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Leveraging Operational Excellence through IoT in Aerospace

By David Jarvis, VP/Chief Information Officer, Honeywell Aerospace


David Jarvis, VP/Chief Information Officer, Honeywell Aerospace

Embracing IoT to Drive Innovation

At this stage of evolution in the Aerospace industry, the potential benefits that can be enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT) appear to be unlimited. The IoT will enable improvements in operational efficiency, safety and the consumer experience in ways that we can only imagine today. Drivers behind this potential are not just improved connectivity, but the rapid improvement in storage technology, the miniaturization of compute capacity and the rapid rise in analytical capabilities. Enabling non-intelligent devices with sensors creates a rich data exhaust that can be combined with existing data already captured on the aircraft. The ability to process this data in seconds both on the aircraft and/or complemented by streaming to the ground, can improve operational support, allow advance positioning of inventory, provide insights into predictive maintenance capabilities that improve safety and increase asset utilization. All of these benefits help make for reduced delays and improved customer satisfaction.

Airline passengers will enjoy enhanced experiences as they travel too. Increased bandwidth that compares to their office environments will enable Business travelers the ability to accomplish data intensive tasks that would have not been possible before, and pleasure travelers will be offered entertainment options such as online shopping and rich streaming video choices that will create a consumer experience which will rival a “living room in the sky”.

Experiencing Technological Trends

My role has evolved from one of an order taker, providing products and services in response to customer demands/requests, to being thought of and treated as a full-fledged business partner. One that influences the direction of the business through process as well as technology to create enhanced business value. My perspective is that of a general manager that just happens to be responsible for a process and technology function.

My reputation and growth in the role was earned over a period of time by being uncompromising on talent, making aggressive, but calculated choices on technology and holding the business accountable in a collaborative way to I carry their share of responsibly for successfully implementing the changes required to deliver new business processes and enabling technology.

“The Internet of Things (IoT) will enable improvements in operational efficiency, safety and the consumer experience in ways that we can only imagine today”

One of my most memorable moments was when the President of one of our businesses said in passing that he doesn’t view me as an “IT guy”, but as a valued business partner. This is a subtle, yet profound change in perspective that is earned over time.

Developing Trusted Relation is the Key to Success

In my experience, the most important lesson is the ability to develop trusted relationships with your peers in the business. Your reputation as a dependable partner who consistently delivers on commitments is an invaluable currency.

To do that, you must understand how your business makes money and focus your time and effort on those areas that create new sources of value, drives operating efficiencies and margin improvement and/or improves the customer experience.

Being able to speak in a language that resonates with your business partners is critically important. Information technology as a discipline has a language that can be very foreign to business leaders and their level of interest will vary. You may have to differentiate in your communication styles depending on the level of technology background and/or level of interest your business leaders have in all things IT.

Lastly, is to be proud of your accomplishments, but to remain humble regardless of the improvements and success you and your team have in delivering for your business. Information technology in the modern enterprise is a complex collection of rapidly evolving products and services that will inevitably face challenges resulting in late deliveries of promised capability, failed projects, and, at times, highly visible business disruptions. Enjoying your successes with a healthy dose of humility will pay dividends when things don’t go your way.   

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