Cloud Computing

How it is transforming aviation maintenance and improving safety.


With its ability to increase productivity, improve safety and reduce costs, cloud computing is transforming aviation maintenance and, in the process, improving aviation safety. It also is revolutionizing business by allowing users to access applications and information from any device with Internet access, such as tablets on the maintenance shop floor, or laptops out in the field. Consequently, users no longer are tied to a desk or workstation to do their work.

Simply put, “cloud computing” is defined as a service provided over the Internet. Anyone who has ever used Facebook or accessed email online has used cloud computing. In both of these examples, the application and the data are accessed over the Internet as a service without being installed on a PC or local network.

All software and information are stored remotely and managed by the cloud-based service provider, so users (including their company IT departments) don’t have to worry about security, data corruption caused by viruses, computer theft, equipment malfunctions or software glitches. The provider of the service manages and updates all information stored online.

Cloud computing also protects critical data from the risks associated with any variety of disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes or long-term power failures at your place of business. User information is safely stored in a secure, remote location rather than on a computer hard-drive or business network server. Data and services can always be accessed wherever and whenever an Internet connection is available.

How the cloud benefits maintenance operations

For maintenance operations, cloud computing offers new ways for accessing and managing critical information. Gone are the days when maintenance publications required rooms full of books, stacks of CDs, or dedicated workstations. Cloud computing provides access to this information from any Internet connected device, anywhere. Furthermore, cloud computing improves processes for handling work orders, parts requests, compliance reports, and even customer information.

Cloud computing also is a productivity enhancer and time saver. New users and users at new locations are quickly added without any additional software installation or IT department intervention. The DOM, or someone he/she designates, can assign who has access to individual libraries, improving how user licenses are allocated. It is even possible to monitor in real time who’s accessing information and log them off the cloud-based system remotely if desired.

Cloud computing also improves business reporting. Real-time reporting allows the business to quickly demonstrate currency and compliance – regardless of the number of mechanics, the number of maintenance locations, or the variety of aircraft being serviced. Managing reports and forms in the cloud makes it easy to access and share information for business intelligence, customer service, compliance, or information control.

Easy maintenance library management

With cloud computing, the service provider organizes technical publications and service information into a logical library system that makes it easier to find information. Combining libraries from engine, airframe, propeller and avionics manufacturers, along with required regulatory information, in one cloud-based system increases productivity. Additionally, updates are quickly processed and automatically added by the cloud service provider every day. Since all updated information is available from any computer with an Internet connection, DOMs can be confident that all users have access to the same information and that it is always current.

Managing and monitoring workflows and checking on the status of a job are suddenly much simpler with cloud computing. DOMs know immediately when a job is started or completed. The application provides insight into parts requests and whether the part was in stock or placed on order. Since the information is taken directly from the technical publications, the DOM can be more confident in the accuracy of parts requests. The status of everything is available in real time.

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