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Boeing spreads bets with AWS, Google, Microsoft trio

Points to on-prem pain with legacy systems, rising maintenance costs

Boeing has decided that when it comes to the cloud there's no reason to limit itself to just one of the big public cloud players, so instead it chose all three.

The aerospace giant said it was making a "significant investment in the company's digital future" with the new agreements between it and AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft.

Boeing already has agreements with the three vendors, and said expanding those will actually create a "single foundation" for its future approach to cloud computing. 

Boeing is hardly the first company to decide using multiple cloud vendors was in its best interest. Multicloud solutions are baked into the services offered by big vendors like IBM and Microsoft, and Gartner said most businesses are choosing multicloud strategies, leading to more than 75 percent of organizations using multiple cloud providers.

In its own announcement, Boeing said the adoption was driven in part by its applications largely being hosted on-premises. The company said that aging legacy systems are leading to infrastructure problems, excessive maintenance needs and are raising barriers to additional digital transformation initiatives. 

"Expanding cloud solutions removes infrastructure restraints, allowing for more ownership within teams, simplifies processes, creates easier and more secure access to information, and empowers Boeing developers to perform their best," Boeing said. 

Microsoft: We'll help Boeing unlock value in its 'vast data estate'

The thread of modernization runs through the announcements from Amazon, Google and Microsoft, too, but outside of that Boeing was light on specific plans for the three cloud services. 

Boeing CIO Susan Doniz specifically mentioned digital twins as one of its plans for the cloud, but her comments otherwise focus on how the vendors will help Boeing modernize.

Of Microsoft, Doniz said it "will help us realize our cloud strategy by removing infrastructure restraints, properly scaling to unlock innovation and further strengthening our commitment to sustainable operations."

Of Amazon's cloud arm, Doniz said: "AWS will help us advance Boeing's people, products, and services by enabling everyone with the latest tools, technology and expertise." Google, meanwhile, is supposed to help the airline "modernize our applications; empower our people with the latest technology, tools and expertise; and continuously innovate with rapid software changes."

Microsoft said it will enable Boeing to unlock value buried in its "vast data estate."

AWS said Boeing might be interested in its high-performance computing and Google lists its AI, ML and automation software as points of interest. We've contacted Boeing for more information on how it plans to use the cloud providers but have yet to hear back. ®

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