however, is their increasing cost. Combined with emerging budgetary constraints and expectations around spending transparency, government defence agencies must justify purchasing decisions in part by demonstrating the ability of these assets to deliver significant value over time — and it all starts with robust product lifecycle management (PLM).
The Evolution of PLM
PLM isn’t a new concept: agencies have always seen the value in extending the actionable lifecycle of assets within their organisation. The integration of new data-driven technologies, however, such as always-connected IoT sensors that leverage edge and cloud computing, or the use of artificial intelligence tools in defensive frameworks to help manage and maximise operational strategies in-situ have created new challenges: Now, PLM strategies must address both physical and digital lifecycles in tandem, despite the fact that these lifecycles are often discontinuous.
In practice, effective PLM approaches must include:
Worth noting? These discrete stages aren’t enough in isolation. To ensure a 360-degree view of each asset, organisations need tools capable of combining operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) datasets across the entire lifecycle — from inception to decommission to disposal. Achieving this goal requires robust software solutions capable of collecting, connecting and curating asset data on-demand.
The Defence-Driven Role of PLM
As defence agencies adapt to meet the increasingly data-driven reality of military engagements and asset management, six key factors are driving the need for comprehensive PLM:
PLM in Practice
It’s one thing to talk about effective PLM processes, but what does this look like in practice?
The Australian Department of Defence is currently undergoing its largest growth journey in the country’s maritime assets since World War II. The Australian Department of Defence’s vision of future maritime support capabilities, Plan Galileo, has identified key transformative needs, including:
Integration of environments to promote increased levels of innovation and knowledge sharing
Adoption of mature technologies that deliver improved ROI
Enhancement of data analytics for rapid and informed decision-making
Increased productivity from key technology platforms
Interruptibility of data sharing between assets during operations
In combination, these needs speak to the increasingly cohesive nature of PLM: assets must deliver key data to drive knowledge sharing that helps improve productivity, increase ROI and ultimately enhance overall cost management.
Atos is prepared to help meet these emerging PLM needs with smart solutions, including:
Predictive maintenance for operational effectiveness. The future of maintenance operations is based on interactive processing of data. By better informing the planners across a wide series of data streams such as Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), Inventory and Supply and Condition based maintenance approaches, digital technologies can make predictive maintenance a reality. Maintenance of military equipment can be predicted, anticipated and organised thanks to advanced data management system leveraging Digital Twin and Smart Asset and Management Platform using
AI and IoT approaches.
Decentralised architecture to support offline operations. While ships are at sea, the Navy must be able to connect with them. Defence assets need to be equipped with deployable synchronisation tools and decentralised architecture that can support offline service operations.
Seamless customisation configuration and extension. PLM must be flexible and adaptable to any current and future requirements, with reduced software development overheads. It will allow Defence to create ecosystems of applications that are modular and reusable, to customise and overlay their processes using well-defined, easily built, effectively executed, trackable and traceable, automated task flows.
Transforming data into knowledge
In defence, delivering the right data filtered with the right scenario at the right time to the right person can be a matter of life and death. The right strategy on meta tagging can unlock speed of information sharing and enable data driven leadership to make rapid and informed decision supported by 100%
“For well over a decade, Atos has been supporting Defence across critical ICT systems while, at the same time, bringing innovation to Australia with the introduction of proven, worldclass military solutions.” Said Florence Douyere, Managing Director Defence, Atos Australia. “We are proud to be a
trusted partner for Defence organisations worldwide and we are looking forward to helping shape the future of Defence’s sustainment in Australia & New Zealand.”
The Future of Digital Defense
As the technology market shifts toward more open-source and composable solutions, defence agencies are looking for ways to regain control of their own data. Rather than being tied to potentially problematic and proprietary solutions that offer limited interoperability, military decision-makers want to gain granular visibility over key assets — without giving up control.
The result is an increasingly diverse future for digital defence that includes technologies such as:
From sustainment to sustainability
Carbon reduction improves efficiency, reduces costs and drive innovation. Atos is committed to help defence achieve net zero with digital solutions such as:
- Digital platform management that integrates Inventory Management and fleet maintenance program planning will reduce general transport and crisis shipping of parts or support equipment. This in turn will reduce overall Supply Chain and maintenance operation costs.
- Better efficiencies in maintenance operations give corresponding reductions in fuel consumption and total cost of ownership.
- Data driven, conditioned based maintenance approaches prolongs the service life of equipment and prolongs the need for replacements or overhauls.
Navigating the Next Generation
The future of defence is digital. To navigate the next generation of military engagements and equipment expectations, agencies must deliver on the potential of data-driven PLM strategies to capture mission-critical insight, empower strategic development and proactively improve asset lifecycles.