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Blockchain transforming defence and aerospace Industries: Accenture

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Blockchain will transform the aerospace and defence industries (Source United States Air Force)

Approximately six in seven aerospace/defence companies (86 per cent) expect to integrate blockchain into their corporate systems within three years, according to a new research report from Accenture. 

Approximately six in seven aerospace/defence companies (86 per cent) expect to integrate blockchain into their corporate systems within three years, according to a new research report from Accenture. 

Blockchain is one of the world's newest and most promising technologies, a type of distributed ledger that maintains and records data in a way that allows multiple stakeholders to confidently and securely share access to the same information.

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According to the Accenture report, Launchpad to Relevance: Aerospace & Defense Technology Vision 2018, blockchain's secure, immutable and decentralised features can help aerospace and defence companies reduce maintenance costs, increased aircraft and vessel availability and minimise errors in tracking parts. 

The report is derived from Accenture Technology Vision 2018, the company’s most-recent annual technology report that predicts key technology trends likely to disrupt business over the next three years, including artificial intelligence and virtual/augmented reality. Among key findings from the aerospace and defence executives surveyed about these technologies:

  • Two-thirds (67 per cent) said their companies will invest in AI in the next year, with many focusing initially on production, security, research and development;
  • Four in five (80 per cent) said they expect that every human in their workforce will be directly affected daily by an AI-based decision by 2021; and
  • More than half (57 per cent) will invest in augmented reality and virtual reality in the next year, and nearly all (96 per cent) believe extended reality will help close the physical distance gap when engaging employees or customers.

The 86 per cent of respondents from aerospace and defence companies who said they plan to integrate blockchain in their corporate systems by 2021 was higher than the percentage for all but two of the 18 industries surveyed as part of Accenture’s broader Technology Vision research. 

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“Blockchain is well-suited to improve the performance of one of the world’s most complex, globally interconnected and security-dependent supply chains,” said Paul Mylon, aerospace and defence lead for Accenture Australia.

The survey findings point to numerous data challenges that blockchain technology can help address. For instance, Accenture’s research found that more than two-thirds (70 per cent) of the aerospace and defence executives surveyed believe that companies will be grappling with growing waves of corrupted insights as more falsified data infiltrates their data-driven information systems.

In addition, nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of them believe that organisations are basing their most critical systems and strategies on data – yet many have not invested in the capabilities to verify the accuracy of that data. And the same number (73 per cent) also believe that automated systems create new risks, including fake data, data manipulation and inherent bias.

Blockchain can help ferret out falsified data and verify its veracity because it provides a secure and unchangeable data chain. The technology can also help track and provide consistent aircraft configuration data throughout the supply chain, as aircraft manufacturers, maintenance providers and airlines currently keep track of configuration data in their own systems yet rarely if ever integrate that information with other companies’ data.

Mylon said, "Blockchain enables aerospace and defence companies to securely share, capture and authenticate data from a single source. This innovative and paradigm-shifting technology has the potential to deliver profound benefits for the hundreds of suppliers typically involved in complex manufacturing ecosystems."   

Accenture is a global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Accenture works across the entire value chain from aerospace and defence providers through to government clients, including the Department of Defence.

Accenture has also released a complementary research product for government Defence organisations – Mobilising the Intelligent Military.

The full Launchpad to Relevance: Aerospace & Defense Technology Vision 2018 report is available here.

Blockchain transforming defence and aerospace Industries: Accenture
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