Defence in the Cloud: Embracing Technology for a Competitive Edge

The UK Defence sector is poised for a significant shift towards cloud services in 2023, aimed at unlocking the potential of data and attracting top talent to drive the initiative.

Over the past few years, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has made great strides in cloud adoption through its MODCloud programme, resulting in cost savings and improved data accessibility and security. However, the true value lies in the 24/7 cloud services on offer. The recently published Cloud Strategic Roadmap for Defence sets out the ambition.

In Netcompany's latest Defence Trends paper, we explore how Defence is adopting these technologies and its potential impact. This blog will provide a brief overview of our findings.

Unleash the Potential of Your Data

To tap into the full potential of data, it's crucial to surface, contextualise, and enrich it using data APIs and innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. In this way, the information is presented in a manner that guides decision-makers towards their desired outcomes with automation and speed. As a result, commanders and business leaders receive timely, actionable insights to make informed decisions.

Netcompany recently collaborated with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to smoothly migrate over 40 applications and systems from legacy storage to MODCloud, backed by a bespoke service package and an outcomes-based contract. The extent of this project was covered by Computer Weekly

Our team of experts, working in tandem with service personnel, civil servants, and other suppliers, delivered the project to a high standard and on schedule, with a strong focus on meeting the MoD's desired outcomes. As we continue to support the MoD's digital transformation journey with more and more projects, the future is full of exciting possibilities.

Cloud adoption is a powerful driver of faster, more focused business outcomes. By leveraging the services on offer, organisations can gain a competitive edge. The ability to rapidly scale up or down to meet changing demands and only pay for what is used makes cloud environments a wise investment. Furthermore, the option to quickly expand capabilities during peak demand, near-zero downtime thanks to multiple data centres, and improved value, reduced risk, and interoperability across the business are benefits that make it worth pursuing.

Data: Let’s go large 

Data fusion is a key theme in 2023, and data is already championed as a strategic asset. The MoD is heading towards excellence in data management as the organisation sets the levers to create a best-in-class data capability. Take a look through the Data Strategy for Defence to get a flavour of where this is going. While I have outlined some of the ways cloud adoption can help realise some of this data ambition, the strategy eloquently describes much more. 

People, then technology: Get your digital skills here

Digital skills are in high demand. In Defence, there will continue to be the need for a mix of digital talent – civil servants, uniformed servicepeople and suppliers. Landing an optimal mix takes culture setting and being proactive about an inclusive and psychologically safe workplace. It’s about getting the right blend of people. Leaders who do this effectively and drive the culture will land the best digital deliveries. 

At Netcompany, we build poly-skilled teams of technically talented people. We put a leader at the front, and we deploy the teams to our clients. Our teams are visible, on-hand to talk and on-call to resolve whatever issues arise. Our Defence Team is led by digital delivery experts who are well-balanced with the right domain experience. We are innovative, agile and we go after the business outcomes our client’s demand. Setting those data levers, making the right technology choices and resourcing the teams to deliver are the key components of transformation in Defence in 2023. My optic is this – the business need is the driver, technology is the enabler, and people and culture are the conductors. 

About the author

Mike Neville had a 20-year career in the British Army, flying Apache helicopters in Afghanistan and Libya, commanding an attack helicopter regiment and twice serving with the US military as a Strategy and Plans Team Leader in the Middle East. He then worked in delivery and strategy roles in financial sector IT before joining the Defence Team at Netcompany.