Army Must 'Digitally Transform': How To Prepare For Future Warfare

The two men overseeing the digital transformation of the Army explained on Tuesday how they plan to do it.

This announcement follows the recent publication of the Integrated Review, which sets out a vision where national security and defence will be increasingly focused on the information domain.

Forces News spoke to Brigadier Stefan Crossfield, the British Army's Chief Data Officer and Programme Director of the Army's Digital Transformation.

"The British Army will have to digitally transform, whatever happens," Brigadier Crossfield said, adding that it is about "recognising that the future of digital warfare" requires a degree of "transformation".

He said: "The three outline macro-outcomes are to be able to alchemy our adversaries […], to integrate better with our partners […], and to improve the efficiency of the Army."

Brigadier Crossfield also said that the Integrated Review has "delivered sufficient money for the Army to continue to operate in a new way".

However, he remarked that the British Army will need to "transform digitally to make these numbers add up".

WATCH: Connected and data-driven? What can a digital transformation of the Army achieve?

The Programme Director of the Army's Digital Transformation told Forces News technology is "becoming part of the changed driver for society".

"It would be arrogant of the Army not to accept that it's got to make that change and move to a digital footing."

Major UK adversaries are also using data and cyber as a "form of attack" and to "compete" with the United Kingdom and "undermine what we hold dear in the Western world", he added.

"It's out there [and] it’s coming, and the Army's just got to get ready for it."

Speaking about the importance of data in terms of operational advantage, Brig Crossfield said understanding data could lead to "unlocking our adversaries' weaknesses" and "understanding where to attack and where to defend".

"It’s a real gamechanger for the way warfare is evolving at the moment."

Discussing the exploitation of data and knowledge of the cybersphere that adversaries such as China and Russia currently have, the British Army's Chief Data Officer told Forces News: "If a state actor brings there the machinery of a state into that [cyber] space, it's a really, really dangerous game."

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