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LATEST THINKING


5 DEFENSE
TECH
TRENDS

Insights from the 2017 Accenture Technology Vision

WHAT DOES “DIGITAL SUCCESS”
MEAN IN DEFENSE?

Rapid-fire technological change has become the new normal, with new developments coming faster than ever. The annual Accenture Technology Vision report offers a view of how these advances will affect the world just three short years from now.

This year’s report identifies five significant trends that underscore the importance of focusing on Technology for People to achieve digital success—and in defense, this idea comes with its own unique set of considerations. To understand how the five trends will apply, we looked at the Technology Vision in terms of how we can enable a smarter, faster and more adaptable defense organization.

TREND 1: AI IS THE NEW UI
TREND 1: AI IS THE NEW UI

AI is increasingly
important for defense
organizations as they
struggle to turn huge
amounts of data into
actionable information.

AI is on the rise in defense, both in planning and operations. For instance, unmanned vehicles
are gathering more and more intelligence, and mission systems have become more
autonomous in air, ground, sea and space. In all these areas, utilizing AI to process data
provides a first quick-cut of analysis, enabling faster access to insights that support
decision-making and operational agility—allowing people to focus on action, rather than
analysis. There is great potential for AI in defense, and we are just getting started.

TREND 2: DESIGNED FOR HUMANS
TREND 2: DESIGNED FOR HUMANS

What if we could augment human capability to achieve an operational advantage? Think
about soldiers training in extreme cold. Machine learning could be used to detect symptoms
of hypothermia, keeping our troops safer. Or, rather than sending out teams to repair
equipment in isolated, even dangerous locations, we could send one person equipped with
smart technology.

Consider our weapons systems: They have become highly complex, and so have the
interfaces to use them. A human-centered user interface could make decision-making easier
and accelerate reaction times.

Technology today is more
intelligent, and it’s
adapting to how we
behave and learn. In
defense, this type of
design thinking needs to
catch up.

TREND 3: ECOSYSTEM POWER PLAYS
TREND 3: ECOSYSTEM POWER PLAYS

Platforms are
completely changing
the ways in which
organizations operate
and compete.

Companies are participating in broader ecosystems to gain an
advantage—and the defense industry should follow this lead and
collaborate to secure innovation. We are seeing operational platform
thinking in “defense as a platform” scenarios that involve other
ecosystem partners. For instance, the Joint Information Environment
is a secure, agile single joint command, control, communications and
computing environment for U.S. Department of Defense agencies.
Working with industry, governmental organizations, academia and
others will allow defense to continue tapping into new skill-sets and
thinking never before possible.

TREND 4: WORKFORCE MARKETPLACE
TREND 4: WORKFORCE MARKETPLACE

On-demand labor platforms are surging, resulting in a collapse of
traditional hierarchies. Defense can clearly benefit from access to
on-demand resources. Think about the constant fluctuation in
readiness requirements—today’s level of mobilization might not be
adequate tomorrow, or it might be too extensive next week. To
continuously adapt, we must shift not only the organization’s pool of
people resources, but also its cache of equipment. These fluctuations
come into play with technology as well.

Defense IT systems must become
better equipped to scale up and down,
so that organizations may increase—or
decrease—their posture intermittently.

TREND 5: THE UNCHARTED
TREND 5: THE UNCHARTED

In today’s
ecosystem-driven
digital economy, there
is an abundance of
uncharted territory.

We must be brave and explore this new ground—and we need to do
so with the correct strategy. In defense, we’re good at that, right? Yes,
but we must also establish rules and standards along the way. For
example, there are new, innovative ways to share information and
conduct operations using social media. But how is that data
protected? How are we safeguarding intellectual property? What can
we do to protect against cyber threats?

In our experience, organizations that are faster at innovation are often
in a better position than those that only focus on invention. Defense
organizations that are the quickest and smartest to enter uncharted
ground and innovate will have the clear advantage.

DOWNLOAD
THE REPORT

This year’s research report is all about technology for people.
The five IT trends and innovations in the 2017 Technology Vision
will empower people to invent and achieve more in the era of
the intelligent enterprise.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT [PDF]

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AUTHOR

Dr. Valtteri Vuorisalo


Dr. Valtteri Vuorisalo
Industry Innovation Senior Principal
Accenture Global Defense Services


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