The reality is that the ability to make decisions quickly based on accurate information is a key requirement for anyone operating in the defense sector. A mix of technology systems within a single organization, siloed information and lack of data analysis capability can pose significant challenges for decision- making, especially when units are deployed or operating in field environments and do not have ready access to the data they need.
A number of new technologies are making it easier for defense organizations to meet their ever-increasing demand for just-in-time information. These technologies provide great opportunities, but they also come with their own risks.
In a world where defense organizations must be flexible, responsive and take action quickly, information must be at every user’s fingertips, regardless of their location. “Just as technologies are changing, so too are workforces,” explains [ADD NAME AND TITLE OF KPMG PARTNER]. “Mobile technologies present the opportunity to revolutionize the way that defense does business. The demand for mobile ERP within defense is consistent and is driven by a broader trend towards the consumerization of IT.” Personnel supply and logistics, finance – ready access to such information can help ensure every unit is operating effectively.
When it comes to mobile technologies, millennials not only have the necessary skill-sets – they have an expectation that they will be utilized in their work environment. What defense organizations should determine is how to ensure that any mobile technologies they implement are relevant to users, while also addressing potential security issues.
Cloud-based solutions are quickly becoming the new normal in both the private and the public sector. In fact, many ERP and application providers are moving to subscription and cloud-based services almost exclusively. This is making it more expensive for individual organizations to manage in-house organization- specific applications in a cost effective manner.
While many within the Five Eyes community recognize the value of both cloud-based solutions and mobile access, there is still a very strong view that such activities may present security risks. Questions linger around what exactly the cloud is, where it is located, how it is managed, and how its security is assured. As a result, defense organizations have been slow adopt cloud technologies.
There isn’t one approach to cloud-based solutions. Based on different requirements and needs, there are a number of mechanisms that can provide mobile access to information through the cloud in a secure manner. From clouds with exclusive or inter-departmental occupancy to internal data storage with mobile access, organizations can implement a range of total or hybrid solutions based on their needs.
There are a lot of options when it comes to cloud-based ERP solutions, and the options keep evolving. “Mobility and the use of cloud technologies have shaped up as the hot technology topics for CIOs in defense forces,” explains Miles MacNamee, Defense Lead Partner of KPMG US. “The Canadian Department of National Defense sees the move to cloud as inevitable, and they – like the US Department of Defense – are coming to terms with what a move to cloud means from a security perspective and, in particular, where data will reside.”
When it comes to using new technologies effectively, defense organizations should define the information that needs to be accessible and identify potential solutions that would adhere to all security, regulatory or legislated requirements. From there, organizations can determine the benefits, risks and potential risk mitigation activities associated with each solution and select a solution that works best for them.