Defence companies and digital technologies


Companies today face the challenges brought by the growing integration of digital technologies into their production capacities and methods and their offers. Cyber security, big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) are all technologies that are requiring them to rethink their business model, in all business sectors. This digital transformation can lead to radical changes in the way they organise work and manage innovation (products and technologies) and significantly affect their business opportunities, in particular. These changes also concern the business environment, with the redefinition of value chains and ecosystems and the advent of new competitors with different profiles. Historical defence companies do not escape these fundamental trends.

The national defence strategies of major powers all concur on the growing role and use of these technologies for and by their armed forces. Mastering digital technology is regarded as a matter of sovereignty. In recent years, dedicated national strategies have thus been defined for cyber security and AI. However, in these fields, defence companies find themselves facing competition from predominantly commercial companies, active in the development of web and IT services and hardware production.

This note aims to explore the various stakes involved for defence companies in developing and maintaining digital business (cyber security and AI), in a context of fierce competition.


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