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Hitachi Consulting UK Delivers Change Management Program for NATS

National Air Traffic Services



App Modernization

Enterprise Intelligence



Project objectives

  • Help define vision for aligning IT with NATS future growth strategy, transferring all desktop IT services to a cloud-based infrastructure
  • Define a change framework for engaging the organization as a whole
  • Build IS team capability with internal change leaders
  • Train internal change agents to engage with the business, build interest and drive management ownership of the benefits
  • Enable integration of leading edge technology as part of new IT environment
  • Implementation of SharePoint solution to help facilitate collaboration


Scope of solution

  • Requirements gathering
  • Process mapping
  • Change management
  • Testing

NOTE: In January of 2020, Hitachi Consulting and Hitachi Vantara began integrating and will operate as a combined company under the Hitachi Vantara organization.

Business challenge

As part of its drive for innovation and efficiency, NATS needed to transfer its desktop IT services to a cloud-based infrastructure. The project, known internally as Our Future Workspace, is designed to deliver greater efficiency, smarter and more collaborative ways of working for staff, and reduce the company's environmental footprint. In doing so NATS was seeking to reduce its IT costs by £9 million over the next four years, shrink its environmental footprint, improve flexibility and enhance the service it provides to around 6,000 staff.

The company not only wanted to enable staff to access information more easily and provide greater mobility, but also needed to align its IT with its future growth NATS needed to accommodate future scenarios, such as potential acquisitions and joint ventures that may require greater scalability and flexibility.

To achieve this, NATS needed to create a change management program to support its IT vision. The company recognized that the change was much more than implementing new technology – it would affect everyone in the business. With almost 6,000 employees working in a variety of roles spanning air traffic controllers, engineers, human factor psychologists and data analysts, to name but a Insert period after few NATS needed to ensure everyone understood the drivers and benefits behind the project.


NATS appointed Hitachi Consulting UK to help with the capability requirements around its change management program across the business. In a separate contract, Hitachi Consulting UK also won the contract to implement SharePoint across the new virtualized environment. SharePoint is one of the main technology enablers for delivering the company's new IT vision, and a key driver in supporting the different ways of working, which is what the Future Workspace project is all about.

Hitachi Consulting understood the vision and strategy of what we were trying to achieve. They could make the leap between the technical requirements, the business impact on people's behavior and what this would mean for the day to day style of working," said Gavin Walker, Head of Information Solutions for NATS.

Hitachi Consulting defined a change framework for engaging the organization, and tested this in a series of workshops with pilot groups. Hitachi Consulting then built the IS team capability, engaging with the business, building interest in the project and driving management ownership of the benefits. Hitachi Consulting will also be implementing Microsoft SharePoint as part of NATS' new IT environment.


Background IT groundwork for change management supports the move to a multi-million pound project, transferring all desktop IT services to a cloud-based infrastructure.

Air traffic control for commercial flights started in 1920 when Croydon was first used as London's air terminal – but all the controller could do was give the pilot a red or green light for take-off and acknowledge position reports sent by radio. Today, National Air Traffic Services (NATS) is a leader in innovative air traffic solutions, providing air traffic control services for aircraft flying in UK airspace and the eastern part of the North Atlantic while maintaining safety as its number one priority. With 2011 pre-tax profits of £106 million, NATS maintains excellent service standards.

"Hitachi Consulting is helping us to turn Our Future Workspace vision into reality. They’ve enabled us to bring staff with us on this journey, ensuring everyone understands how it benefits them, facilitates the way they work and the value it brings."
– Gavin Walker, Head of Information Solutions, NATS


NATS Future Workspace Project is the largest implementation of cloud-based infrastructure in the transport sector to date. As a result of the successful change management program with Hitachi Consulting, NATS' will enable more effective collaboration between internal staff and business partners across NATS' locations and over multiple geographic regions.

Staff will have access to the services, information and applications they need for their particular role, creating a customized experience. NATS employees will be able to access their virtualized applications on any technology device in a much more mobile friendly and accessible environment.

The project is an enabler of NATS growth strategy, providing the company with a flexible and responsive IT framework that doesn't add to its footprint. Staff will be able to access the applications they need, wherever they are, and will have a consistent experience regardless of the device they are using.

Walker added, "Hitachi Consulting is helping us to turn Our Future Workspace vision into reality. They've enabled us to bring staff with us on this journey, ensuring everyone understands how it benefits them, facilitates the way they work and the value it brings."

Hitachi was very focused on streams of activity, building training processes with our IS teams, creating change agents and working with our delivery change leaders internally.

– Gavin Walker, Head of Information Solutions, NATS

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