Issues of defence and security did not seem to be top of the agenda for those UK voters who chose to leave the European Union. However, given so much uncertainty about what the actual outcomes will look like, these issues will undoubtedly be very much at the forefront of the mind of those tasked with delivering the Brexit process.
For the policy-makers tasked with untangling the UK from the EU systems and institutions while remaining cognisant of other threats and priorities, the landscape could not be more complex. The recent “RAND Europe report into Defence and Security after Brexit” 1 begins to paint a picture of just how daunting a task it will be to ensure continuity of the UK’s own defences and those of the allies in the EU and NATO.
Furthermore, the report cites the resulting uncertainty in areas such as defence spending, industry, innovation and R&D, at a time when cyber-security measures and counterterrorism need to be world class. And yet, the National Audit Office has issued warnings 2 that the UK’s Ministry of Defence could face a £6bn reduction in its spending capacity in light of the uncertainty, not to mention the £21bn already committed that needs to be funded with the pound sterling in a weakened state.
These are just a few of the more obvious pitfalls that need to be navigated; a plethora of other funding, operational and technical issues must also be clarified before, during and after the period of Brexit negotiations. There are border controls in Calais, Northern Island and Gibraltar to be considered. Will the UK retain its place on NATO’s top table post-Brexit? And what will the future look like for the currently British-led Joint Expeditionary Force? Not to mention the ongoing inward-looking issues that UK defence institutions face on a day-to-day basis.
My colleagues and I will be fascinated to discuss these matters in detail with our fellow sponsors and delegates during Defence Information, and to explore together the ways in which these threats may be mitigated against. To use the sector terminology, predicting how Brexit may impact the “ways” (methods and tactics) and the “means” (tools and resources) is hugely difficult – but not impossible.
For our part, we’ll be using our workshop session at the event to discuss best practices for exchanging complex information between different stakeholders and tools, in a way that offers meaningful outcomes. We feel that this topic will bring real value to Defence stakeholders at the event. Against the backdrop of potential budget cuts and a moving landscape of organisational objectives and resources, there could be no better time for defence institutions to follow the likes of the National Air Traffic Service (NATS) and Babcock in adopting a modern, outcome-driven approach to enterprise architecture, supported by mature and robust methodology and tooling.
Evolving for over 25 years now, MEGA’s software (HOPEX) sustains strategic IT and organisational transformations within some of the most mission-critical areas of Defense and Infrastructure in the UK and other NATO countries. Our solution brings added value by helping organisations build coherent transition plans, compare and prioritise specific action items, and foresee and communicate the impact of their transformational decisions.
If you are responsible for defining or implementing transformational change within the Defence or Security industries, then please stop by to see us at Defence Information 2017, or contact us directly. I welcome the opportunity to discuss how a fresh approach to enterprise architecture can provide a source of stability and peace of mind, in what will undoubtedly be an unpredictable time.
RAND Europe report into Defence and Security after Brexit
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Modern IT systems are expected to create greater levels of intelligence, process efficiency, customer engagement, critical data and, ultimately, revenue and profitability for businesses and public sector organisations – all while being user friendly and secure. The British government for its part is expected to work with huge amounts of data, opinions, requirements and stakeholders to deliver a smooth transition plan.
IT teams and architects have to cope with huge quantities of new data being created on a daily basis, manage the rollout of new applications, handle the demands generated by mergers and acquisitions, assess the impact of downtime, and facilitate the demands of a range of different users within the business. It’s not always easy for them to keep up.
Key questions and considerations need to take into account impacts on individual users and on the business overall; whether it’s a rollout of a new cloud workspace or end-point security application, technology can most definitely be harnessed to create a collaborative and productive working environment. But can the company’s existing hardware support it? Does the organisation need to consider a partial shift to the public cloud to accommodate the data sprawl? Are compliance regulations being met?
With all those considerations and many, many more in mind, the announcement that IBM’s System Architect product is being withdrawn by the end of 2020 at the latest has the potential to create huge challenges for organisations still using it.
The scale of the IT architecture of many of IBM’s customers means that those organisations could be facing projects of Brexit-style complexity themselves – and with the clock already ticking on System Architect, the parallels don’t end there.
IBM’s System Architect customers need to begin contingency planning now if they have not done so already. The immediate question is whether or not an organisation should stay with a legacy platform that will no longer be changing with the needs of its customers and the market, or whether a transition strategy should begin right away. Gartner agree that this is a concern, stating a view that “current customers and prospective SA customers should re-evaluate their enterprise architecture tooling needs and assess alternative tool vendors”.
Just like all the connotations, complexities and discussions regarding the Brexit process, there will be many aspects to resolve, risks to avert, stakeholders to align, and continuity to preserve for IBM’s System Architect customers.
With this in mind, it’s perfect timing to consider MEGA’s fully integrated, user-friendly software that provides visibility for business leaders and IT to identify strategic direction for investments in digital technology. A quarter century of expertise, eight consecutive years’ recognition from Gartner as the leader in EA, significant investment from recognised technology VC leaders and our numerous active customers worldwide tell you everything you need to know about MEGA’s future; it’s an already world class solution that’s being actively developed in conjunction with our customers to consistently exceed their expectations.
Click here for more detail on the benefits of switching to MEGA, and to begin your organisation’s contingency strategy today.
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