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IFS brought together some of the most informed, influential and innovative defense organizations across the globe, to discuss and share their views and experiences, as part of MindFuel, a series of virtual discussions held during June and July 2020. Every MindFuel session focused on the current and future defense landscape, and the proven practices required to facilitate business and mission transformation.

MindFuel provided not just food for thought but, judging by the response of many of its ‘attendees’, a timely forum to share ideas and to provide some calls to action. All sessions were set against an industry backdrop of budget constraints, new technologies, shifting strategic priorities, regulatory changes and the defense organizations setting out to improve combat effectiveness and readiness with a string of reforms for greater performance and affordability.

If you missed it, all 11 defense-focused panels, interview and roundtable sessions can be viewed on-demand as part of the defense track on the MindFuel website—but for those who can’t wait, here’s a quick recap of some of the key topics highlighted by invited speakers and panelists.

1. Supply chain becomes a digital network

Military assets and their associated supply chains were one of the key topics discussed during a number of defense MindFuel sessions. Our experts had impact, combat and mission readiness firmly in their sights during the discussions, particularly related to managing supply chains that are by definition vast, globally dispersed and encompass both military departments and industry support providers.

All felt that there is movement towards an increasingly digitized supply chain, and this was succinctly summed up in premier global A&D contractor Amentum’s presentation. Amentum explained that ‘normal’ supply chain process will soon be history, from planning and developing right through to sourcing and delivering support. The hot debate of the day was around the significant value of deploying an intelligent supply chain—leading to the birth of a digital supply network.

The COVID-19 lockdown of course formed part of the dialog. Ammunition manufacturer, Oman Munitions, was ready and able to explain how its prior planning, innovative approach and wide-reaching supply chain network helped it keep delivering materials to its global client base. Helpful advice also came from supply chain experts PTC, who neatly put new technologies into a defense context, outlining how to improve the responsiveness of defense supply chains—and even go one step further to potentially preclude the need for safety stock and material planning.

Mindfuel

2. Cyber and information security top of mind

Supply chains and military logistics increasingly operate in the digital sphere, so we couldn’t host a defense track for an event like MindFuel without addressing the obvious ripple effect around cyber security, data integrity and information assurance. So, we brought some of the best minds together to debate the problems and solutions.

Under the watchful and careful eyes of IFS experts, customers, and partners – all well versed in the latest cyber security and regulatory requirements – IFS partner Microsoft shared their views on how digital transformation in the cloud is helping militaries modernize while keeping a close eye on cyber security and compliance requirements.

The company has of course spent years developing its secure cloud platform Microsoft Azure, including tailoring its security standards to meet government-grade requirements, such as International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), with its Azure Gov system, so it was a real treat for participants to hear them talk. But fully cloud-based software deployments aren’t always every company’s choice. If still in two minds, tune in to the panel session featuring Babcock, explaining how cloud deployments can work for defense manufacturers.

3. New technology the catalyst for defense modernization

A number of our high-profile defense customers took time out to share their thoughts and experiences with new technologies—and they didn’t disappoint. Naturally, these MindFuel thought leaders wanted to let their technology do the talking, particularly as IoT, AI, Blockchain and 3D printing have proved in recent years that they hold significant value in boosting force readiness.

General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems and IFS partner RutterKey Solutions held a thought-provoking discussion around the importance of equipment modernization and increased investment in new technologies. If you want to explore technologies further, we had a 3D printing masterclass from additive manufacturing authority Equispheres, exploring the benefits of the technology and why cost rate and reliability are key to widespread industry adoption.

If that barely scratches the surface for you, then don’t miss our own IFS experts taking a deep dive into the technologies driving the future of military operations and in-service support alike. This makes good viewing.

Defense

One-stop-shop for defense knowledge

We can’t do justice to all the insights, examples and Q&A responses from every session in this short blog. So, we’ve put all this MindFuel knowledge in one place, to enable military organizations, defense in-service support providers and A&D manufacturers to access all the information they need whenever they want.

Visit https://mindfuel.ifs.com/defense/ and dive right in.

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