The complexity of today’s operating environment that defense personnel face today is daunting. Typically operations entail multi-national coalitions operating across the full spectrum of operational situations (humanitarian assistance, combat operations, disaster recovery and peacekeeping). These multi-national coalitions often become more complex because they include other organizations like weapon system suppliers who now have a presence on the battlefield. Within this new complex environment defense personnel (decision makers) are pressed for accurate, relevant, actionable information to make timely decisions in order to successfully accomplish their missions and tasks. In this environment, there is no room for second place.
However, these complex, hostile environments make it difficult for defense personnel to find and focus on the “right” information so that they can be successful. Regrettably, results are often achieved by military personnel’s efforts than by underlying systems at their disposal. Traditional IT systems are internally focused, rigid and don’t allow for information from a variety of systems. This of course is increasingly hard to do because of today’s resource constraints.
Defense personnel need to get information in the format and device that is the most appropriate for their operating environment. They need to be able to pull information from a variety of heterogeneous systems to provide relevant accurate information. This entails moving Defense organizations from classic systems to a business process platform which can provide an agile IT architecture that can meet the needs of a truly agile Defense organization through data, synchronization and consistency across the many different sources of information
Though each Defense organization will have to take their own path to information transparency and communication I believe every Defense organization needs to start their journey building out a true enterprise business process platform based on an open standards based architecture which can enable the necessary cross-collaboration with coalition members, suppliers, and partners.
Transforming the coalition network won’t be easy. Organizations will need to build new processes and extend existing business processes to other internal organizations and possibly coalition and Defense partners.
I believe however that SAP could be a core enabler for this journey towards “Decision Making Superiority” by providing the building blocks via a flexible business process platform with a comprehensive IT technology platform and off the shelf capabilities that enable interoperability between coalition members and partners as well as providing end-to-end process integration and automation. SAP provides many of the components for the intertwined network of people, organizations and resources.
Its about compressing the decision cycle time to provide a response that is appropriate for the need with trustworthy information from a variety of sources on a device the warfighter is utilizing or is most comfortable.