Boeing Boosts Operations Into Cloud With Amazon, Google, Microsoft

Credit: Boeing

In a major step forward in its digitalization, including overhauling how it designs and builds new aircraft, Boeing announced a series of deals with the highest-profile cloud-computing providers.

In separate announcements, Boeing unveiled expansions of existing relationships with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud and Microsoft for their cloud, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning (ML) offerings.

“Today’s announcement represents a significant investment in Boeing’s digital future,” Susan Doniz, Boeing chief information officer and senior vice president of information technology (IT) and data analytics, said as part of each announcement.

Collectively, the deals represent Boeing’s most substantial move toward becoming a more digitalized entity–something long sought by top executives, but which became a core mission across most of the business world after the COVID-19 pandemic emerged. For almost 106-year-old Boeing, it includes everything from back office functions to how it designs, builds and supports new airliners, military aircraft and spacecraft.

With Amazon, “Boeing will migrate applications out of on-premises data centers to AWS and create a technology foundation that will strengthen engineering and manufacturing processes,” the companies said. “AWS will power new and existing Boeing digital applications to unlock valuable insights to drive product innovation, more efficient operations, and improved customer support.”

With Google, it entails “migrating hundreds of applications across multiple business groups and aerospace products to Google Cloud,” the companies said. “The partnership will enable Boeing to address challenges that come with traditional on-premises IT [information technology] implementations, taking advantage of the scalability and flexibility of the cloud, along with the ease-of-use and innovation of Google Cloud’s data analytics and AI/ML tools.”

With Microsoft, “Boeing will leverage the Microsoft Cloud and its AI capabilities to update its technology infrastructure and mission-critical applications with intelligent new solutions that are data driven, further opening new ways of working, operating and doing business,” the companies said.

Long before recent problems emerged with the 737 MAX and 787 widebody, Boeing had promised its next new airliner would represent more of a manufacturing makeover than a step change in airline design. “Developers will also be able to leverage new data analytics and AI/ML tools for additional business impact, including offering insights that can improve Boeing’s efficiencies in airplane manufacturing,” Boeing said in the latest announcements.

Financial details of the multiyear deals were not announced, nor specifically how the three cloud providers will divvy up Boeing’s business empire. In 2021, The Information reported that the three were vying for more than $1 billion worth of work with Chicago-based Boeing.

Michael Bruno

Based in Washington, Michael Bruno is Aviation Week Network’s Executive Editor for Business. He oversees coverage of aviation, aerospace and defense businesses, supply chains and related issues.


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