Military organizations are increasingly required to operate in harsh climates, often characterized by remoteness and extremely difficult conditions, stretching connectivity to breaking point. According to a study by RAND states that the U.S. Air Force, because of increasing air, missile and cyber threats to air bases, is now: “developing concepts to operate from a large number of small operating locations in a conflict with a near-peer competitor. This type of distributed air operations in a contested environment represents a significant shift in the way the Air Force has operated since the end of the Cold War”.
New webinar research from IFS supports this study with participants identifying the three main driving forces behind the growth in disconnected operations. Unplanned connectivity interruptions ranked highest, cited by 41% of respondents, followed by planned instances of disconnected operations as part of the normal day-to-day business, and a shift to a more distributed operational model (both at 23%).
Connectivity is perforce being stretched to the limit.
This difficult operating environment combined with the lack of data shared when on mission, often known as “disconnected” or “dark mode” operations, can put mission success at risk. It becomes increasingly difficult for military organizations to keep an accurate picture of asset information in the field.
IFS research shows a gap between disconnected operations requirements and software support
The IFS webinar research shows over half of defense organizations need better support for missions taking place in disconnected scenarios, but the same research also revealed that military operators and defense in-service support providers consider disconnected operations a priority to effectively assist missions. It’s no surprise that military organizations are struggling to keep information in sync during such disconnected operations.
When asked in the webinar about their priorities, over two thirds of military forces, in-service support providers, and defense manufacturers agreed that the ability to operate in a disconnected, intermittent, and limited bandwidth (DIL) operational environment is essential to military operations. But critically, when asked which area of disconnected operations requires the most improvement, 54.5% of respondents highlighted the need to maintain a single version of truth and keeping status in sync.
Closing the gap requires robust software support
There’s a clear gap between the need to support such missions and the software available to help when “in the dark”. Around one fifth of the respondents believe their current software infrastructure is incapable of aggregating, consolidating and storing data in a disconnected setting.
IFS software supports a single version of the truth through
These webinar findings show that disconnected operations are growing, and gaining more attention from all types of defense organizations—from military operators through to in-service support providers and manufacturers themselves. But connectivity and supporting software is being stretched to unacceptable levels.
This is where IFS comes in, with its new IFS Disconnected Operations functionality. The software provides decision support for the military when in no to low signal zones, maintaining a single version of truth by keeping an asset’s status in sync. It also ensures consistent connectivity between a main operating base (MOB) and distributed forward operating bases (FOBs). These two requirements were highlighted as the most critical by webinar attendees.
IFS sheds light on “dark mode” operations
Gartner, in its top technology trends of 2021, identified the need for Cloud based IT operating models designed to support customers at anytime and anywhere, to be able to provide the “digital experience and automation to support remote operations”.
But working in a disconnected operational environment means limited decision making and status availability, putting military personnel at higher risk.
That is exactly why IFS has launched IFS Disconnected Operations. It is purpose built to support the requirements of remote military operations. It is designed to provide military and defense organizations with the ability to deploy, operate, protect, and safely return military assets and data anywhere in the world. And that’s for as long as needed, and with any level of connectivity from disconnected hardware, such as laptops.
IFS Disconnected Operations provides all the maintenance capabilities required to retain mission effectiveness and compliance, enable technical records collection throughout missions, and ensure data integrity and completeness upon base return.
Are you ready to experience the state of being disconnected?
To learn more about the emerging trend of distributed operations and listen to the full webinar, please visit our webpage. The IFS Disconnected Operations page offers a unique experience that only works when the user is disconnected from the internet—thus mimicking the experience of a military operator facing a disconnected operations scenario.
Check it out now—see if you can piece together critical updates with no connectivity!
Do you have questions or comments?
We’d love to hear them so please leave us a message below.