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Total IT cost of ownership reduced from £300m to under £100m

The TTSC consortium, primed by BAE Systems with key subcontractors Boeing and Serco, was bidding for the £ multi-billion future strategic tanker aircraft (FSTA) contract. The successful bidder would provide the RAF with up to 30 years of refueling and tanker support delivered as an innovative managed service. The consortium was facing very high IT costs over the lifetime of the programme and needed to reduce them significantly to underpin a competitive bid.

Project background

At the outset of this project the consortium faced a £300 million budget for the total cost of ownership (TCO) of IT over the 30 year lifetime of the FSTA contract. These costs had been estimated by a global systems integrator on the assumption that the majority of IT would need to be bespoke developed, implemented and supported.

Key problems and challenges

The TTSC consortium team was under time and resource pressures to keep to the bid timetable and faced a range of areas where it either still had to finalise the service solution or had to find more cost effective approaches for options already selected.

The end to end process for this unique aircraft support service had not yet been defined, meaning it was very difficult, amongst other things, to properly scope and estimate the cost of IT support services. A small team of our specialist enterprise architect and technology integration consultants, led by Steve Bannister, was brought on board to help the TTSC senior management team solve these specific IT challenges.

Our solution

We started by documenting the key business aims and fundamental operating principles of this unique and complex new service. The business covered the modification and commissioning of aircraft, operation of the military service, training for aircrew and ground staff, and all the ancillary functions such as logistics and maintenance, human resources management, and financial and commercial management.

We used enterprise architecture techniques, including Zachman and TOGAF, to develop models of the operating processes and from these defined the key functional, data and network requirements. These were then presented and refined in workshops with the management team to ensure a joint understanding of what was required. We then used the resulting architecture models to identify a range of off-the-shelf applications and supporting infrastructure to meet the business needs.


As a result of our work the TTSC consortium was able to identify a much cheaper, more pragmatic and lower risk technology solution with an overall lifetime cost of under £100 million – a third of the original estimated costs.

“We brought the team in initially to help us define our IT strategy and to try to find a more cost effective solution.  I was delighted with the results. Not only did the team define a much simpler solution but they also helped us to document our underlying operating structure and processes.  What’s more, they were able to communicate this in a simple and understandable way to all of my staff.”

Keith Archer-Jones, Chief Executive

TTSC Consortium (BAES, Boeing, Serco)

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