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A headshot of a solider in uniformIt’s one of the fundamental considerations of any defense agency; how to track the readiness of people and things. Often, this process is less than streamlined, encompassing everything from paper-and-pen checklists to enormous spreadsheets filled out by hand. Given the room for error inherent in any manual process, using artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud-enabled tools to track readiness can help defense agencies get a more accurate understanding of their vehicles, people, and equipment, make more informed decisions, and save a significant amount of time.

In defense agencies, keeping vehicles and equipment in good working order can mean a lot more than simple usability. The fact is, lives depend on functional, mission-capable equipment. When the stakes are this high, using leading-edge, AI-driven technology to streamline and standardize the process of readiness tracking can have a huge impact.

Imagine that a vehicle maintenance checklist, which makes sure parts are changed at specific times, could be completely supplanted by intelligent, data-driven technology that enables the vehicle itself to raise alerts about when parts need to be changed. It’s a conditions-based approach to keeping vehicles well-maintained, rather than relying on manufacturers’ time-based recommendations. This is exactly the type of innovative reimagining of readiness that can help defense agencies maximize the number of mission-capable vehicles and equipment at their disposal in a modern, digitally-driven environment.

These same innovative technologies can also reduce the number of personnel required to maintain vehicle and equipment readiness. Indeed, most defense organizations maintain large staff solely devoted to tracking data and maintaining vehicles and equipment. Advanced technologies can provide huge savings in this area. Additionally, there are equally huge time-and-resource savings that could be gained from embracing modern, intelligent technology in this space.

It’s an exciting prospect: what if, instead of focusing exclusively on tracking data and maintenance, those workers could apply their human cognition to other tasks? This can save time and money, but there is also accuracy to be considered. Manually inputting data always leads to some amount of human error, something that could be significantly lessened with the use of AI. The goal is to increase operational efficiency and minimize the speculation involved in traditional methods of readiness tracking.

It’s not just vehicles and equipment that fall under the purview of intelligent readiness solutions. Personnel brings a host of data points that tech-savvy organizations can use to gain insights, track correlations, and better predict elements such as the likelihood of reenlistment. Empowered with these insights, defense agencies can make more accurate and timely decisions.

There is also the potential to use AI and cloud-enabled technology to create more modern, intelligent training scenarios, helping personnel prepare better for their missions. HoloLens can offer immersive training, where personnel could experience a full-scale, interactive learning environment. It’s an exciting idea—mixed-reality could facilitate powerful, experiential learning and better prepare personnel for the day-to-day reality of their jobs.

In addition to immersive training, HoloLens could provide solutions for another issue many defense agencies face: the scarcity of highly trained technicians. Even when senior technicians are few and far between, they still need to supervise complex repairs. Often, this requires physical travel and can lead to a backlog of vehicles, aircraft, and equipment that require attention. HoloLens could be used to facilitate remote assistance providing the required expertise without the expense and time commitment of traveling to remote sites. Taken together, all these scenarios can increase operational efficiency and support an optimized rate of mission capability.

Intelligent, cloud-enabled technology can help defense agencies better target training and maintenance activities, ultimately benefitting increased mission effectiveness. Transforming manual processes to more modern, digitally-driven solutions could be a game-changer, leading to increased mission-capable rates of vehicles and equipment and the increased readiness of personnel. It’s an exciting time for defense agencies: innovations in machine learning, mixed reality, and AI are bringing intelligent solutions to the issue of readiness.

To learn more about how defense agencies are innovating with AI and cloud-enabled technology, listen to the GovPod podcast episode: The Digital Military: Ready for Anything – online or via Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify.  And, download the Digital transformation for defense and intelligence e-book today.