Could COVID-19 act as a springboard to innovation in aerospace?

03 November 2020

airplane flying over a phone
Could COVID-19 act as a springboard to innovation in aerospace?

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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a monumental impact on the global economy and the aviation and aerospace sectors have felt the brunt of this force. As a result, innovation in aerospace is crucial in moving forward from this. During this time, airlines have been forced to ground their fleets, which has had a ripple effect into their supply chains. Despite the downturn, organisations will still face the challenge of remaining compliant with standards and ensure that they are operating safely.

As government furlough schemes end and expected redundancies follow, there is an opportunity here for companies to automate and plug process gaps with software. Despite widespread negativity in the media, the COVID-19 crisis could act as a catalyst to innovation and efficiency.

Making positive changes in the face of a crisis

Out of crisis comes opportunities – a recent survey of over 200 senior executives by industry analysts McKinsey showed that 95% expect the crisis to fundamentally change how they work in the next 5 years. Their findings also identified that “crises are like adrenaline for innovation, causing barriers that once took years to overcome to evaporate in a matter of days.” Video conferencing has been forced upon organisations to support the working from home culture, but this is just one example of sector-wide technology acceleration.

There is undoubtedly a balance to be struck between throwing money at new technology during uncertain times and recognising where software and technology can add long-term value to business operations. Many organisations are happy treading water at the moment, but there is an opportunity to build a foundation for growth and success. The enforced dilemma of “replacing people with technology” in some sort of mini industrial revolution is also becoming a more comfortable step for some firms.

Learning to “walk before you run” is important, but the technology is there to effectively “run into change” in the current climate. There has been a huge surge in aerospace companies having adapted to using mobile applications, devices, and software in order to revitalise the way they do things. This allows them to tackle risk head-on while striving for operational excellence in driving compliance, quality, and safety activities. The right software solution gathers data into one place, giving senior managers a bird’s eye view of everything they need to know, enabling them to make informed decisions on a faster basis.

Coming out the other side

Once we eventually do see the light at the end of the tunnel – or at least ways of more confident working – there will be an inevitable skills gaps in the following years. The technology adopted during the pandemic will also play its part in the industry’s ongoing recovery by streamlining processes and increasing operational efficiency. The main benefit of this is that it frees up the employee to do more valuable skills-reliant work, increase billable time and analysis, rather than administering spreadsheets or chasing-up colleagues.

Navigating a way out of the COVID-19 crisis in the short-term is vital to businesses survival, however, innovation can play its part in this process and rethinking risk. The eventual recovery should see brave companies who invest in innovation to understand their organisation like never before.

Learn more about how Q-Pulse can help drive efficiency in your organisation and enable innovation in aerospace during covid-19 and beyond.

Ideagen's Greig Duncan
Written by

Greig Duncan

Within his role at Ideagen, Greig works as part of the aviation, aerospace and defence team – responsible for industry-leading software tools that help to boost safety, quality and proactive risk management within the world's largest organisations.

Greig’s career to date has been dominated by safety, risk and technology-driven roles within the offshore emergency response, training, reputation management and HSE sectors.

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