Many of the military personnel I talk with still think of IT as just a set of administrative tools, like email, used in garrison, or as back office solutions that streamline business processes—in both cases, incrementally improving efficiency. They’re thinking evolution instead of revolution in terms of how technology can help them.
But technology has transformed in the last few years. And because of that, it’s enabling organizations to transform—to not just do what they were doing better, but to do things in entirely new ways.
For example, using smart Internet of Things (IoT) platforms, companies like Rolls Royce are changing their entire business model, and farmers are increasing their crop yields.
The global weather company AccuWeather is using big data and cloud technologies to safeguard lives and businesses worldwide. Companies are using cognitive services such as real-time translation to collaborate more easily around the world and sentiment analysis to better understand customer needs and emotions. And health organizations are using machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to improve people’s health—saving babies’ lives and catching preventable eye disease earlier, are just a few examples.
Now imagine these capabilities in a military context.
You can use smart IoT platforms for automated gathering of intelligence information from ground, maritime, and air sensors. Military users can also use IoT to support a host of logistics functions from enabling predictive maintenance to prevent breakdowns of military vehicles to automating large portions of the supply chain.
You can use cognitive services to review massive amounts of digital video and push notifications to watch officers of predetermined activity, such as when a person is planting an improvised explosive device near a road or attempting to gain access to a secured facility. Just imagine all the other things your analysts can do when they are no longer forced to manually review hundreds of hours of video looking for one specific thing.
You can use smart, connected platforms to support real-time positioning of response assets required for just about any military mission: natural disaster response, security actions, etc. In fact, Microsoft is proud to be the first and only commercial cloud to offer an exclusive DOD cloud that is L5 approved.
You can use real-time translation to collaborate across the world more easily on joint and coalition efforts regardless of the language people speak.
This stuff isn’t science fiction anymore. And it doesn’t require you to spend a billion dollars and build a datacenter full of supercomputers. You can take advantage of the power and intelligence of cloud computing to further your goals and accomplish your mission in ways never before possible. Even farmers are doing it.
So what’s holding you back? We’ll investigate that in the next post. In the meantime, to learn more about what digital transformation means for your agency, read my last post.