This leading British industrial technology company needed to optimise operational costs, reduce technical debt and streamline processes to ensure the positive, transforming potential of technology in pioneering power that matters.
The company designs, manufactures and distributes power systems for aviation and other industries. It was founded over a century ago, and is focused on realigning its operations and technology to ensure power has an impact and is central to the successful functioning of the modern world.
Overcoming challenges of cost and sustainability
High fuel costs, the need for innovative defense systems and the drive to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions are among the major challenges facing aerospace manufacturers in the 2020s.
However, the company and the industry overall have been buffeted by huge swings in demand and costs. The COVID-19 crisis sent shockwaves through commercial aviation, sending profits plummeting. But with demand growing again, an estimated 6 billion passengers are expected to fly annually by 2030. At the same time, the fragility of oil prices is buffeting commercial aviation, while international conflicts underscore the need for advanced defense systems.
A major manufacturer of power systems, the company serves customers worldwide across the airline, military and energy industries. Manufacturing power systems is a highly complex process that involves successfully integrating thousands of components from dozens of suppliers.
Manufacturers must strike the right balance between the need for high performance and reliability with staying competitive from a pricing standpoint and complying with stringent regulations around safety and data security. Underpinning these operations is the company’s global IT network of thousands of applications.
“Building the next-generation power systems takes years of research and development and huge amounts of computing power,” says the group chief information officer at the company. “In light of the many challenges in the market, we needed to find new ways to address high fixed costs, and part of that was reducing legacy technical debt.”
The company is undergoing a business transformation that places a strong focus on digitalisation of legacy systems. However, moving to more flexible cloud-based infrastructure is not straightforward. The industry faces stringent country-specific regulations and security frameworks that restrict the use of data across geographies. Those export license controls regulate the nationality of people who can handle data and impact decisions about whether data can be hosted in a private cloud or a public cloud.
A transition to a new operational platform was required — one that could leverage the benefits of a hybrid cloud environment while applying advanced technology to help streamline operational processes.
Implementing hybrid cloud
Having worked with the company for more than 20 years as a managed services provider, DXC Technology was able to use its deep understanding of the company’s IT estate and applications architecture to apply its Cloud RightTM approach to implement a hybrid cloud environment. DXC’s Cloud Right is helping the company make the right investments at the right time on the right platforms to modernise, integrate and optimise clouds and on-premises IT.
“The Cloud Right approach is proving to be very beneficial for the company because it provides a path for moving regulation-sensitive data to private clouds, while migrating other resources to public clouds,” the customer says.
As part of the hybrid cloud strategy, DXC built new private cloud platforms in four of the company’s geographies. Drawing up an extensive global partner ecosystem, DXC was able create best-of-breed solutions, using Dell Technologies for storage and servers, Cisco for on-premises private clouds and software-defined networking, and VMware for virtualisation. Citrix solutions are enabling secure, remote access to the company’s systems.
Hybrid cloud solutions are aimed at delivering the best value for the company. In addition to providing Microsoft Azure and Oracle managed services for the company’s public clouds, DXC is using a hyper automation approach to decrease manual process and deliver intelligent proactive fault identification, resolution and prevention — leading to a reduction in ticket volumes and reduced cost. Right-shoring of operations helped redeploy elements of support to lower-cost, fully optimised regional delivery centres.
DXC also provides the company a wide range of IT services including application management, data protection, storage, and mainframe modernisation. DXC’s work with the customer includes supporting more than 5,000 servers and 4.5PB of data worldwide.
DXC supports nearly 1,000 applications including core systems for product lifecycle management (PLM), new facilities systems integration, integrated manufacturing execution systems (MES) and enterprise asset management (EAM) systems.
DXC also supports a high-performance computing cluster for engineering design. Other examples of the breadth of the partnership include DXC’s IT support for over 50,000 employees worldwide.
Benefiting from hyper automation
In helping the company adopt a new, more flexible IT platform, DXC’s solution was to consolidate, standardise and automate various elements of the company’s broad IT landscape. A key driver of these efforts has been the application of DXC Platform XTM, an intelligent automation platform that helps enable the company to accelerate its journey to resilient, self-healing IT across its estate.
“DXC Platform X is well-aligned with our goal of reducing operating costs and has been critical as a cost-savings driver,” the customer says.
For example, by applying Platform X, more than 30 hot points in the manufacturing process were reduced to 1 by the work being provisioned to virtual machines. In some cases, this reduced provisioning time from 6 weeks to just 1 day. Platform X also helped replace legacy management tools with the much more efficient and cost-effective ServiceNow IT service management (ITSM) platform.
Similarly, through application service automation (ASA), the company was able to introduce wide-ranging service efficiencies including automated incident handling processes, application health checks, middleware monitoring and self-healing. A new Dynatrace application performance monitoring tool being rolled out with Platform X will deliver further increases to service availability and performance through proactive incident and fault detection and auto-resolution.
The power group is achieving massive benefits with the new computing platform. These include a more than 25 percent reduction in technical debt and a more than 30 percent reduction in operating costs. Because tools and processes have been optimised and streamlined, the manufacturer can bring new products to market faster. These benefits allow for greater investment and the ability to focus on sustainability goals.
Aiming for net-zero emissions
Through a strategy that is focused on reducing the environmental impact of its activities, the company aims to achieve net-zero emissions in the next decade. Climate-related benefits provided by DXC’s services are helping the company make progress towards achieving those goals.
DXC’s role in decommissioning legacy hardware and consolidating data centres has helped contribute to the company’s reduction in energy use at its facilities. In addition, by using Platform X, customers can avoid costly business disruptions and prevent critical system outages, reducing labor and overall energy consumption.
“Technology is at the heart of ensuring power keeps society connected and protected,” the customer says. “By supporting our journey to the cloud, DXC is helping us increase our speed and agility in a secure environment, deliver on our net-zero goals and help us enable the future of flight.”