Ideas and Insights

  • Three Steps to Clarify the Cloud

    Defense News, 4 April 2014

    Jeffrey Sorenson, A.T. Kearney partner, explains what “cloud computing” means, the benefits gained from leveraging cloud computing services, and an awareness of the challenges often faced when implementing these services.

  • California Aerospace Industry Economic Impact Study

    Aerospace is a major source of jobs and revenues in California. The state must take steps to support it into the future.

  • Sharing the Data Wealth through Governance

    Defense News, 4 February 2014

    Leading companies use their data governance models to leverage data, technology, and analytic assets across the enterprise in order to share their data wealth in an effective and efficient manner. 

  • How to Turn too Much Data into Just Enough Information

    Defense News, 13 December 2013

    Companies have to find the right balance between capturing more data and extracting more insights from existing data.

More from Aerospace & Defense

  • How Defense Cost-Cutting Can Spur Innovation

    How Defense Cost-Cutting Can Spur Innovation

    Defense Systems, 5 December 2013

    New security threats and economic pressures have pushed the DOD to reexamine how innovation is funded and accomplished. 


  • Fixing Software Complexity

    Fixing Software Complexity

    Military Information Technology, 29 November 2013

    An in-depth look at A.T. Kearney's step approach to building an IT application blueprint, designed to reduce the military’s software costs and increase long-term efficiency.


  • Effective Approaches for Delivering Affordable Military Software

    Effective Approaches for Delivering Affordable Military Software

    CrossTalk, November–December 2013

    As the U.S. military shifts its focus from metal and mechanics to developing and integrating control systems, delivering advanced software-enabled systems affordably will become a vital success factor in weaponry. 


  • Building the Data Haystack is Key to Big Data

    Building the Data Haystack is Key to Big Data

    Defense News, 4 November 2013

    The Department of Defense must improve its data management capabilities to optimize day-to-day business operations and provide a clear view of the enemy.


  • GCC Defense Offset Programs: The Trillion-Dollar Opportunity

    GCC Defense Offset Programs: The Trillion-Dollar Opportunity

    GCC countries rank among the world's leaders in defense spending, offering a vast economic-development opportunity. Offset programs can unlock that opportunity.

    Abstract | More | PDF | iPad | Kindle

    The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—together spend nearly $80 billion a year on defense, ranking the region third among the world’s biggest defense spenders, behind the United States and China. At more than $48 billion a year, Saudi Arabia leads the GCC countries in defense spending.

    The real significance of these expenditures goes beyond their massive totals: They signal a unique growth opportunity for the region’s manufacturing and knowledge sectors. Consider this: Between 2013 and 2025, GCC countries will have spent about $1 trillion on defense and roughly 30 percent of this is dedicated to capital expenditures. If a 35 percent offset requirement is enforced, this means a whopping $105 billion could be either reinvested or sourced domestically, creating more than 280,000 advanced jobs—84,000 in Saudi Arabia alone—and an opportunity to build sustainable value chains in the region’s nascent aerospace, automotive, and marine sectors. Because these opportunities have gone largely untapped, defense offset programs are essential to tapping them.

    This paper offers, among other things, four practical actions for GCC countries to realize a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

  • Big Data: How to Fulfill the Promise of Limitless Intelligence

    Big Data: How to Fulfill the Promise of Limitless Intelligence

    Defense News, 19 September 2013

    Businesses using big data to improve their competitive advantage have overcome four primary challenges—the DoD can learn from these successes and adapt them to drive better decision-making.


  • New Face of the A&D Industry: Victors, Victims, and Survivors

    New Face of the A&D Industry: Victors, Victims, and Survivors

    As the U.S. aerospace and defense industry grapples with another round of budget cuts, structural changes will figure heavily in the industry's future.

    Abstract | More | PDF | iPad | Kindle

    The trends emerging today will have a profound effect on the aerospace and defense (A&D) industry tomorrow and there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for dealing with the inevitable changes. The companies that survive and thrive will be those flexible enough to initiate their own changes. The new realities will create three classes of A&D firms: victors, victims, and survivors. Survivors will ultimately move up to become victors or down to become victims. Only quick action will prevent the survivors from becoming victims, and only those with the clearest vision will become victors.

    Our analysis suggests four possible scenarios are likely to play out: consolidation by aggregation or reconfiguration; complementary knowledge-based consolidation; exit of weaker players; and merger of knowledge-based and infrastructure companies. To explain the restructuring rationale, the paper identifies eight value-add attributes inherent in the arms sector, each one of which, if integrated or augmented within a company's strategy, will allow for additional value creation.

    Firms that move swiftly, armed with the right strategy, will become competitive, innovative leaders in helping ensure our security in an increasingly unstable world, which, at the end of the day, is what the A&D industry is all about.

  • The Next Last Supper: New Dynamics Drive A&D Industry Changes

    The Next Last Supper: New Dynamics Drive A&D Industry Changes

    Defense News, 4 August 2013

    As the A&D industry approaches another Last Supper, structural changes in the supply chain will weigh heavily on emerging trends such as defense cuts, next generation assets, poor planning, and companies that sit on cash. 


  • Performance-Based Logistics

    Performance-Based Logistics

    Defense AT&L, July–August 2013

    The Department of Defense (DoD) needs to take a step back to structurally address how it designs support concepts for all weapon systems by looking to Principle Driven Sustainment Models and Portfolio Management concepts from the commercial world to realize true stepchange improvement and meet today’s budget realities.


  • Making Sustainment Programs More Sustainable

    Making Sustainment Programs More Sustainable

    Government-industry collaboration can improve weapon system performance.

    Abstract | More | PDF | iPad | Kindle

    Many large sustainment programs use performance-based logistics (PBL) strategies to buy a level of maintenance performance rather than specific parts or components, and the arrangements have brought great benefits and savings to defense programs. Yet when funding is cut, programs can struggle to find solutions to maintain system performance at required levels, because so much of the day-to-day management responsibility has been outsourced.

    However, the tools for strong sustainment results are there, even in a time of austerity. By ensuring that they are shooting for the same goals and have a solid view of program performance, the government and its partners can build a culture of trust and collaboration that brings long-term success for all parties.

    For large military programs to succeed over the long term, the government and its contractors have two priorities: understand each other’s definition of success, and maintain a reliable view on program performance. These fundamentals lead to better collaboration and greater trust between the government and its suppliers and result in more informed and effective sustainment.

    While the benefits will not come overnight, they do not require an organizational restructuring. Rather, the government and industry can pilot a small number of focused efforts quickly to make an immediate impact:

    • Define the data required, not just what is provided.
    • Take advantage of existing data sources.
    • Bring change to operations.
    • Employ the right business intelligence.
  • Time to Buy Smarter—Here's How

    Time to Buy Smarter—Here's How

    Deep Dive Intelligence, 27 March 2013

    A.T. Kearney compared the defense sector's acquisition track record and decision processes to those of the private sector, with results suggesting that the defense sector should look to the commercial world for lessons.


  • Compliance in Manufacturing: A Very Personal Affair

    Compliance in Manufacturing: A Very Personal Affair

    Noncompliance can ruin corporate reputations, shatter financial performance, and destroy careers, families, and lives. With so much to lose, doesn't compliance deserve our undivided attention?

    Abstract | More | PDF | iPad | Kindle

    Corporate compliance—or, more accurately, the risk of noncompliance—has become a major concern over the past decade, especially for global manufacturers with operations in many different countries and jurisdictions. When a practice commonly accepted in one country could be a serious criminal or civil offense in another, companies had better know about it.

    Many firms understand that compliance can lead to competitive advantage and are making their suppliers commit to compliance standards that go far beyond those required by law.

    To understand how companies reduce the risks of noncompliance, A.T. Kearney surveyed execu¬tives at leading manufacturers, conducting in-depth interviews with compliance executives at nearly 40 top companies worldwide. While most studies approach compliance from a legal perspective, we focus our attention on compliance management.

    Five major findings emerged from our examination of compliance management in these areas:

    • Most companies expect to expand their compliance systems.
    • Lower management has a much less favorable perception of compliance systems than top management, indicating a strong need for administrative efforts to generate acceptance at all levels.
    • Most companies do not have an independent compliance department that reports directly to the executive board.
    • External resources are especially useful for setting up a compliance system.
    • The most effective compliance systems integrate compliance and process management.
  • Delivering Military Software Affordably

    Delivering Military Software Affordably

    Defense AT&L magazine, March-April 2013 Issue

    The future of the military will depend more on the Department of Defense's ability to develop the best software rather than on the physical design chosen for the weapons.


  • Three Ways the U.S. Department of Defense Can Achieve Its Sustainment Objectives in Challenging Times

    Three Ways the U.S. Department of Defense Can Achieve Its Sustainment Objectives in Challenging Times

    A three-pronged approach focuses on what matters—structure and acquisitions.

    Abstract | More | PDF | iPad | Kindle

    For more than a decade, the DoD has embraced performance-based logistics (PBL) as its preferred means for reducing sustainment costs. While effective in some cases, PBLs are generally thinly implemented, mostly contract-focused, and executed at the commodity level.

    Our recently commissioned A.T. Kearney study reveals that PBLs alone will not be sufficient for the DoD to meet both its sustainment needs and performance requirements during the coming period of significant budget reductions. The study also examines the forces of change inside and outside the DoD, highlighting how they will play out within the context of U.S. national security and the ways in which they will shape the DoD's future sustainment strategy and activities.

    Our findings suggest that the DoD can meet its sustainment objectives—despite a declining budget—by looking more broadly at the defense industrial structure and the acquisition process. Indeed, it is possible to substantially improve sustainment performance while also meeting the long-term goals of national security and taxpayer stewardship.

    This can be accomplished by aggressively pursuing and implementing three strategies: adopt a menu of principle-driven sustainment models, develop a portfolio mindset, and make better acquisition decisions. This paper outlines each one in more detail.

  • Cut Sustainment Costs as Budgets Fall

    Cut Sustainment Costs as Budgets Fall

    DefenseNews, 7 January 2013

    A.T. Kearney Partner Steven Hurt takes a look into Performance Based Logistics and the principle-driven sustainment models across the Department of Defense.


In the News

Read insights from A.T. Kearney consultants quoted in the media.

Global Leaders

Bob Willen
Bob Willen
Rick Kozole
Rick Kozole
Jeff Sorenson
Jeff Sorenson
Eiji Kawahara
Eiji Kawahara
Asia Pacific
Götz Klink
Götz Klink
Europe, Middle East, and Africa