Ground systems play an essential role in military defense, but supporting and modernizing them feels for many like a balancing act.
When the Cold War demanded the United States foray into the space race, the military readily incorporated space security into its warfare tactics. But today, advanced equipment and an ever-tighter budget force owners and operators to closely evaluate ground systems for the right mix of effectiveness, resilience and efficiency.
Make no mistake — each attribute is equally vital, but they do not create a zero-sum game. Emerging philosophies and improving technology eliminate the need for a trade-off.
The government can free itself from dependence on subpar, proprietary systems that have contributed to its budget-acquisition gridlock by taking five key steps:
●Own and open the architecture, and standardize interfaces. Moving away from proprietary ground systems will pave the way for interoperable, modular technology and multi-vendor innovation.
●Transition to an agile, incremental acquisition process, moving away from the historic practice of implementing enormous systems all at once and years after their desired function was needed. In its Better Buying Power 3.0initiative, the Department of Defense called for the increases in innovation and competition that this kind of transition will effect.
●Convene engineers, operators and acquisition professionals in military labs to collectively test new technologies designed in real time with the most current needs in mind.
●Treat cybersecurity as an organic feature, built into the structure of ground system modules. In standalone systems, cybersecurity is too often an afterthought. Also, with a network of secure devices connected under common standards, faulty and makeshift connections will no longer create vulnerabilities.
●Shift toward an enterprise culture. Defense leaders should move their organizations’ different stakeholders to concentrate on the enterprise as a whole rather than simply on siloed functions.
All of these improvements relate closely to one another, and if government and military organizations can make progress in one, they will consequently do so in the others.
Using a holistic approach called Enterprise Integration, Booz Allen Hamilton is proving that optimization is indeed achievable within the bounds of existing acquisition policy. By partnering with DoD in other areas, such as missile defense, Booz Allen has ensured rapid deployment and agile development to support warfighters in the field.
And security threats do not wait. By following the right steps, government and military organizations can enable ground control with systems fully optimized for effectiveness, resilience and efficiency.
Source – defenceone