Supporting UK Defence

Release Date: 17/04/2020

Author: Neal Harrison MBE

Introduction

Somerford Associates have continued in its effort to support Defence, in particular ensuring that awareness of its technologies is enhanced and results in greater cohesion, integration, speed and adaptability across the Defence Digital space. Defence is currently facing a number of digital transformation challenges. Somerford Associates’ veterans are focussing their efforts on understanding and providing solutions to its strategic areas of Digitising the Battlespace, while being more responsive in Cyber Defence, promoting information led business solutions and enhancing IT services to be more effective and efficient. Our veterans, from across the Services, speak the same language and so have a better understanding of the context within which this is required. Last week Somerford, alongside Splunk, briefed on how Splunk can be used to assist the Army in their efforts in combating UK COVID-19. We also explained how Somerford products can be used to secure data within the MoD.

As a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant, support to veterans is a central pillar of Somerford’s commitment and we are working closely with Tech Vets, to provide free online training opportunities for its community.

Enabling Warfare in the Information Age

Currently, Somerford engineers are working towards applications that will enable Warfare in the Information Age. Tailored solutions can allow data to be used by the right people, in the right ways, at the right time, across all functional staff branches within Defence (J1-9), working from the tactical level through to the strategic. The MoD already has the necessary software licenses in place to meet many of the current data challenges it faces. Somerford remains postured to work alongside the MoD, to provide the tailored solutions required to meet these challenges. Used across Core and Non-Core Defence Data, we are able to provide critical business processes and operational requirements. Commanders have the opportunity to gain real-time insights from across their Area of Responsibility (AoR), and beyond. By simplifying data sharing, and helping to improve data quality, means that Commanders, and their subordinates, will gain greater levels of insight and understanding, at pace, prior to mission-critical decisions being made. 

The use of Augmented Reality (AR) and Machine Learning (ML), is also being investigated. Work is underway to better understand how AR and ML can be utilised across Defence, to make processes and procedures more efficient, and enhance predictions, thereby freeing up operators and end-users for more important and interesting tasks, and allowing commanders to get the information they need to make key decisions. The data from Drones can also be captured and exploited to gauge drone performance and search the data produced by drones in relative real-time. There are some really exciting technologies on the horizon and we are constantly innovating, and finding novel ways to meet customer requirements. Our solutions are developed to work in harmony with people and processes.

Defence Audit and Compliance Application (DACA)

One example of our work is the “Defence Audit and Compliance Application,” a.k.a. DACA – built by Somerford engineers utilising Splunk. The application is being used within the Government Sector, to highlight gaps in security posture, by identifying missing data, as well as data that has not been normalised. It supports Joint Service Publication 604 (Defence Network Governance) and allows departments to maintain oversight of its Partners and Managed Service Providers (MSP), providing a degree of assurance that third parties are meeting their compliance obligations.

Download the DACA App Here:

Audit and compliance

Somerford is also actively engaged with the MoD, principally through the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), the Government body that finds and funds exploitable innovation to support UK Defence and Security. This is an attempt to better understand their digital needs and see if we can support their key requirements. Looking ahead, Somerford will continue to host periodic Cross Govt information security forums, designed to share best practice and learn from each other. There is also an opportunity to ‘bring the outside in’ and discuss areas of mutual interest that transcend the Corporate and Public sectors.

To find out further details on anything you have read, to learn more about Somerford, or to challenge us on how we can find solutions to your problems and needs, please reach out to us.

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