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.