Report: Military lagging in IoT adoption


Report: Military lagging in IoT adoption

WHAT: “Leveraging the Internet of Things for a More Efficient and Effective Military,” a report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Strategic Technologies Program.

WHY: With widespread adoption of the Internet of Things transforming the way people and organizations communicate, collaborate and organize, gaps in existing IoT component systems across the military threaten to hinder efficiency and effectiveness and limit cost savings across the Defense Department.

FINDINGS: The rapid growth of IoT is driven by four developments in digital technologies:  the declining cost of sensors; increasing Internet penetration; data storage expansion that has made organization much simpler; and advanced software analytics that have turned data into knowledge through machine-learning techniques and algorithms. 

Although the military leads in some IoT technology areas such as surveillance and reconnaissance drones, in general the private sector is driving newer and more innovative IoT technologies. 

The private sector is leveraging the IoT for aircraft maintenance, supply chain management and smart home systems; however, there are significant gaps in existing and planned military IoT systems. Few systems leverage “the full IoT stack, from connected sensors to digital analytics and automated response.”  Data collection and sharing often depend on manual entry, and much of the data gathered across the Defense enterprise is never analyzed or put to use. Although much of the value of IoT is generated by automation, few military systems include fully autonomous responses. And the DOD’s fragmented IT architecture complicates the development and use of common protocols and practices across networks.

Despite these challenges, the military can leverage IoT technology available in the commercial sector, the researchers found, but doing so may require new procurement and contracting procedures.

TAKEAWAY: The IoT and connected devices will revolutionize modern warfare by leveraging data and automation for increased lethality and survivability while reducing costs.  Now DOD just has to address the vulnerabilities in IoT systems that could limit the military's ability to leverage these technologies.

GET MORE: Read the full report here.

About the Author

Mark Pomerleau is a former editorial fellow with GCN and Defense Systems.


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