Original Date: 10/20/1997
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Information System Architecture
In the mid-1980s, Northrop Grumman began transitioning from a traditional mainframe segregated computing system to a distributed architecture system (Figure 2-9). This transition was accelerated in the early 1990s to meet the needs of its multi-functional Integrated Product Teams (IPTs) on the F/A-18 program. These needs encompassed a wide variety of readily-available data and information which existed in disparate legacy systems. In situations where data manipulation across data types was needed, the legacy systems were replaced by new open architecture systems. If read-only capabilities were needed, then the appropriate bridges were developed. Two years after addressing the IPT needs, Northrop Grumman began transitioning its quality assurance and manufacturing data to an open architecture system. Next, the company built a more effective data and information exchange for those customers who use web technologies.
Today, Northrop Grumman’s Information System Architecture, based on an open architecture, provides users with highly reliable data and information to meet their current needs (Figure 2-10), and excellent accessibility of data and information at all levels of the organization. The agile infrastructure uses multiple-source data warehousing accessibility to ensure near real-time availability of reliable data and information for its users. The integration of the architecture into suppliers’ domains will further enhance the effectiveness of data and information for managing and operating the company.
Northrop Grumman’s highly integrated Information System Architecture has significantly reduced the volume of paper in the company. The high reliability and availability of the data and information has resulted in the infrastructure becoming the only valid data source. Decisions are made, priorities are established, and schedules are approved based on the infrastructure’s on-line information. In addition, the up-to-date data enables Northrop Grumman to take proactive steps and achieve smooth productive operations.
Figure 2-9. E/F Systems Original Environment
Figure 2-10. One Program, Agile Infrastructure Vision
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