Transformation is not just about new tools, it’s about evolving the ways in which the industry collaborates.

If the defence industry is to unleash the full potential of digital enablement and deliver what its customers want in the future, it needs to fundamentally change the way it works. That was the premise of a candid conversation that took place between BAE Systems digital experts Rob Clifford and Darren Nice at DSEI.

Rob said:

Image of Rob Clifford, Head of Data, Maritime and Land, BAE Systems

 “Digital enablement requires an even greater emphasis on facilitation through co-operation and sharing of insights and information across multiple companies. We’re at the point where we recognise we all need to move forward together. This is not only mutually beneficial, it is essential. This is the transformation. Digital enablement necessitates collaboration, transparency, trust, and at the same time an absolute emphasis on delivery.”


“This openness represents a big change in mind-set, but it is one BAE Systems is embracing, and it has already delivered benefits to our customers.”


Rob and Darren agreed that any company looking to play a major role in this industry can’t look to ‘own the pie’. Success is founded on an understanding of the full lifecycle of a platform and establishing a new model of working.


 “Digital isn’t about doing it all yourself. It’s about being able to combine sector expertise to deliver tangible results for our customers”, added Rob.


Image of Darren Nice, BAE Systems

And as Darren pointed out later in the presentation, another major key to success is the importance of striking the balance between ideas and implementation.

“Experimentation is great, and there’s a huge role for this both inside BAE Systems and outside. But the critical point is that companies need to be able to get digital tools over the line. The focus must be on ‘experimentation to implement’.”


Darren cited several examples, including PropheSea, INTeACT, and a recent Software Development Kit release, where BAE Systems has experimented with innovative ideas to develop and deliver ground breaking digital platforms for customers.

Rob Clifford

Head of Data, Maritime and Land, BAE Systems