For military organizations, achieving Total Asset Readiness™ is no easy task when any given mission may require the coordination of thousands of personnel and military equipment located across different parts of the world. Add to this challenge the need for commanders to collect data from multiple sources of information stored in stove piped software systems—many of which are often outdated—and you can see that assessing mission preparedness is no easy matter.
Even the most modern assets are not immune from these difficulties. Based on F-35 data from the fiscal year 2019, the director of the Pentagon’s Operational Test and Evaluation Office said all variants of the aircraft remain “below service expectations.”
In recent years, military organizations and defense in-service support providers have delivered to a new performance-based logistics (PBL) model to enhance military asset procurement, sustainment and support. But there is still room for improvement—when it comes to force-wide asset mobilization, commanders require a real-time view of their available assets.
With Total Asset Readiness, military organizations can work with a clear and consistent framework that streamlines information into one infrastructure platform with a single view. The U.S. Navy is aiming to make this transition with its Naval Operational Business Logistics Enterprise (NOBLE) family of systems—consolidating 23 standalone application systems and eliminating 700 application/database servers.
There are four key areas in particular where changes can be made to help military organizations achieve Total Asset Readiness.
1. Put trust in tech, such as IoT sensors, to accurately assess the situation
With real-world data availability increasing thanks to Industry 4.0 technology, Deloitte predicts that asset readiness will become more attainable. The USAF is already using predictive analytics to improve the readiness of its fleet of 5,400 aircraft. But if, for example, we add IoT-enabled sensors on individual components, they can transmit data on the exact status of a given asset, regardless of its location, to an AI/machine learning functionality in enterprise software. From here, the data is analyzed to accurately predict when connected assets need to be maintained.
But of course these data-producing assets are often deployed in hostile settings, where their covertness is a top priority and connection can be unreliable. This means that we need to configure software infrastructure to support these sorts of disconnected operations. This requires aggregating, consolidating and storing data and technical records to be sent once connectivity is re-established. This way we complete the picture and have all the data we need.
2. It’s time to seriously scale up – APIs at the ready to help
The implementation of an Integrated Data Environment across an entire fighting force is a serious business, requiring not only a bigger scale than across the largest of companies but also more time to go through the various stages—91 months in a military setting compared to the average six to nine for normal businesses! During military operations, upwards of 100,000 users, requiring different roles and permission sets, can be using some element of a software platform at any one time.
It is therefore key to make sure you have an IT system that is up to the task. This is where an Integrated Data Environment can make strategic use of APIs. These perform a number of important tasks. They of course reduce implementation times and link previously unconnected IT systems. But more importantly, they ensure data is visible and delivered to the right person at the right time.
3. Out go excel exports, in come dynamic dashboards
To satisfy the command centre need for clearer visibility over asset availability, it’s time to phase out snapshot reporting through excel exports, and transition to highly configurable dynamic dashboards that can provide up-to-date and accurate information for each specific mission.
Personalized information insights can be delivered to commanders from systems that support RESTful APIs by consolidating information from multiple data streams. KPIs can be introduced into reporting and tracked in real-time according to the force in question—when it comes to readiness examples, we are talking differing requirements for nuclear forces vs. a non-weapon carrying airlift squadron running C-5 Galaxy aircraft.
4. Prioritize your end-user with accessibility and safety checks
In an age where apps are the norm in our personal and working lives and used every day by military personnel, accessibility is important for any universal software system. This is why priority should be placed on user interface (UI) and user experience (UX), to make sure the system, right down to individual screens for specific task requirements, is usable and streamlined with the end-user in mind.
Any IT consolidation project also needs apps to drive software delivery. This is where containerization comes in, making this easy by bundling an application together with all of its related configuration files, libraries and dependencies required. In particular, ‘docker images’ can be created to effectively allow an app to be scaled, reproduced and used efficiently and bug-free on any desktop or mobile device.
Perform successful missions on-time, every time with Total Asset Readiness You cannot have a successful mission without your assets in a position to be easily mobilized and there is no denying that mission readiness requires getting a total view of asset status. When information to measure asset readiness is located in a software environment with a single view, every military commander can access the status of the assets at their disposal for specific missions and quickly respond to any unexpected hiccups in mission planning.
Only this way will defense organizations be able to efficiently mobilize assets for any mission required, without having to worry about high sustainment costs.
To find out more information and explore other considerations for military Total Asset Readiness, download the recent white paper.
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