• Digitalization in Defense: Growth Avenues Powered by Advanced Technologies
    Increased adoption of advanced technologies and new business models driving future growth potential

    Research Overview

    Like the commercial sector, COVID-19 has accelerated digitalization in the military domain, as evident from the many military organizations currently considering and adopting digital technologies exponentially. This is compounded by rising geopolitical concerns from state and non-state actors, which can only be countered by the strategic advantage digitalization offers in and off the combat zone.

    Artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, and autonomous technologies (SWARM, manned-unmanned teaming) are set to revolutionize military operations during the forecast period. The main areas of application will be to reduce the Observe, Orient, Decide, Act loop, in addition to cybersecurity applications and unmanned underwater and surface vehicles. The various digitalization technologies are interdependent and do not function in a silo. For example, data collection from interconnected devices (IoT) is processed by cloud computing to provide a common operating picture. AI demonstrates the capability to further analyze this for target identification and allocation. Harnessing the collective power of these technologies holds the key to strategic advantages in the future.

    In the past, internal challenges have hampered the adoption of digitalization, further compounded by data security and sharing concerns as well as the lack of a framework, concept of operations, and platform-centric approach. While the internal challenges are unlikely to disappear overnight, stakeholders have taken positive moves to ease the adoption process. The initiatives include joint operations networks, a shift away from data silos to a centralized model, and modification of acquisition procedures for software services to promote greater ease. Military stakeholders and defense OEMs widely collaborate with commercial companies, which hold the lead in defense digital transformation.


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