EXECUTIVE INTERVIEW: Tom Goodman, Vice President, Global Business Development & Strategy, OWL Cyber Defense
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How has the pandemic impacted technology adoption by the aviation industry in the Middle East?
What we have seen over the past 18 months is much more focused on the adoption of technology, in particular web-based and cloud platforms, to support aviation operations. The aviation ecosystem is still very dependent on human capital for support, such as maintenance, repair, and operations. However, where there was originally a much more manual process, we are now seeing the development and deployment of platforms that can make support processes easier and less dependent on human capital.
Have industry players been quick to adapt technology to cater to the changing needs in the aerospace market?
The number one concern in all aspects of the aerospace and aviation markets has been, and will always be, safety. Industry players, whether they are aircraft manufacturers, airline operators, or any other part of the ecosystem, have always put safety of flight and safety of personnel at the top of their list of priorities. With that said, industry has been very open to the introduction of new technologies to streamline operations and improve not only safety, but also profitability and efficiency.
In which areas and geographies do you see strongest potential for growth?
Aviation is definitely seeing continued strong growth, globally. As the world has adjusted to the impact of this pandemic, the aviation industry has invested very smartly. Applications for fuels management, catering and resupply, and maintenance records are but a few that have gone from being 100% paper-based to now being completely electronic and available for digital signoff and acceptance. We are seeing growth in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Asia as some of the strongest markets for aviation, but growth is very positive globally overall.
What technologies do you predict will impact the aerospace industry most in the next five years?
We do believe that because there is more and more dependency on aviation platforms, including the use of unmanned systems for specific segments, we will see a significant opportunity in the growth of safety and security technologies. Aviation data is part of a nation’s critical infrastructure, so protecting these data streams will be more demanding and more important than ever before. Whether it is providing more fidelity in the types of data that is delivered to the aviation operators or ensuring that the data is not compromised, safety and security – in particular, cyber security – will be the most impactful on this industry.
What are your expectations from Dubai Airshow 2021 - which will be the first of its kind event since the coronavirus outbreak?
We are very pleased to have the opportunity to be here at the Dubai Air Show and to work with the show organizers. While the world has certainly had to adapt to a changing environment and new protocols for health and safety, we are very pleased to be a part of this event. Our goal at the show is to help the industry understand the types of technologies that are available for protecting the aviation ecosystem and what we all can do in partnership to provide a safer and more secure flight experience.
Lastly, what are OWL Cyber Defense plans ahead in the region?
Owl recently opened an office in Abu Dhabi, and we have been expanding our team in the GCC region for the last year. We are very fortunate to have a great set of partners to work with and we are investing in continued expansion of our ability to support and collaborate with these partners and our customers. The Middle East is one of our key growth areas for the company and we are very excited about our future. Visit https://owlcyberdefense.com/ for more information on our products and services that can help protect your business.