26 Oct 2018

‘Keep The Tech Talking’: Future-Proofing The Ecosytem Of Conflict

Historically the ecosystem of conflict extended only a few miles either side of the line of engagement. Whilst there will always be a focus on action at the front, the ecosystem, particularly in terms of control and command, has devolved and expanded. Given ever more accurate intelligence, sourced via IoT and the Cloud, command at a distance is no longer a challenge.

Taken overall, conflict is increasingly played out within a polarised ecosystem. At one end, the front line is still an irredeemably rugged environment. Conversely the ‘back-office’ is a relatively sophisticated and considered workplace. In between, lines of communication have been transformed by leading edge technologies.

The challenge for defence procurement is to embrace the need to create a new future-facing ecosystem that balances and accommodates the end-to-end requirement of all three components. The conundrum is where to focus first.

In many ways the best starting point is the front line. Whatever technology you equip the next generation fighting force with, it has to be rugged. If yesterday’s mantra was ‘keep the guns firing’ then todays should be ‘keep the tech talking’. No matter how good your back-office systems and analysis, conflicts are won or lost on intelligence and the ability to instantly communicate the next course of action.

That means choosing mobile comms and wearable tech that is natively rugged and manufactured to military grade as default. Yet it doesn’t need to be bespoke – tech like this is readily available in the commercial sector where it is deployed in other natively rugged and challenging environments such as Blue Light Services, oil and gas, utilities and manufacturing. Taking this option immediately removes one of the challenges for procurement.

The next challenge is that the rugged tech you choose must have the capability to run both front line and back office processes and systems, and leverage rapid communication, throughout the chain of control and command to build a holistic rugged ecosystem.

Once again this ecosystem exists ‘off the shelf’. For example, Getac manufactures a suite of rugged devices that between them interface seamlessly from wearables for the soldier on the ground for situational awareness, through mission planning and tactical communication, to platform analytics and command and control.

To make life even easier on procurement and budget, Getac backs its devices with a ‘bumper to bumper’ warranty for accidental damage, meaning less time out of line and rapid repair.

Getac has recently published a new e-book entitled ‘In Conflict. With Technology’. You can download a free copy at http://defence.getac.com/uk/

image © Crown Copyright

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