Stuart Hughes is CIO and chief digital officer at Rolls-Royce, where he leads the team digital teams in the civil aerospace business. Rolls-Royce\u2019s engines are used in fighter jets, business jets and more than 50 percent of long-haul planes. \n\nCIO\u2019s Thor Olavsrud sat down with Hughes at IDG\u2019s Edge Computing Summit to discuss how data collected from airplane engines is enabling Rolls-Royce\u2019s customers to plan and execute better flights.\n\nWhat follows are edited excerpts of that conversation. For more of Hughes\u2019s insights, watch the full video below.\n\nOn how IoT and edge have changed how Rolls-Royce does business:\n\nOur technology enables us to have a commercial model where the airplane owner actually pays per engine flying hour, so only pays for the time that the engine is in use. And in exchange for that payment, Rolls-Royce covers all of the maintenance, all of the servicing and all of the warranty elements. In effect, we sell power by the hour rather than airplane engines in that sense. \n\nOn planning and executing a better flight:\n\nA really important part of the innovation that my team in Singapore has been working on really closely with Singapore Airlines [is executing a more fuel-efficient flight]. \n\nWe\u2019ve created applications for the pilot and for the operations team that help them understand some of the strategies available to them. And it\u2019s a really big win, because if they can choose the right strategies, think about how they take off and how much thrust they\u2019re using, think about the way they climb and think about the angle that they climb at, think about how they use wind better, think about how they basically optimize the engine, then there are two really big benefits. There\u2019s a reduction in fuel, so they\u2019re paying less for fuel, they\u2019re carrying less fuel. And the other thing is, of course, we\u2019re reducing CO2 in the atmosphere.\n\nOn personalizing service at the engine level:\n\nA really significant change that happened in the time that I\u2019ve been at Rolls-Royce,\u2026 [is] moving from treating everything the same, maybe replacing things that didn\u2019t need replacing, maybe impacting the airlines and the customers by taking the engine off the wing too early, and thinking about it in a much more specific, individualized way. \n\n[I]t allows us to take into effect how the pilot has flown the engine and the environment that it\u2019s flown through and the types of missions or flights, as you might call it, that it\u2019s been through. So, it really enabled us to tailor the maintenance and overhaul to the specific engine rather than the product family.\n\nOn changing how IT works:\n\n[A]s an IT department, we\u2019ve adapted. We really lean in to the IoT capabilities, the platform capabilities. So, platform-as-a-service offerings. I think before I arrived, there was a \u201cwe don\u2019t want to lock ourselves in\u201d mentality. But to me, you\u2019re almost negating the benefits of the cloud if you\u2019re not going to work with the cloud provider\u2019s features.\n\nI think the second side of it really was a cultural change. So, now the team that works for me, we\u2019re split into product teams that represent the various value chains within the platform itself, and we work with a high level of agility.\n\nAnd I think finally, and the most important piece is, we all have the same outcome. So, we follow an OKR process (objectives and key results). It\u2019s not given to the team. The team are a big part of helping us set our objectives, helping us define our key results. And that helps us judge our progress on the outcomes we actually deliver rather than the IT tasks or the subsystems or how many deployments we\u2019ve done in a day. Or, God forbid, how agile we are, which some people like to measure. So, for me, really we\u2019ve made a huge change away from specs and formality to product teams, collaboration, iteration, and then just a laser focus on the actual outcome.\n\nOn advice for getting started with IoT data:\n\nI think all of the projects that I\u2019ve seen go terribly wrong is where it gets stuck in R&D or it gets stuck in IT with everybody trying and capture every bit of data. And then two years in, someone says, \u201cWhat are we going to do with the data?\u201d And that\u2019s when someone like me normally walks through the door and says, \u201cYou\u2019re doing it all wrong.\u201d\n\nSo really think about what the end is, who the customer is, what the use case is, what a successful outcome looks like. Capture that data and then start to iterate from there.