Military IT transformation continues to be driven by need to exploit big data

Military hardware has long been capable of producing large amounts of information, however, as information demands on modern militaries and their supply chains becomes more onerous, it is now a necessity for military forces to develop new digital transformation and modernization programs to leverage the vast quantities of data they store and generate on a daily basis, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Big Data in Defense – Thematic Research’, reveals that, given more and more operations are performed using multiple parts of the modern military, the ability big data provides to pass data and update situations with extreme rapidity is regarded as being essential.

William Davies, Aerospace and Defense Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Militaries are increasingly getting to grips with the scale of the challenges they face, but there are still significant development obstacles in utilizing big data – namely upgrading legacy IT infrastructure to facilitate the collection and use of large datasets. The major focus of armed forces in the coming years will be to ensure that their own IT infrastructure is up to date and can effectively communicate before the task of utilizing big data becomes more realistic.”

Defense IT capability has been acquired over many years, with resilience as the primary requirement. However, even just getting these legacy siloes to talk to each other is challenging. Therefore, updating different military networks so they can communicate and form parts of the same overall system will be a key goal of modern military planners.

Technology companies are becoming increasingly instrumental to operational military efficacy and are regularly engaged as top contractors to defense organizations worldwide. However, generating capability here often means traditional acquisition processes need to change for these organizations, as defense acquisition needs to be more agile to fully exploit the capabilities offered by big data analysis.

Davies adds: “While militaries increasingly recognize this need, it is crucial that they become a more ‘intelligent customer’ and engage with a wider, more open market than they are often used to when generating capability. Militaries must develop the ability to analyze and create actionable information from big data as the opportunities this will bring will be wide-ranging.”

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