Global shifts in defence and security

Global shifts in defence and security

War is changing. It's becoming less conventional and more asymmetric, particularly with the rise of terror threats and attacks.

Global Head, Defence sector

KPMG International Cooperative


Related content

Futuristic cyber background target with laser lights

Anticipate and adapt

There are a whole range of changing circumstances geopolitically that together with the changing nature of warfare are driving profound shifts across the global defence and security sphere. The ability to anticipate and adapt is now pivotal for any defence organisation.

With recent tragic events at home and abroad, national security for external and internal threats remains paramount. New digital arenas are revealing ever-evolving risks. The value of big data and the rapid emergence of disruptive technologies makes organisations increasingly susceptible to cyber-attacks.

"The ability to anticipate and adapt is now pivotal for any defence organisation."

Ken Drover
Global Head, KPMG's Defence Global Centre of Excellence 

The power of information and network enabling technologies cannot be understated. While the western world has been privy to information sharing for several decades now, they are not immune to power shifts created by the rise of the individual and associated networks. Countries may need to consider international collaboration to compete with the influence and power of global networks, enabled by social media, networking and other information sharing technology.

"The warfare of the 21st century is going to be fought over the internet and cyberspace before a shot is fired," the former head of ASIO, David Irvine AO told the recent The Australian Financial Review and KPMG co-hosted defence and national security roundtable.1

Defence globally spends USD1.75 trillion a year2 with a major component being acquisition of equipment. But in the western world, defence budgets are in decline. Defence preparedness and capability is at risk of falling behind as the nature of future conflicts, key players and accessible instruments of war evolve at a rapid pace. The challenge now is: how do we adapt to this changing environment while still being able to maintain a credible capability for defence?

Defence organisations around the world are finding that traditional models of equipment acquisition and maintenance are increasingly unsustainable and will be looking for more innovative, long term, models that better encompass the total life cycle.

Funding constraints combined with increasingly complex needs in military and security effect, will require more multinational cooperation, better procurement and project management, and new partnership or outsourcing arrangements that shift risk, cost and some activities to the defence industry. Defence will be looking for solutions that maximise force projection capabilities and offer interoperability between nations as well as new capabilities, from both military and civilian providers.

Defence will be required to innovate and reform its approach to respond effectively to both anticipated and inconceivable threats. With The World is Changing: Anticipate and Adapt, we begin the conversation on security and will continue to explore this theme throughout the year.

1.‘Grid at risk, says spy boss’, The Australian Financial Review, 9 March 2015, p7.


Accessible from [3.13MB]

Defence & National Security

Defence & National Security

We offer Defence 'value add' through a range of services including financial management, project lifecycle support, IT and business reform advice.

Connect with us


Request for proposal



KPMG's new digital platform

KPMG's new digital platform