Our Defense footprint
2017 has been another eventful year in Defense. With the operational landscape fast evolving, defense organizations have had to meet complex demands. At the same time, I’ve witnessed some changes in thinking across the international Defense community when it comes to digital.
For any defense outcome, information dominance has always been key. And on today’s battlefields, both virtual and physical, data has become a new weapon. The challenge for Defense enterprises is how to maintain information dominance in today’s fast-moving hyper-connected world. While it’s not news that technology is critical to this, there has been a growing consensus that widescale, systematic digital transformation is essential.
So, what prompted this shift? Certainly, the explosion in data volumes, the emergence of new big data and analytics platforms, and the maturing of hybrid cloud are game-changers. But 2017 has also seen a strong political push to accelerate the digital revolution in Defense, with a new generation of leaders who are committed to the digital agenda. Just last week, I attended a meeting with one of our key national government defense customers now wanting to press forward with an ambitious digital program.
Delivering the transformation
Delivering the Defense digital transformation demands specific capabilities. Credentials in sovereign Cybesecurity is clearly the top one, for the very obvious reason that cyberwar is now an integrated component of any military Information System build and run. From this perspective, I have to emphasize there is no use protecting IT and IS infrastructures if they are not fully trusted ones. Having the capability to design and deliver fully trusted architectures is of utmost importance, in particular regarding those which will support big data applications.
But let’s look more closely at what all this means for Defense organizations facing many of the same challenges as our customers in other sectors. Given the unsustainable complexity, cost and constraints of legacy systems and processes, they know they need to implement digital transformation. The problem is how to develop the right digital roadmap and manage all the operational impacts in unique, mission critical environments.
Orchestration and integration
Perhaps some of the biggest changes come with the move to more dynamic and diverse partner ecosystems and digital infrastructures. These need to be facilitated and integrated to ensure they are seamless, secure, efficient and flexible. And this is not only about technology; it’s vital for any Defense enterprise to develop an agile workforce and a culture that’s ready for now-continuous digital disruption.
As we’re invited by our customers to discuss their digital roadmap. I am fully convinced that the design and implementation of such roadmaps require the combination of a dual expertise: a deep knowledge of what IT can bring together with a specific expertise about the military environment, mainly conveyed by former military staff. In this series of blogs, my colleagues will share insights about some of the key digital enablers for Defense, from predictive intelligence, to cyber security, to the augmented solider, to name just a few. I am very much looking forward, as I know they are, to working with our customers in the Defense community on the next stage of this exciting digital journey.