Technology Vision 2018

Mobilising the Intelligent Military

A defence perspective on the Accenture Technology Vision 2018


What's In This Article

  • A defence perspective on the Accenture Technology Vision 2018 which highlights emerging technologies that will have significant impact across industries in the next 3 years, and are actionable today.
  • We examine how digital technologies are enabling defence organisations to collaborate and operate in completely new ways.
  • The technology advances outlined in this year's Accenture Technology Vision all point to a future defence sector that is more collaborative, connected and intelligent than ever.

Military organisations need to harness technologies that will enable them to become more intelligent and achieve enhanced mission readiness and outcomes. Achieving it requires them to unlock the data that is currently held within silos and enable it to flow to the right place at the right time and in the right way.

Delivering greater situational awareness and the ability to respond rapidly to unpredictable adversaries require investments in, among others, Artificial Intelligence (AI), edge computing, as well as smart and secure connectivity. Today's information architectures will need to be redesigned to integrate with others to share and collaborate quickly, effectively and securely.

About the Authors

Antti Kolehmainen

Managing Director, Global Accenture Defence Services

Dr. Valtteri Vuorisalo

Senior Principal, Global Accenture Defence Services

Stuart Cotton

Managing Director for Defence, UK

Trend 1

Private AI

Training AI as an effective soldier

AI will have a major impact on existing capabilities such as cyber defence, defence logistics and the ability to collaborate internationally. But there are other, new forms of collaboration between people and smart machines that create possibilities to do entirely new things.

AI's evolution could make it a superior decision-maker to many of its human counterparts - and it never gets tired or overwhelmed by information. But for AI to collaborate with its human counterparts effectively, and achieve all that it's capable of, it has to be trusted. How AI is trained as a trustworthy and efficient colleague in the military context is an increasingly vital task.

Trend 2

Extended Reality

The end of distance

Extended reality (XR) is the first technology to let people experience omnipresent abilities, relocating them in both time and place—effectively bringing about the end of distance.

Extended reality is still evolving, and challenges around processing lag and content creation remain barriers to its full maturity. But thanks to its transformative potential, 74 percent of public sector executives agree that it is important or very important for their organisations to be a pioneer in XR solutions.

As XR becomes pervasive, immersive experiences will eliminate the most important distance of all: the distance between where defence organisations are today and where they want to be in the future.

Trend 3

Data Veracity

The importance of trust

While defence organisations are becoming more data-driven than ever, inaccurate and manipulated information threatens to compromise the insights that the military relies on to plan and operate.

Operating across multinational partnerships depends on the ability to trust and verify not only that the data itself is secure, but how it flows between partners is equally well protected. The need to deliver only the right data to the right person, at the right time is crucial.

Multinational military operations demand that data is shared horizontally, across the forces of different nations and partners. This significant shift requires a profound change in mindset and culture. It's not simply a matter of architecting IT, it means rearchitecting the organisation itself.

Trend 4

Frictionless Business

Built to partner at scale

Collaboration between partners in response to common threats is the operational mantra across the defence sector.

To build a strong foundation for technology-based partnerships, defence organisations must consider adopting microservices architectures and using blockchain and smart contracts. Those that invest in these changes today will redefine how they can collaborate in the future.

Trend 5

Internet of Thinking

Creating intelligent distributed environments

The next generation of intelligent solutions are moving into physical environments, and key military strategies ride on pushing intelligence into the physical world.

Unlike most commercial organisations where distributed systems become increasingly connected to one another, defence distributed systems in a federated mission network are better thought of as pockets of connections that can function independently.

Defence organisations will have to understand and shape the new operating models they need to enable high-speed data flows in order to harness the potential of distributed intelligence.

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