While aerospace and defense firms have strong technological skills, many struggle with creating value from digital transformations. Pierluigi Serlenga, a partner in Bain's Aerospace, Defense & Government Services practice, shares how leaders can achieve success by translating digital strategy into initiatives throughout the value chain, implementing cross-functional teams and bringing doers and dreamers together.
Read the transcript below.
PIERLUIGI SERLENGA: Digital is a clear top priority for companies in most industries. What is not clear, though, is how to address a digital journey with substantial impact on business performance.
Aerospace and defense firms have a clear advantage in the digital transformation because of their strong technological heritage, which is at the core of their DNA. The industry, though, is very far from where it should be. We believe that a clear vision and a 360-degree orchestration are two absolutely fundamental factors to make this journey in a successful manner. In particular, there are three aspects that companies should focus on.
Number one is translating the digital strategy into a set of initiatives that have impacts on most of the elements of your value chain—from R&D to operations to supply chain to manufacturing to organization, operating model, and, of course, IT infrastructure.
Number two is changing your way of working. And you can do so through cross-functional and multidisciplinary teams, working in an Agile way to test, prototype, and implement your initiatives.
Number three is about mobilizing the organization with the right balance of dreamers and doers to execute digital strategy.
The journey is very hard, though. Very few companies have succeeded in transforming themselves digitally. The successful ones have embraced a multiyear journey with a very significant commitment to transform their DNA and to spread digital across the entire organization.