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The defence sector has been responsible for many ground-breaking technological advances, from the internet and computers to drones and GPS. Over the years, western nations have invested heavily in R&D in order to keep one step ahead of the adversary and gain first-mover advantage. But today, a combination of military budget restrictions and the exponential growth of technology companies has left defence trailing the civilian world in terms of R&D. Consequently, defence organizations need to be attuned to emerging innovations emanating from outside the defence sector and embrace them as early as possible.

Whether on the battlefield, during peacekeeping operations, or while assisting with an environmental disaster, defence organizations must be able to rapidly mobilize and deploy force elements at readiness. Digital technologies, therefore, need to work across diplomatic, information, operational, military and economic levers of power to deliver a strategic outcome or political end.

Challenges to force readiness

Defence organizations face a number of challenges to achieving the requisite level of readiness, including:

Challenges to force readiness

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Potential benefits of connected defense organizations

Deploying military units on short notice requires huge logistical and operational effort. To effectively marshal resources, these units must be connected to each other and to the wider chain of command.

A connected defence force is the foundation of a deployable force that can react effectively to a multitude of scenarios. Every part of the organization, be it the human, financial or logistical capabilities, need to communicate seamlessly with one another, connecting equipment, resources and enhancing training. Force readiness is dependent on these connections, in order to predict demand and adapt swiftly to changing circumstances.

Eight elements of a connected enterprise

Eight elements of a connected enterprise

Appropriate and timely information and data are the lifeblood of operations, but that is particularly true of military operations. Truly connected defence forces can benefit from a near real time Common Operating Picture through which to get inside the adversary’s decision cycle and deliver the mission. It can also deliver the ability to link military outcomes to the consequent resource and financial costs and to predict the implications of changes in force readiness requirements. 

There are, of course, many technology advances on the defence radar screen: directed energy weapons, hypersonics, quantum computing and autonomous weapons, for instance. But, from a connected enterprise perspective, one technology is blinking particularly brightly on the civilian technology radar: 5G and its associated ecosystem, which, if grasped early, offers forces an opportunity to address these issues and stay a step ahead of their adversaries.

The future of defence over the connected, instantly informed and automated enterprise horizons, will likely involve technologies such as:

Future technologies

At KPMG, our member firms are proud of their heritage supporting defence organizations, and understand the need for an informed, evidence-based transformation approach that is focused on force readiness and connectedness across the entirety of a defence organization.

KPMG Defence and National Security professionals offer a proven transformation methodology and results-driven use of data and technology, to deliver a connected enterprise that can help defence organizations gain an edge over the adversary.