Vanguard Magazine

Feb/Mar 2015

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

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Page 35 of 47

B BIg DAtA 36 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2015 leveraging analytics for Globally, defence and intelligence organizations are facing challenges requiring them to transform and embrace alliance operations as they encounter unpredictable, asymmetric threats while adher- ing to budgetary constraints. to achieve information superiority for a smarter defence, government organizations can leverage new technologies like analytics, big data, cloud computing, mobile and social business to continu- ally transform operations, while increasing efficiencies. sMarter defence M ilitary organizations cannot afford to remain static as they work to address the many evolutionary and revolutionary changes that are continually occurring in the world's security environment. They must be able to anticipate the direction of change and adeptly adjust their capabilities if they are to be effective in preserving national secu- rity interests. A number of challenges need to be addressed to allow for effi- ciency. These include reducing operating costs for backbone IT in- frastructure, managing the overall increase in operational expenses, and dealing with the growing need for cyber defence advances. In addition, there is an explosion in the velocity, variety and volume of data. Organizations need methods to better extract rel- evant information from this data "tsunami." This can be done by using technologies like analytics to penetrate "silos of excellence," connect both disparate data sources and systems, as well as pro- duce new insights from the combined information. As an example of how analytics can be effective, look at the new serious games techniques that are being implemented to help optimize military supply chains or bolster cyber defence prepared- ness. In a cyber-defence scenario, players benefit from competing in opposing roles on offense, defense, and network exploitation, combined with playing as different entities such as countries and organizations. These new techniques include all the possibilities of organizational policy, politics, operating costs, social engineer- ing, and kinetic retaliation to help better prepare players for real- world complexities. These kinds of efforts are essential to sustain the operational forces, equipment and personnel that defence organizations have worked so hard to develop, with the additional goal of investing in ongoing modernization efforts and future capabilities which would further enhance the military's operational readiness. Many areas in a defence organization can be made more ef- fective through the strategic use of analytics, including planning, simulators, tactical communications and similar tools for military operations. Business systems are important, too. These are the support systems that allow the "business of the military" to be conducted. These include, but are not limited to, systems that function in areas such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), ac- quisition, program management, pay and personnel systems, data centres, financial reporting and records management. In addition, logistics systems that focus on sustainment of systems and infra- structure, which include supply chains, parts ordering, shipping, tracking and storage, depot maintenance activities, sustainability analysis, integrated logistics systems and obsolescence engineer- ing, are an imperative area of focus. While these approaches will help achieve savings and enhance mis- sion capabilities, including the wide scope of running the business of the world's militaries, it's essential that defence-technology partners are part of the equation. Technology companies have the expertise to enable systems and processes that will help improve operations and readiness, better deploy resources, and improve collaboration between government and non-government defence entities. Transformation for government defence organizations can also mean radical consolidations in many parts of an organization's Mgen (Ret'd) Mike Ward is a Partner for the Defence and Aerospace portfolio of IBM Global Business Services. He served over 35 years in the Canadian Armed Forces, including as Chief of Force Development and as the first Deputy Commander of the NAtO training Mission in Kabul.

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