We sit with DXC technology‘small Derek AllisonUK Public Sector Undersecretary for Aerospace and Defence, Paul O’ShaughnessyUK Defense Staff and Shelley WrightAE UK Government Relations for DXC technology.
A trusted partner with over 45 years of UK aerospace and defense expertise, DXC Technology has been instrumental in delivering mission-critical systems, protecting national security and advancing technologies such as cyber security , artificial intelligence and IoT.
Derek and Paul shed light on DXC Technology’s journey, its commitment to security, the technologies showcased at DSEI 2023 and their vision to shape the future of aerospace, defense and security technology.
Harry McNeil (HM): DXC technology has a long and distinguished history in aerospace and defense. Can you elaborate on some of the key milestones and achievements in this area?
Derek Allison (DA): DXC Technology, including our predecessors at Electronic Data Systems (EDS), Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) has a combined total of over 45 years of industry experience. This dates back to our initial major outsourcing contracts providing the first tier of mission critical systems for clients across the industry – a rich industry history that we have maintained ever since. Our work concepts have been the same on this journey, delivering the capabilities to fulfill our customer’s mission, but we have transformed from being a core infrastructure provider to turning our offerings in the data, analytics and application spaces into end-to-end customer services edge throughout their supply chain. These large outsourced platforms have for years been neglected by organizations across the industry and have led to a legacy of “technical debt”, so now it’s our job to help our customers transform to migrate from these systems. All this is only possible if we extend our capabilities across the application space, which is a great springboard to better serve the entire UK defense industry.
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Paul O’Shaughnessy (PO): In terms of milestones over the last two and a half years, we’ve moved away from not only providing that level of infrastructure to customers, but also leveraging our business and policy support in the space to move up the technology stack into an area that provides applications or physical automation.
(HM): The aerospace and defense industry is known for its strict safety and precision requirements. How does DXC Technology ensure the safety and quality of its services for customers in this area?
(DA): As a technology company with 130,000 employees, we like our security to be wrapped up in our services and internal processes, and it starts with our people. The best way we can protect our customers is to have the right people who are fully responsible for security and have the processes in place to support it. So first, we need to put our security into our systems and that means using the same technology to wrap our security services as we do for our customers. As part of this process, we provide end-to-end services and this is no more important than for customers such as the Ministry of Defense (MoD), where most security threats come from people-related incidents rather than technology.
(HM): DXC Technology is showcasing some exciting technologies at DSEI 2023, including holoportation and mixed reality devices. It’s not something I’m familiar with myself. Can you explain how these technologies benefit military operations and what sets DXC technology apart in their application?
(POST OFFICE): We are pleased to present the holoportation feature with Microsoft, our partner, which is the first time the technology has been demonstrated here in Europe. Part of the level of our strategic partnership with Microsoft has enabled us to get to a point where we can bring these capabilities to the defense industry and align them with our security envelope. The technology is blending well and immersing commanders, soldiers and sailors to understand mixed and virtual reality spaces to better understand the context in which they will need to operate in the future. Simply put, technology completely changes the game and allows us to provide a combat advantage that does not currently exist.
(HM): Can you share some examples of recent projects or partnerships that have significantly impacted national security or military readiness?
(POST OFFICE): At the highest classification of what we provide to the defense industry, we have increased the ability of users to operate collectively by 100% in the last year to 18 months. This transforms the DoD’s ability to protect its confidential commitments when threats in both the physical and virtual worlds are much higher.
(DA): A wider example to note would be the impact of Covid-19 on ways of working and how we have empowered remote working across the supply chain in the MoD.
(POST OFFICE): As Derek says, in the last two years, we’ve released up to 80,000 devices to the MoD. This meant uprooting a system that revolved around office work and converting it so that users could work from home, with the same security measures in place. As you can imagine, this was a huge transformation program to undertake, which we did successfully.
(HM): DXC Technology emphasizes its commitment to sustainability and responsible business practices. How does the company align these principles with its aerospace and defense services?
Shelly Wright (SW): Social value is inherent in what we do as a business, not just because we work in the public sector, but it is part of our offerings, our people and our culture. One of our core values and a fundamental part of how we do business is focused on managing and delivering excellence to the communities in which we work. Ultimately, the more we invest in social value, the more our value improves, and this is true throughout our culture. Applying this to our work means we understand the citizens we deliver for and our customers and the conversations we have with them. As part of our wider social value strategy, people are a central pillar, so we do a lot of work with STEM and skills development. to help meet the huge skills shortage in this country, which affects the aerospace and defense industries. We are currently working with the defense industry to help address this technology skills gap, either through volunteer work or initiatives across our organisation. We have now delivered 130 hours of STEM support from just one of our sites in the last year, which demonstrates our commitment to addressing the gap. Separately, we have linked this broader social value strategy to our own Manchester United partnership, hosting an RAF football pitch day with the Club, alongside the football school with the women’s team, all of which promote relationships between our community, customers and ourselves. Beyond that, our net zero goal is a fundamental part of our social value strategy, and we increasingly focus on developing greener software. We have a big responsibility there, especially around tri-band emissions and helping our customers navigate that, which requires resilience in our supply chains.
(HM): Just one last question to finish. Can any of you provide insight into DXC Technology’s vision for the future of aerospace, defense and security technology and how it aims to shape the industry?
(DA): A year ago, we decided to bring together our public sector and defense businesses, together with our major partners such as BAE, Rolls Royce, Leonardo, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to begin the creation of a “defense ecosystem”. We are on this journey and the main goal is to integrate our project into the whole process, so if we get, let’s say our nuclear capability, the missile can be transferred from the submarine to the dock that is on the dock. the IT on this boat down to the gun itself is managed by DXC Technology. And even now in that whole supply chain, DXC Technology is a critical partner and we have to look at how we can improve that, like how we work together as far as the platform that we use and the economies of scale in that supply chain. Our vision for the future is to ensure a better and safer collaboration in these processes and we believe that we should be at the center of this.
(POST OFFICE): From Derek’s point of view, it’s clear that across our supply chain, we’re uniquely positioned to drive these conversations. If you come back in two years, I expect we’ll have some fantastic evidence of how we connect the defense industry base and the State Department together, particularly at high classifications.
(HM): Thanks. Well, hopefully I’ll be back in two years.
(DA): Don’t wait two years!
Read the original at Defence247.gr