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No one-size fits all – your deployment, your choice  

Over the last decade there has been much debate about how soon the cross-industry migration to SaaS-based software deployments would gain acceptance in defense applications. While historically there has been caution from military forces to embrace cloud, progress is being made.   

GlobalData estimates that SaaS IT spending in Aerospace, Defense & Security currently sits at $340.4 billion and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 17% between 2021 and 2026. Moreover, major defense forces have started to make cloud a key component of military modernization strategies, there is still a healthy concern over some deployments. 

Cloud gains ground in defense forces 

The positives for cloud adoption are clear. The U.S. DoD launched its dedicated DoD Cloud Strategy in 2018 and have reported significant headway on an enterprise cloud deployment.  Defense Department CIO John B. Sherman was positive and told senators that it “will help the department advance its Joint All Domain Command and Control effort and will further enhance efforts involving artificial intelligence and machine learning efforts, software modernization and cybersecurity.” 

The U.K. Ministry of Defence also published its own policy paper this year on its Cloud Strategic Roadmap for Defence, laying out explicit intent to coordinate and accelerate ambitious plans for hyperscale cloud adoption across its defense force. The U.K. MOD acknowledges: “Our future is one that realises data as a strategic asset, that enables us to move faster than our adversaries. Defence will have the unsurpassed ability to consume, aggregate, analyse and exploit data at orders of magnitude more than ever before, it will be fit for our future of integrated global warfighting across all domains.” 

One-size doesn’t fit all defense industry requirements 

Given the highly sensitive nature of defense forces, and large network of organizations spread throughout associated supply chain, cloud is not always the go-to for all military software deployments. Rather, it’s all about the right choice for the use case in question.  

The decision need not be binary – one or the other. At an IFS webinar attended by top defense manufacturers, 3% of key decision makers said they deploy their ERP software using the cloud only—whereas 64% deploy their software on a mixture of on-prem and cloud-based deployments or on-prem only. 

Clearly there is going to be a continued need to support both on-prem and cloud-based deployments for defense forces, and this shouldn’t come at the compromise of functionality, performance or security.  

IFS Cloud: Supporting choice for defense organizations 

This is exactly why IFS launched IFS Cloud, to bring all kinds of capabilities into one common platform. IFS Cloud is a single product based on capabilities that can be individually deployed—one by one, at the pace a defense organization requires, with a deployment model to match. 

IFS Cloud contains deep defense industry specificity, with breadth of solutions to match the complex needs of defense organizations that build, operate, maintain or support mission-critical military assets. Their requirements are wide ranging, from the need to include Defense Contract Management into manufacturing operations for U.S., manage maintenance & execution for next-gen military platforms, or support the deployment and operation of military UAVs.  

Critically, IFS Cloud enables these capabilities to be accessed by on-premises or cloud-based software deployments. This eliminates the need for separate products to be integrated, operated, supported and updated individually.  

On-prem or in the cloud – the choice is yours 

The most common pain points of the average defense contractor are that they have too many different point solutions and too many integrations that cause exponential headaches trying to keep them all talking to each other. Add to this that the largest defense contractors are $20bn, $50bn, or $100bn companies operating across hundreds of sites, and the scale of this complex IT landscape becomes mind boggling. 

The cradle to grave nature of IFS Cloud cuts through this complexity, providing a complete out of the box solution for all the possible requirements of defense contractors. And more, IFS Cloud supports the whole lifecycle of a military asset or program—now and into the future.  

The pay-off again? These functionalities, that are vital to keeping military equipment mission-ready, can be accessed on-prem or in the cloud.  

No deployment at the risk of security and data sovereignty 

But no deployment should come at the cost of security.  

IFS Cloud is deployed on Microsoft Azure and is available in a subset of Microsoft’s global Azure data centers, allowing customers to select a location to meet their specific requirements, taking into consideration factors such as network latency, or data sovereignty. 

With either on-premises or hybrid cloud deployments, IFS Cloud services are optionally configured to connect to customer IT domains using an Azure Virtual Private Network (VPN) gateway or ExpressRoute circuit. VPNs create a secure, encrypted tunnel (with the public internet as the underlying transport provider) to protect the privacy of data being sent into and out of Azure. Such site-to-site VPNs use IPsec for transport encryption. 

Mission-critical information assurance 

Penetration testing of IFS Cloud Services systems is performed by a trusted third-party partner, taking place annually or following any substantial change to the environment or solution components. Both infrastructure and application testing are included, and testing is conducted from the internet to replicate real-world use cases. 

IFS Cloud supports mission-ready defense deployments whether in the cloud or a secure on-prem location of your choice. IFS Cloud solutions support the operations of some of the world’s leading defense organizations, including Lockheed Martin, the U.S. Navy, Babcock, Portsmouth Aviation, Swedish Defense Material Administration (FMV), Norwegian Navy and more. 

Cloud doesn’t always mean in the cloud—the deployment choice is yours. 

To find out more about IFS Cloud for Defense see our brochure: IFS Cloud for Defense – in the Cloud or On-Prem

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