At the heart of any successful military organization is the imperative to improve decision-making, both in the context of mission engagement to enable operational tempo and in making smart value-for-money decisions.
Technology is bringing about change to the military culture and behaviors towards information. Information within first-rate militaries is recognized as a force multiplier and key enabler to operational and business effectiveness.
Key western military organizations recognize that the context for future operations is one of persistent, concurrent and diverse engagement within a contested environment. They also realize that they need to conduct information maneuver, where information flow between cognitive, virtual and physical domains is free and seamless, a requirement that elevates information to a capability in its own right.
The role of unified communications
To deliver operations at pace in a defense environment of continual engagement, the military understands how critical it is to enable the seamless operation of personnel and platforms with information services. This importance extends to include interoperability with other allies and agencies.
This capability is best delivered using a service-orientated approach in which the emphasis on communications networks has shifted from hardware-based infrastructure to software supplied services. This shift represents a step-change in capability, opening up the potential to incorporate innovative technologies that deliver secure communications with a more commoditized approach.
Delivering communications within a Single Information Environment (SIE) allows these technologies to support a wide range of capabilities integrated and interoperable in a single platform, setting the conditions for information dominance. Applying unified communications makes business sense as it drives down the cost, replacing the concept of systems with services.
Managing Change: organizational and cultural adaptation to UC
While the effectiveness benefits of unified communications are considerable, military organizations recognize the need for cultural change, requirement for new skill sets and shifts in business behavior. Unified communications will bring forward new means of communicating.
Unified communications will be a major driver in the evolving landscape of defense communications. The smooth flow of information agnostic of systems is a major characteristic of unified communications and one that is at the heart of defense communications modernization strategies.