Data Strategy for Defence – techUK Summary
Published in late September, the Data Strategy for Defence outlines the Ministry of Defence’s vision for data, and sets the data outcomes to be achieved by 2025.
The purpose of the strategy is to outline the MOD’s vision for data and the transformative change required for Defence to leverage it as a strategic asset. The strategy recognises data must be captured, curated, shared and exploited d more effectively and consistently across the whole of MOD to deliver better decisions and outcomes. Mastering data will require a paradigm shift in behaviour and culture, but will ultimately secure battlespace advantage and business efficiency.
The strategy articulates the strategic outcomes, data rules and common foundations to ensure data becomes a horizontal enabler and an enduring capability across the MOD. It formalises the functional leadership for data and how it will be asserted to cohere Defence as a global enterprise.
Placing a data framework at the heart of the approach, the strategy describes what needs to be in place to build and deliver the framework, and to enable and accelerate exploitation across Defence. The strategy aligns ‘the Ways’ with ‘the Means’ required to deliver the MOD’s Data ‘Ends’. to the strategy recognises the need to invest in data, and the development of data skills, if is the MOD is to transform its approach to data and compete in the digital age.
Key Points from the Data Strategy for Defence
1. Diagnosis: The Data challenges in Defence are understood
Despite a rising volume of data from an increasing array of sensors, it is harder to isolate valuable insights from vast quantities of information. Key challenges include:
- Data is inaccessible in internal or contractual silos;
- Complexity of Defence’s business model and unclear accountabilities ;
- Lack of recognition that data is important;
- Critical data skills gaps;.
- Non-standardised exploitation and data delivery;
- Inconsistent governance and control;
- Overlapping data holdings across Defence;
2. Ends: The end state, with clear strategic outcomes for Data by 2025, is defined
Vision: Data is an enduring strategic asset, effectively exploited and driving sustainable battlespace advantage and business efficiency.
Strategic Outcomes: where will Data in Defence be by 2025?
- Data is curated, integrated and human and machine ready for exploitation – Data enables digitalisation of the battlespace;
- Data is treated as the second most important asset only behind people – Data is considered in all Defence activities;
- Personnel are skilled and exploiting data to drive advantage – Defence people are data-literate and optimising exploitation;
- Defence are data leaders with partners, allies and industry – Defence drives innovation with partners, allies and industry on data;
3. Ways: Defence will adhere to, and be measured against explicit data rules
The Defence Data Rules set out how Defence must treat data and how all parts of the MOD will adhere to the same data criteria. The rules provide the basis for a future connected Defence enterprise, underpinned by a business model optimised for data exploitation. All data delivery programmes and decisions across Defence will be measured and assured against these.
- Exercise sovereignty over data, including accountability and ownership;
- Standardise data across the Defence landscape;
- Exploit data at the most effective and relevant point in the value chain;
- Secure digital data at creation, curation, when handling, storing and transmitting;
- Curate data, ensuring it is assured, discoverable and interoperable;
- Endure data as an asset beyond individual projects;
4. Means: Key success factors are required to enable and facilitate this paradigm shift
Enablers: required to transform Defence into an enduring data driven enterprise, empowering people to exploit data for advantage, and have the means to adhere to the data rules. These are:
- Organisation – C]central leadership driving Defence’s functional data mandate; central and local teams working together to deliver the data vision;
- People, Skills and Culture – modernising Defence through adoption of a digital and data driven culture, investing in developing data skills.
- Governance and Controls – embedding governing structures and data controls that ensure Defence does not overlook data.
- Data Foundations – defence’s priorities drive standards, practices and policies to preserve and enhance the value of data.
- Exploitation – optimising data that is ready for exploitation through a common framework; sustaining and evolving Defence’s exploitation efforts;
Facilitators: required to co-ordinate and facilitate the execution of the strategy by establishing and embedding the data enablers. These include:
- Funding – a sustained funding approach across Defence to develop and curate exploitable data assets, as well the expertise to exploit these assets;
- Delivery Plan – a pan-Defence plan with milestones to track progress;
- Measures – specified and baselined measures to track delivery on strategic data intent;
You can read the full Data Strategy for Defence read here.
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