This paper makes an analysis of the extent to which the Army 2020 provides the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) with opportunities for improving workforce efficiency through the use of information systems.
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The paper examines the different ways in which the workforce is most effective, how the army currently operates in the UK and how the changes envisaged through the Army 2020 Programme are going to impact the present members of the Ministry of Defence in the UK, particularly those that are working in the army.
The researcher has made the analysis by making a discreet examination of the issues relative to people, processes and technology. People issues pertain to aspects such as mental attitudes about working from ten to five and about discrimination at the workplace between office and field workers.
Another aspect in this regard is to examine the pressures of family life, particularly in view of the fact that in current times, both parents tend to work in order to add to the family income and to enjoy better standards of living. It is essential to examine the impact of extra working hours and the further impact of this pattern on children and family life.
Process issues relate to the policies followed by the army and the manner in which the Army 2020 is going to impact the lives of people working in the MOD, mainly because of the increase in the workforce with the inclusion of additional 30,000 reservists. The MOD’s strategy will be examined in the context of how it plans to deal with the Reserves and how the Reserves will be integrated into the new Army Information Systems.
It is essential to determine whether the MOD’s ICT strategy aligns well with the introduction of additional Reserves and whether units will communicate effectively with Reserves after they start working. The expected impact of the Information Systems on these reserves will be examined in the light of the new strategies emanating from Army 2020.
It is imperative in this regard to ascertain if there are plans to attain higher efficiency in remote access and mobile working in the UK MOD, particularly in the army. It is also essential to determine whether the associated risks relative to information security and information assurance can be effectively dealt with and whether such risks are outweighed by the benefits accruing from the Army 2020 Programme.
Technical issues will emerge after introduction and implementation of the new Information Systems, which is why there is a need to examine the extent to which they will add value to the ongoing functions of the MOD.
It is essential to ascertain if there are any issues in regard to remote access and mobile working and whether there are any technical solutions to address the concerns emerging from information security and information assurance.
Overall, the objective of the paper is to assess how the UK MOD can make the Army 2020 an excellent opportunity in addressing some of the emerging issues. This is best done through the implementation of the MOD’s Information Systems that will adequately support Army 2020 and create a much more efficient workforce for the future.
The origin of the Army 2020 Programme can be traced to the outcomes of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) of 2010 and the Three Month Exercise in 2011, after which the then Secretary of State for Defence (Dr. Liam Fox) made announcement in Parliament on 18 Jul 11 about making major structural, technological and manpower changes in the army by the year 2020.
The envisaged changes included reducing the total strength of the army to 120,000 by 2020, which was planned to be done by establishing a regular to reserve ratio of 70/30.
However, there have been some changes in the established objectives and the new envisaged strength of the army is now set at about 82,000 and that of reserves has been fixed at 30,000, thus bringing the total strength of the armed forces at 112,000 by 2020 (Army 2020 – Context 2013).
Given that the UK army was at a crucial stage after having completed combat missions in Afghanistan and withdrawn entirely from Germany in becoming entirely UK based after so many decades, the Army 2020 Study Team was set up under the leadership of Lieutenant General Nick Carter with the assignment to study and make suggestions about how best military capabilities can be delivered in keeping with the current limitations relative to manpower and the army’s capabilities.
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The main objective of the Army 2020 study was to redefine the objectives and capabilities of the army so that it has the added ability of defence and deterrence. Another pertinent goal was to have the required expertise to engage in overseas capacity building. In addition, it was planned to make the army more involved within the country in order to contribute more towards internal resilience.
The Army 2020 team was also assigned the job of meeting the objectives set by the Future Reserves 2020 Study by way of constructing an integrated design for the army so that Reserves could be gainfully used in emergency as well as routine work.
The Army 2020 Study Team was able to complete its assignment on 12 June 2013, after which Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond made an announcement in Parliament on 5 July through which he outlined the different processes that would lead to the restructuring of the army. The Reaction Force (RF) would be given the status of a contingency group that would provide the natural deterrence strength to the military.
Personnel in the RF would be appropriately trained to perform all kinds of intervention tasks. The RF would comprise of three armoured infantry brigades and an air assault brigade and will become the very basis for future operations in terms of establishing durability and stability.
Because the RF will always be on standby, it will be manned mostly by personnel sourced from the main army, while a few will be deputed from the Reserves. The Adaptable Force (AF) will comprise of people sourced from the Regulars and Reserves and will be controlled by a divisional commander.
It will comprise of seven infantry brigades. The AF will be assigned tasks relative to assignments at the base, engagement in defence, maintaining stabilisation, complying with commitments in other nations and involvement in institutional resilience. The Force Troops (FT) will be a specialist group that will provide support to Reaction and Adaptable Forces from different brigade headquarters.
Regional Points of Command (RPoC) primarily pertain to involvement with UK societies and resilience activities related to the UK homeland. It was assessed by the Army 2020 Team that the given functions will be best performed if a regional footprint is maintained while considering the control and command functions of regular and reserve forces.
Capability will be maximised and fully integrated by deploying regular and reserve soldiers as also contractors and civilians. The success of this strategy will be dependent on the manner in which the Future 2020 programme works in being excellently equipped and manned by the required people.
The objective is to make extra efforts in providing specialised military capabilities by way of training programmes that will focus on supporting strong relationships amongst people and employers. In addition, the required legislation will be passed in allowing for the training programmes to be framed and implemented effectively.
Stronger initiatives to implement the Army 2020 programme will be taken after June 2014, whereby new hiring will be made from 1st to 15th January 2015. The number of soldiers will be reduced as a consequence of the Redundancy scheme and the Reserves will be hired by the end of 2018. In addition, a large number of troops will return from Germany (Ministry of Defence 2014b).
It is apparent that the strategic justification for the Army 2020 programme rests on the National Security Strategy and the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), which laid out what the army is expected to provide by way of frequency of delivery of the given tasks. The required funding would be arranged by the Ministry of Defence (MOD).
The final decision is that the army would comprise of about 82,000 regular soldiers and 30,000 reserves, thus forming a total strength of about 112,000 personnel. Concrete plans have now been put in place in defining the role and structure of the army in the coming future.
It is now assumed that the army will continue to be involved in stabilising situations in nations such as Afghanistan, but efforts will have to be made in altering the army’s working system so that better ways are found in meeting the impending threats.
The army has to be made appropriately stable in teaming up with partner countries to achieve the military capability and to remove the prevailing instabilities in different parts of the world. The deployment of reserves has to be evolved in such ways that they can be used as part of an integrated army.
The programme also envisages creating an entirely UK focused army that engages civil societies constructively, while ensuring cost efficiencies that motivate the creation of further designs directed at improving capabilities towards optimisation (House of Commons 2014).
The Ministry of Defence conducted an internal review survey (Continuous Attitude Survey (AFCAS) 2014) through which it sought the views of army personnel about their perceptions in regard to the prevailing working conditions. It was also desired to know what attitudes they had about the current circumstances in which they have to work.
After having assessed the information emerging from the responses of defence personnel, the MOD released the compiled statistics that provide a glimpse into the overall perceptions of military personnel in the context of their working conditions in defence.
The AFCAS (2014) made comparisons with different years’ data for officers as well as other ranks in each of the services in reflecting that there are considerable differences in perceived roles and experiences by way of working conditions, family life and terms and conditions of service.
The objective of the AFCAS 2014 was to analyze and monitor the attitudes of military personnel deployed in important management assignments. The survey assessed different parameters such as welfare, health, leaves, personal life, housing, career growth, leadership opportunities, employment, morale and remuneration. The army personnel also gave their opinions about how they felt working with reserves.
The information that emerged from the survey will be very useful in developing and keeping track of policies in the military while also being informative about the outcomes of policies followed by Armed Forces Pay Review Body, Defence Board and other Defence programmes such as the Armed Forces Covenant and the New Employment Model (Army Reserves Continuous Attitude Survey 2014).
It is apparent from a comparison of the present survey outcomes with those of AFCAS 2013 that there is not much change in the overall satisfaction levels in most aspects of service life. About 48 percent of the total service personnel were found to be satisfied with their personal and official lives, while 27 percent remained dissatisfied.
It becomes apparent that there is not much change in the morale of military personnel as compared to 2013. About 40 percent of the respondents felt they continued to have high morale, while 29 percent responded in saying they did not perceive themselves as having high morale in their working environment.
It also becomes apparent that after demonstrating low morale in the previous three years, army personnel now feel little better because 34 percent of the staff from the Other ranks category rated their morale as high. The biggest reason why service personnel wishes to leave the defence is the adverse impact on their personal and family lives (Samale 2013).
Many service personnel were motivated to continue with the service because of availability of facilities such as a pension, job security, health care and dental care. About 81 percent of the defence personnel felt proud of being in the service and 29 percent felt they were given value while working. An increasing percentage of staff responded in saying they were overloaded in terms of quantum of work.
A significant proportion of defence personnel is accustomed to availing most of their leaves during the year. About 51 percent of the people having working contracts with the Reserves in the previous two years felt that reservists were better integrated in comparison to the previous year (Ministry of Defence 2014c).
It was for the first time in 2014 that the Joint Forces Command issued instructions in refining ICT services in the armed forces. It was envisaged to introduce the Defence Core Network Services Programme (DCNS) in improving the MOD ICT service deliveries in order to be supportive of digital agendas and to allow greater efficiency in mobile working as well as fixed users.
The new package is expected to be installed within six months through interventions such as Integrated Programme Plans, strategic sourcing involving master category strategies and tools and processes of service integration and management. However, success of procurement processes in regard to the new ICT structures depends to a great deal on the SIAM capabilities and ISS Transformation Programme.
The DCNS is a part of the ISS programme that focuses on delivering information and communication technology (ICT) services in order to allow the MOD to work efficiently in conducting military operations. DCNS will eventually provide the required services by integrating better performance that will entail lesser complexities for users.
It will be characterised with greater agility in order to enable greater adaptability that will help in meeting up with the quickly changing nature of military operations. The system will prove to be highly cost-effective. DCNS proposes to use permanent services instead of buying equipment and systems and will make use of the ICT Service Portfolio Management to achieve this objective.
In order to elucidate on how the given services will help users, the agency has introduced Architecture Reference Model (ARM) that depicts the ways in which the different services will assist in various business and operational situations.
The Target Supply Chain Model (TSCM) has been introduced in defining the ways in which such services will be sourced from different industries. The objective is to introduce a Service Tower concept that incorporates the various strategies of Service Integration and Management (SIAM).
This method allows for making the best use of cross-governmental ICT services through small contracts that hold the promise of achieving greater output. In addition, a category management strategy will be used in situations where the defined range of services is divided into distinct groups in relation to their similarities and differences.
This will allow making future procurements of service integrators for managing supply contracts and integrating end-to-end services. However, procurement of services instead of equipment and effective integration of service portfolio management processes will necessitate changes in organizational skills, particularly in relation to ISS from the wider MOD perspective.
The given functions are well substantiated through the workstream associated with the Target Operating Model (TOM). Implementing such changes will require the organisation to use the ISS Transformation Programme.
A significant component of the envisaged operating approach is that it is an efficient function of SIAM through which it is emphasised that specific processes allow ISS to adopt industry-focused best practices in delivering the required ICT services. Delivery is the eventual objective of the DCNS Programme that comprises of projects used in procuring services in keeping with the procedures provided for in the model (Ministry of Defence 2014a).
The defence ICT strategy of 2013 is so framed that it supersedes the plan framed in 2010 and is applicable to all departments and functions controlled by the MOD. The objective is to permit flow of information between different MOD departments as well as other partnerships in the area of national security.
The Defence ICT Strategy 2013 articulates the actions that are to be initiated in ensuring procurement of ICT in ways that it can be easily supported through coherent ways in aligning and complying with government strategies. It is essential to have a broader perspective in order to cover all defence functions instead of just considering those that are being used by the MOD.
This implies that the MOD will have to make use of shared solutions and strategies with other governmental agencies and departments within the country as well as internationally. Obviously, the strategy will have to address the needs of information technology, its flows and new plans as relevant to aspects such as Digital in Defence, Cyber Strategy, MOD Information Strategy and Government Digital Strategy.
The defence ICT strategy must consider the entire scope of information policies laid down by the MOD. The vision of the MOD information strategy of 2011 pertained to adopting systems of “Agile exploitation of our information capabilities to improve effectiveness and efficiency on operations and in support areas through access to, and sharing of timely, accurate and trusted information” (Ministry of Defence p.2).
Going digital in defence is an integral part of the vision of the MOD in adopting modern and innovative systems of operation. The Defence ICT strategy of 2013 has altered the manner in which ICT is sought and used across its entire functions. In fact, the plan has now proved to be a motivating force in creating more coherence into the functioning of different defence departments.
The strategy gives immense significance to NATO and aims at establishing a single intelligence environment directed towards dealing with the three core areas of enabling enterprise reach, configuring for 2020 and preparing for any contingency (Ministry of Defence 2013a).
In order to achieve its defence vision, the MOD has to change the ways in which it exploits the value systems relative to power perceptions in its information systems. It has been recognized by the defence reform review that information is a significant asset that is critical in issues of both battle and business.
There is a strong need to make cost-effective deliveries in the context of military competence as also the effective delivery of MOD’s objectives in primary and support functions. In effect, the information strategy of the MOD is supported by the Defence ICT strategies and seeks to create a corporate environment in which there is constant change in the management of information.
The objective is to achieve success in introducing defence reforms in effective and cost-efficient ways. Considerable investment has been made in the Defence Information Infrastructure (DII) in attaining the means to achieve the required transformation and to exploit and use the required information at the right time and place.
This allows for making the right decisions and for creating the required impact and to achieve the required outcomes within the given time frame.
The MOD believes that the required changes can be delivered through the establishment of information themes relative to information superiority, collaborative information culture, value attached to information as being a strategic asset and guaranteed defence process, identity-based accessibility to information systems, efficiency in records management and innovation and agility.
The MOD has created a strategy to meet its information objectives by establishing information themes that will contribute to the achievement of required outcomes. Providing information at the right time will allow the departments to make decisions at the right time.
Information superiority will be primarily achieved through collaboration across national and international boundaries, which will help in creating shared awareness that will further facilitate the achievement of quick results.
Collaboration in this context pertains to sharing of secure and protected information with partners, which is possible only if the MOD’s data is secured in terms of cyber capabilities and systems. It is essential for defence functionaries to change their outlook and to give value to information in treating it as an asset.
Information proves to be of value only if it is made available to the right people that have the required competence in being able to manage and use it effectively. If the defence is to improve and hold on to its information advantages, it is critical to innovate in terms of usage and development of information systems and procedures.
Information superiority is crucial for making the right decisions in all situations and environments. The decision to take specific actions invariably involves assessing risks as well as advantages relative to such actions, which is why it is often said that there is not much difference between decision making in business and battle.
It is most important to have the ability to take timely and well-informed decisions and considerable support is provided in this regard through information systems.
For example, if the UK and its allies are to succeed in Afghanistan, they will have to be crucially dependent on intelligence as well as situational information. Consequently, a great deal of effort is being made in the development of IX, IM and the necessary infrastructure to be used by the Command Control and Information Infrastructure (CCII).
To achieve efficiency, the MOD is making use of the Operational Information Superiority Programme Board to swerve and improve the equipment programme by using wide-ranging interventions such as the Equipment Programme Plan and Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) in order to sustain information supremacy.
In addition, the MOD’s policy of maintaining information supremacy has matured a great deal through improvement of Network Enabled Capability (NEC), NEC governance systems and Life Capability Management (TLCM). Collaboration is an essential means to connect information and data processes as well as people across national and international functions.
Eventually, the goal is to enhance end to end efficacy of operations. In the MOD, collaboration involves including industry functionaries and foxhole so that data, processes and information can flow freely across all functions and departments. However, the MOD faces daunting challenges in establishing common standards and procedures that are consistent and efficient.
Effective collaboration practices will result in operational effectiveness, better military reforms, agility of supply chains and conformity with prevailing regulations and government procedures. Supply chain integration will lead to considerable benefits for the MOD.
Adopting supportive styles of operation will lead to consistency amongst fixed and deployed functions. Collaborative working environments allow the MOD to continue working with industries in defining shared standards, instruments and processes.
A lot of progress has been made by the defence in developing and rolling out the MOSS (DII ALAMEIN Microsoft Office SharePoint Server) capabilities. Use of adoption tool kits will enable the defence to have a platform through which it can effectively collaborate with different agencies for a prolonged period of time.
With the evolvement of collaboration opportunities, the need has developed for enhancing consistency in standards and procedures across different programmes, which has resulted in providing speedy collaboration with social media and social networks.
Given that information is crucial and needs to be safeguarded and shared through secure means, the objective of the MOD is to ensure the information without comprising on any issue. The MOD needs to protect its data from varied risks such as cyber threats, intentional leakage of data and unintended loss of data.
In addition, it is required to take preventive measures against the challenges imposed by cyber threats directed at stealing and destroying the current information. Cyber threats emerge from the usual operational opponents and state entities such as intelligence agencies of other nations and non-state entities such as computer hackers.
To safeguard the current information, all functionaries have to be in the know of involved risks and to recognize their duties while accessing and dealing with information. This is possible only by adopting varied processes of investing in and developing capabilities while remaining consistent in partnerships with the academia and industries.
It is thus essential to establish a trusted atmosphere so that the information systems can be handled by reliable sources in collaboration with the MOD’s allies in the government and across the entire supply chain. If this trustworthy atmosphere is supported by an efficient compliance system, the risks faced by the department will be considerably reduced.
This will further lead to enhanced effectiveness and agility in the MOD’s working systems, while individual productivity will improve by using interventions such as Access Management (IdAM) that will allow decisions to be taken in a credulous atmosphere.
Use of Access Management (IdAM) will help in promoting the adoption of information labelling and digital identity in establishing connections between people and the required information as and when required.
High standards of collaboration are being established by the Transglobal Secure Collaboration Program (TSCP) in attempts to collaborate and protect information sharing with different entities. By making use of such standards, the MOD is collaborating with industrial partners in allowing small and medium enterprises to get accessibility to RLI-hosted CWE.
Given that the defence is always in need of valuable information and reliable data, it is vital to view information as an extremely valuable asset (The National Archives 2010).
Agile utilization of information capability depends on availability of reliable data and if such data is exploited by the defence personnel in improving their knowledge, they can always generate accurate and relevant information that can be of immense help in decision-making processes (Philips 2012a).
People working in the defence have to be equipped with the required behaviours and skills relative to acquiring information so that defence outputs are delivered efficiently. All people working in the defence are expected to generate and use data in different ways while being involved in their daily work routines.
The basic idea is that it is significant for all people working in the Defence to help in establishing an information culture that acknowledges the significance of information and recognises its critical contribution in assisting during the decision making process. If the MOD is to succeed consistently, it is essential to establish such a culture.
However, with the envisaged reduction in the size of the workforce under the Army 2020 Programme, this is not going to be easy to achieve because of the challenges associated with keeping up with the required knowledge, systems and skills. Moreover, with the proposed merger and reduction in size of organizations, there is the added risk of losing essential knowledge.
The cultural change that will occur once the new procedures are in place and the consequences of downsizing of the workforce will lead to added difficulties for the MOD in complying with its tasks relative to Freedom of Information (FOI), the Public Records Act (PRA) and Data Protection Act (DPA).
Thus, there will be need for bringing in cultural change directed at meeting up with the MOD’s aspirations of establishing better relations with allies and industrial partners.
The Government’s Civil Service Learning Programme is envisaged to create a strong impact on training in the main functions relative to information technology. The programme also aims at using the Defence IM Passport in adapting and applying shared approaches towards the improvement of behaviours and skills.
This will allow the adoption of strategies of better integration of government functioning across all departments and will lead to economies of scale, thus implying better functionality and greater efficacy. The MOD has proposed to introduce operational information training through programmes of enhancing foundation skills of the personnel deployed in operations.
As per the Army 2020 programme, The Head of Profession for Knowledge and Information Management (HOP KIM) has been assigned the responsibility of representing the MOD in meetings of the Government Knowledge Council with the objective of aligning governmental interests in introducing and updating functional competencies in regard to information.
This will allow the future workforce to get the required professional guidance. Through such functions, the Head of Profession for Knowledge and Information Management (HOP KIM) will arrange for the acquirement of cyber competencies through education and training at different levels. In addition, he will analyze the impact of changes taking place in the general acquirement of skill sets in defence establishments.
He will also pursue and carry forward the agenda for developing cyber skills in different departments. It is planned to imbibe the necessary skills amongst the workforce through induction programmes. This has been established as a priority for the future so that adequate significance is attached to intelligence and protection of information.
Accessibility to and management of information in the departments will be made possible through a range of information systems that will assist people and organizations associated with defence. Such a portfolio of information systems will keep changing over time with the evolvement of new information and the prospects that are created with innovations and new technologies.
The services will be provided through the Defence Business Services Organisation (DBSO). The defence intranet has now become a significant means of communication that is made possible for people accessing the home page.
The intranet systems will enable greater functionality in ensuring that messages about changes in defence are communicated through processes such as web and library services, records archiving and review services, historical analysis and Controlled Values Repository (CVR). The objective is to make reliable data available to defence personnel through web-based services that will be provided by the DBSO.
Consistency, inter-operability and rationality of future systems will allow information exchange standards to be recognized at all levels of the MOD’s working. All these information services will add to efforts in achieving the defence information vision because a broad audience will be reached in most departments of the MOD.
In addition, they will also contribute in improving MOD’s quality of services because of availability of better information. All these factors will work in enhancing the MOD’s ability in explaining to the courts, Parliament and the public at large about its actions and initiatives. Costs will eventually be reduced in the long term because the department will face lesser extent of legal cases and claims in regard to information.
Innovations will go a long way in allowing the MOD to make gainful use of the new opportunities emerging from the adoption of leading-edge technologies. The present planned outlays for information systems will result in considerable improvement, while there are added prospects of achieving much more because of the innovative usage of new information.
It cannot be denied that defence departments have always delivered some levels of innovations, but there is need to integrate them in exploiting other opportunities in industry and other departments. Innovations will assist the MOD to optimise its investments, which in turn will be supportive for ICT through understandings relative to the best ways in which investments can be made to achieve the best possible results.
They will also help in collaboration efforts by categorizing new ways of exploiting and sharing information across the entire MOD. Efforts towards innovation will facilitate the MOD in establishing its leadership in the usage of information and data. The MOD is already having room-based video conferencing and will soon have capabilities of desktop conferencing.
However, video services in the MOD are currently inconsistent and innovations will help in sustaining MOD’s efforts by way of more exceptional ability amongst the workforce in terms of collaboration and sharing of knowledge.
Therefore, in order to benefit from opportunities of innovation, the MOD will have to make use of the best external practices, make use of research, identify current shortcomings and identify the dormant capabilities in regard to information systems.
Given that we live in a constantly changing world, it is essential for the MOD to identify the best opportunities as and when they are available in order to make the best use of information. The constant improvements being made in ICT should primarily relate to a higher flow of information, which will provide the MOD with opportunities as well as challenges.
It is now recognized that in the present technological environment, operations should not be dependent on actions to be taken on land, water, or in the air. Rather, there is now only one battle-space, which is cyberspace on which defence forces have to rely on to a great extent.
This is because defence forces are now much dependent on information obtained through new forms of intelligence and surveillance technologies and associated support systems. In order to remain consistently successful, the MOD has to become more responsive and efficient in the management and exploitation of information.
Such capability will allow the MOD to carry out its commitments and to effectively face the emerging challenges while remaining within its budgetary limitations. The strategy will help the MOD in improving the use of information across all departments (Ministry of Defence 2011).
It is envisaged that the Defence Core Network Services Programme (DCNS) will drastically improve the Information Communications Technology (ICT) of the MOD by way of better user experiences and by way of enterprise-wide end to end ICT services that will be provided in keeping with the agility and costs of best practices in the industry.
In this regard, the digital agenda will be supported by DCNS through enabling of efficient mobile services and better quality for fixed users. Achieving the required programme benefits and the successful procurement of new ICT services will greatly depend on the ISS Transformation Programme and the applicability of SIAM capabilities.
The DCNS programme relates to making future ISS deliveries relative to ICT services in defence establishments so that the Ministry of Defence can carry out military operations and work effectively as a department of state. In effect, this programme is a branch of the Defence Major Projects Portfolio (DMPP).
DCNS has the capability of delivering the required ICT service to end-users who perceive the same as being integrated with better and less complex results that are characterized with agility in making the services to be easily and quickly adaptable to meet up with the fast-changing circumstances. In addition, it proves to be cost-effective in several ways.
To provide better services, DCNS aims at acquiring services instead of buying systems and equipment for the implementation of ICT management services. The workstreams are defined by the Services Portfolio working systems with the objective of creating coherence amongst the services in making them compliant with the Defence Information Reference Model (DIRM).
The manner in which the services will comply with user requirements is best explained by the Architecture Reference Model (ARM) that reveals the ways in which varied services can be deployed in different business and operational circumstances.
The Target Supply Chain Model (TSCM) was set up with the objective of defining the ways in which services can be sourced from industries and used gainfully for a given period of time.
The objective is to use a service tower model that will be coordinated with Service Integration and Management (SIAM) to maximise the usage of commoditised ICT services in adopting a category management strategy in situations when the services can be bifurcated into distinct groupings of comparable goods. It is proposed to source a service Integrator in the management and integration of supply contracts.
An essential component of the envisaged operating strategy is the adoption of SIAM functions that specify the procedures having the potential to allow ISS to benefit from industry-specific best practices so that well-integrated ICT services are delivered. The main objective of the DCNS strategy is to deliver successfully. The process entails that future services will have to be procured in complying with the DCNS strategy.
Thereafter, the projects will lead to change in services from the present status to new engagements while ensuring consistency in continuity of service. The MOD approach is to move away from seeking significant contracts and to focus more on smaller versions such as the Managed Service Providers (MSP).
They will be sourced through ICT services pertaining to frameworks such as the Public Services Network (PSN), which will be managed by reducing transition risks in assisting integration processes relative to new Service Towers.
The DCNS objective for the coming two years pertains to creating opportunities for planning and commencing with implementing of supply chain models that are compliant with the core principles of DCNS. The DCNS believes in using transparency in the management of supply chains, which allows for understanding the opportunities and associated costs of providing better services.
It aims at establishing higher levels of segregation in supply chains characterised with smaller contracts and using new government structures as far as possible. Another objective is to utilise integrated functions in regard to managing end to end supply chains. Portfolio-based strategies help in the replacement of current contracts with more efficient commercial engagements.
By balancing the risks of transition from present contracts it is essential to ensure that the objectives of DCNS are met effectively. In this regard, the DCNS has established the Target Supply Chain Model (TSCM), which has the nature of evolving on a continuous basis in reflecting new Tower supply chain approaches on the basis of discrete strategies that allow effectively meeting up with the new challenges in the market atmosphere.
Significant changes brought forth with the implementation of the Tower Approach pertain to commercial strategies introduced through ISSS and TOM. The extent of integration that was allocated in the past in respect of the Service Integration Layer is a consequence of the MSP models of the past that were required to be reduced in scale, though not in terms of capacity,
The SIAM strategy focuses on ensuring that the varied components of different services in the supply chains are delivered to users in the MOD so that their requirements can be met with efficiently. SIAM functionaries have already outlined their strategy on how they plan to deal with the six main aspects, which are(Governance, Organisation, Process, Service Management Architecture, ISS Service-Based Model for SIAM and ISS E2E.
All these have a strong bearing on the working of the ISS. In effect, SIAM is a strategic approach that allows delivery of IT services in a highly complex and differently sourced atmosphere.
SIAM can be said to be an improvement over conventional methods of sourcing because it encompasses varied characteristics that permit integrating and managing module services obtained from varied providers in creating E2E services capable of being used effectively by end uses.
The ISS implements a strategy of sourcing from different suppliers, which has to be cautiously balanced in terms of being flexible so that the required services are provided to businesses in being efficiently integrated. The objective is to have services that can deliver high levels of continuity in services. Once the ISS is able to allow larger numbers of contracts, the supply chains would become highly complicated.
Such a situation will create situations in which there will be need to constantly define controls so that they are implemented on a constant basis and enforced effectively. In the process, the ISS benefits by imbibing abilities to deal with these suppliers in areas such as operation of activities, designing of services and allowing component services to be conveniently moved amongst different MSPs.
However, the strategy can succeed only if ISS establishes several contracts for SIAM. The main characteristics of SIAM are customer management, supplier management, service lifecycle management and organization. The main objective is to organize all these capabilities in ways that the required quality is achieved and delivery of projects and programmes are made timely.
Given that the ISS has started adopting the tower-focused contract strategy, it is implied that the organization will have to make appropriate adjustments so that the SIAM processes strengthen the need for required changes.
The DCNS programmes are required to be technically supported through the GRAPEVINE projects in terms of procuring, evaluating and transitioning IUS services and Connectivity relative to the OSM. Strategically, the teams support the overall transformation process of the ISS.
The main objective of the DCNS OpIS is to make agile deliveries of operational information services, which can be effectively used during wartime to make missions successful. These objectives can be achieved by establishing comprehensive architectural requirements, clear and targeted policies, effective use of DCNS services and effective strategies of sourcing.
In order to achieve the given objectives, the DCNS OplS strategy will have to make efforts in moving towards a futuristic state in which capabilities are delivered by providing the required services. As far as possible, the DCNS OplS should make use of its usual services and adopt other approaches only if there are different operational circumstances.
By adopting such approaches, the DCNS will succeed in maximising consistency while effectively achieving commercial efficacy to improve quality of information that can be used in operations and strategic functions in land, sea and air.
The scope of the project relates to four major areas, which are Defence Technical Training Change Programme (DTTCP), Army Recruitment Training Division, Classrooms Information Infrastructure Project (ACIIP), Navy Training Information Infrastructure Project (NTIIP) and Air Training Information Infrastructure Project (ATIIP).
EMBRACE is a project of the MOD and falls within its ICT (Information and Communication Technology) strategy that focuses on transformation initiatives established for responding to the new challenges. EMBRACE is a project that will help in developing greater consistency in the compliance of policy initiatives relative to the MOD’s ICT strategies, ultimate objective being to achieve efficiency and better management practices.
High-Grade Messaging (HGM) is a technology development proposed to be used by the MOD in securing the availability of assured mechanisms for disseminating crisis information and operational command and control in the entire ministry. In addition, HGM is supportive of strategic deterrence and strategic intelligence functions (Ministry of Defence 2014a).
Reserve forces in the UK are known to have made significant contributions that are constantly increasing in the same proportion as the extent to which the entire armed forces are being restructured (Blitz 2012).
In meeting the security challenges that have been created for the future, it has become essential to revitalise the Reserve Forces in order to reverse past patterns relative to decline in their total strength and reduction in investments (Philips 2012b).
It is proposed to make additional investments amounting to 1.8 billion pounds in the coming ten years with the objective of enhancing the strength of the Reserve Forces and to provide them training and better infrastructure.
However, the changes will result in positive impact only if shifts are made in the thinking patterns relative to how Reserve Forces are to be dealt with and how they will be used in combat and civil functions. The Reserve Forces are considered to command immense value for the armed forces and are crucial for delivering internal and external security.
The 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review had outlined the manner in which the armed forces will be structured and proposed the roles that will be played by the reserve forces in the future.
It is envisaged to provide additional roles for the reserves as they will be used in larger numbers not only in the force but also in enhancing capabilities of defence in some specialized functions that do not require full-time work (Ministry of Defence 2013c).
In the Army 2020 Programme, the Armed Forces have been restructured in making the best possible use of available resources. The objective is to employ national talent in providing the government with varied choices towards addressing the wide-ranging challenges that will emerge in regard to national security.
It is planned to complement the Regulars with the Reserves so that they work together by working as a strong force in enhancing military capabilities in diverse ways, particularly in regard to delivering the required range of skills and military abilities.
It was conveyed by the Independent Commission on the Reserve Forces in 2010 that the numbers of Reserves in the armed forces were on a constant decline and that they should be invigorated in meeting the increasing demands of a changing security atmosphere.
The enhanced dependence of the Reserves implies there is greater need to be assured that more Reserves will be trained and that their training standards are such that they can be effectively utilised as and when required (R. P. Defence 2014). There is thus a need to develop relationships in the context of utilising Reserves.
Given that societies rely heavily on national security, it is apparent that the economy and the business world cannot survive without the active participation of Reserves (Ashcroft 2014). It is now acknowledged by researchers and the government that enhanced dependence on reserves proves to be more cost-effective for the country as a whole.
It is thus essential for societies to play a greater role in encouraging and supporting the deployment of Reserves in national security. This objective can be achieved only if more people join the Reserves and more industries employ reserves. It is known that Reserves and their families contribute much more to the nation than other sections of society.
In addition, the defence is also dependent on them and must reward them appropriately. Once an individual joins as a Reservist, he becomes committed to receive training to be developed as a leader and to make use of the available opportunities in return for appropriate incentives and rewards.
Therefore, it is the duty of the government to provide reservists with high-class training, inspiring challenges, leadership opportunities and career growth (Ministry of Defence 2013b).
It is known that those employing reservists contribute more to the security of the nation, which is why the Defence recognises and attaches immense value the commitments made by businesses in this regard. The MOD has already declared that it will make the employment process of reservists simpler and attractive, while also providing for recognition to businesses contributing in this regard.
However, if these strategies have to succeed, there will have to be a significant shift in cultural and societal perceptions amongst businesses and amongst senior functionaries in the armed forces. Obviously, the envisaged changes and targets will take some time to achieve.
Substantial changes are planned to be made in the army in this regard. The Future Reserves 2020 Programme has been framed by the government in providing for additional funding of £1.8 billion, in the next decade. Policies will be created in attracting more significant numbers of people to enlist reservists by making rewarding and challenging offers.
It is expected that reservists will be required for practically all functions in the future. However, they will have to be trained appropriately in the required functions, which is why the government has already started investing in providing for high standards of training within and outside the nation. In addition, the MOD has simplified the application and selection procedures for reservists.
The MOD has taken initiatives to invest in reservists and their family members and also introduced policy measures that will create better alignment of their salary with that of regular soldiers.
After introduction of the new armed forces pension scheme, reservists will also be eligible to draw pension in relation to the time they spend in performing the given functions. The MOD has assured that appropriate welfare support will be provided to reservists, which will be at par with the regulars.
Reservists will be provided with occupational health services as also with rehabilitation assistance if they suffer injuries during employment or training. Reservists’ skills will be enhanced to the extent that they can be gainfully employed as civilians in keeping with the qualifications required for civil functions. Moreover, the government has announced a bonus of £5,000 for regulars that leave the army to join as reservists.
The government recognises the contributions made by employers in recruiting reservists and plans to set up a National Relationship Management with the objective of strengthening its relationships with such employers.
Appropriate financial incentives will be given to employers owning small and medium enterprises and the MOD will establish employer recognition systems with the objective of developing corporate conventions in ensuring that those employing reservists are given their due recognition.
The new legislation will be introduced in allowing the armed forces to hire reservists so that the entire range of envisaged tasks can be performed by them. The Territorial Army will be renamed the Army Reserve in reflecting the essential changes that will characterise the new roles of reservists.
It will take time to implement all the proposed changes, but there is no doubt that the MOD is committed in working to achieve all its goals. (Ministry of Defence 2013b).
The methodology for this research is based upon the research philosophy that is about making analysis of the extent to which the Army 2020 provides the UK Ministry of Defence with opportunities of increasing workforce efficiency through the use of information systems.
The methodology will focus on how the Army 2020 will prove to be an asset in providing the MOD with additional opportunities of increasing workforce efficiency through the use of information systems.
The methodology aims at examining the different ways in which the workforce is most effective, how the army currently operates in the UK and how the changes envisaged through the Army 2020 Programme are going to impact the present members of the Ministry of Defence in the UK, particularly those that are working in the army.
The methodology relates to making a discreet enquiry into the core issues of people, processes and technology. All these aspects will be thoroughly clarified through the methodology that will be followed in arriving at the outcomes in regard to the expected applicability and effectiveness of the Army 2020 Programme.
Given that people issues pertain to aspects such as mental attitudes relative to working hours and preferential treatments are given to some sections of employees, it is essential to have the perceptions of employees about such aspects in the working environment, which is best obtained through the present methodology, which seeks to have information about the attitudes of employees on different parameters that have a direct bearing on their satisfaction levels.
Another factor is the examination of the pressures of family life, particularly in view of the fact that in current times, both parents tend to work in attempts to add to the family income and to enjoy better standards of living. It is essential to examine the impacts of extra working hours and the effect of this pattern on children and family life.
All these research objectives are best achieved by examining the prevailing circumstances in the MOD and how they impact the needs and expectations of defence personnel.
A critical evaluation is then possible of the different circumstances that prevail in the MOD, which can then be used in framing research outcomes that will be very helpful for MOD authorities in determining the perceptions of different sections of employees in regard to the success of the Army 2020 Programme.
This study employed a qualitative research design for purposes of structuring the research process. According to Hopkins (2000), this type of research design will help the researcher to examine the issues at hand since the research is largely interested in evaluating the relationship between different variables.
Qualitative studies are either descriptive or experimental, but this particular study will employ a descriptive approach since the subjects, in this case, are people working in different positions in the UK Ministry of defence and it is pertinent to have their views about what they feel about the current working environment and what changes they wish to have in achieving greater satisfaction from their jobs.
Primary data was gathered by means of undertaking an online survey specifically designed to measure the respondents’ perceptions, values, satisfaction, and opinion in regard to their working environment in the defence forces in the UK.
According to Sekaran (2013), a survey is useful when the researcher is particularly interested in descriptive assessment of a particular phenomenon as it is the case in this study. Secondary data was collected by means of undertaking a detailed review of related literature.
This research aimed at achieving the objectives of making adjustments about the current activities of regulars and reserves employed in the UK MOD, particularly in the context of their expectations from the Army 2020 programme and what shortcomings they wish to get rid of in the implementation of the new procedures, particularly in regard to the efficacy of the new information systems that will have a strong bearing on their work and the satisfaction they will derive from such portfolios.
On the basis of the literature review and the answers to questions that were forwarded to individual respondents via e-mail, it was proposed to ascertain the following:
- Whether the Army 2020 provides adequate opportunities of increasing workforce efficiency through the use of information systems.
- How the changes envisaged through the Army 2020 Programme are going to impact the present members of the Ministry of Defence.
- What employees in the MOD feel about working from ten to five and about discrimination at the workplace between office and field workers?
- What are the pressures of family life, particularly in view of the fact that in current times, both parents tend to work in order to add to the family income and to enjoy better standards of living.
- What are the impacts of extra working hours and the impact of this pattern on children and family life?
- What impact will the policies followed by the army have on the lives of people working in the MOD?
- Does the MOD’s ICT strategy aligns well with the introduction of additional Reserves and whether units will communicate effectively with Reserves after they start working.
- What is the expected impact of the Information Systems on regulars and reserves in view of the new strategies emanating from Army 2020?
- Will higher efficiency be achieved in the areas of remote access and mobile working in the UK MOD?
- What are the associated risks relative to information security and information assurance and whether they can be effectively dealt with?
- Will such risks are outweighed by the benefits of the new policies envisaged in Army 2020?
- How can the UK MOD make the Army 2020 an excellent opportunity in addressing some of the emerging issues through the implementation of its Information Systems?
This research used different characteristics that were present in every chosen department for the purpose of this survey.
Individuals were also chosen from diverse backgrounds in order to have a broad cross-section of respondents in enabling the study to have a broad perspective while concluding the findings. 15 employees were chosen from different departments of the MOD, while there were 10 respondents selected from amongst the currently employed reservists who have been involved in the MOD’s activities in the recent past.
Five respondents were also chosen from different departments in the MOD in order to have their perceptions about the imminent changes being introduced through the Army 2020 Programme.
The respondents were provided with a questionnaire containing 20 questions about different aspects of the working environment in the MOD. The questions focused on extracting information pertaining to the performance of the MOD and what impact the Army 2020 will have on their official and personal lives.
The questionnaire was designed after conducting a mock pre-test by way of in-depth interviews amongst decision-makers in different departments of the MOD. Attempts were made to represent the widest possible cross-section of individuals and businesses in relation to the working of the MOD.
The criteria used for selecting respondents rested on the willingness of a given employee in coming forth with free and unprejudiced opinion of the MOD’s working. Respondents were selected from a broad base in attempts to include people that were aware of and directly involved with the MOD’s field and office functions.
The average age of the respondents was 34 years and 61 percent of respondents were from the field forces, while the remaining were those that were involved in office work.
Target Population and Sample
The target population for this study comprised of people that were directly engaged with field and office working in the UK MOD. In order to get responses from individual respondents the email option was considered most meaningful because it allows having specific information from the perspective of respondent’s confidentiality.
Purposive and convenience sampling approaches were utilized for purposes of coming up with the desired sample. Purposive sampling was used to assist in the process of selecting a sample that has prior knowledge and understanding of the MOD’s working (Cohen et al., 2007).
Afterwards, the subjects were requested to respond to the questionnaire by virtue of being in the right location at the right time, otherwise known as convenience sampling (Sekaran, 2013).
Data Gathering Instruments
Primary data for the study in the case of individual respondents was collected by means of an online semi-structured questionnaire schedule. A questionnaire is desirable in a descriptive study basically because it is easy to administer the tool in an online setting (Cohen et al., 2007).
The tool has been designed to measure the respondents’ perceptions, attitudes, and values regarding the MOD’s working by using a five-point Likert-type scale, which allows determining how these variables combine to enhance or lessen their opinion in the context of the MOD’s working.
Apart from the ability to attain a high response rate, it is also easy to undertake a comparative analysis when using a questionnaire due to the fact that most items consist of closed-ended questions (Sekaran, 2013).
The questionnaire used in this particular study was also subjected to thorough testing to ensure that issues of data validity and reliability are appropriately dealt with. Secondary data for this study was collected through a comprehensive review of literature, sourced from reliable sources, including textbooks and journals.
The study employed both quantitative and qualitative data assessment techniques for gathering primary and secondary data. Quantitative assessment involved coding the data contained in the questionnaires and entering them into a statistical package.
Afterwards, cleaning and analysis of the data were performed using the same package to generate frequency distributions and descriptive statistics that were used to answer the study’s main objectives. Data was presented in different forms and the qualitative data generated by the open-ended questions was analyzed by using a process known as qualitative content approach.
This method involves cleaning, coding, and evaluating responses that were given in either verbal or written communication so as to permit them to be considered quantitatively (Sekaran, 2013). All the people surveyed, are based in the UK have been working with the MOD for over three years. The responses from 1 to 5 pertained to responding to one of the following for each question:
- Strongly Agree
- Tend to Agree
- Neither Agree nor Disagree
- Tend to Disagree
- Strongly Disagree
The outcomes of the survey revealed several aspects about the perceptions of army personnel in the context of their current working conditions. In addition, it also threw light on their attitudes about the current circumstances in which they have to work.
Upon making comparison of the responses of different respondents it became apparent that officers, as well as other ranks in each of the services, indicated that there are considerable differences in perceived roles and experiences by way of working conditions, family life and terms and conditions of service.
The compiled data gave ample opportunities of analyzing and monitoring the attitudes of military personnel deployed in important management assignments. The survey assessed different parameters such as welfare, health, leaves, personal life, housing, career growth, leadership opportunities, employment, morale and remuneration. The army personnel also gave their opinions about how they felt working with reserves.
The information that emerged from the survey will be very useful in developing and keeping track of policies in the military while also being informative about the outcomes of policies followed by different departments in the MOD.
It becomes evident from a comparison of the present survey outcomes with those of AFCAS 2013 that there is not much change in the overall satisfaction levels in most aspects of service life. Majority of the service personnel were found to be satisfied with their personal and official lives, while some remained dissatisfied. It thus becomes apparent that there is not much change in the morale of military personnel as compared to 2013.
It is also evident that after demonstrating low morale in the previous three years, army personnel now feel little better because 35 percent of the staff from the Other ranks category rated their morale as quite high.
The biggest reason why service personnel wish to leave the defence is because of the adverse impact on their personal and family lives. Many service personnel were motivated to continue with the service because of availability of facilities such as pension, job security, health care and dental care.
Majority of the defence personnel feel proud of being in the service, although only about 30 percent feel they are given value while working. An increasing percentage of staff responded in saying they were overloaded in terms of quantum of work. Overall, life in the army continues to be quite high; to the extent of 72 percent.
In terms of organizational engagement, the respondents clearly revealed they had a high sense of pride in being a part of the army and felt proud about contributing to the nation’s security.
Over half of the respondents declared their workload was quite high, but despite this situation, over 45 percent were willing to continue working in the army because of the benefits accruing in terms of other factors such as job security and other facilities not available in other employments.
Almost 60 percent of the respondents were found to be satisfied with the current salary levels, while 55 percent asserted they felt privileged to be given the authority to use the latest technologically advanced gadgets and new information systems. In terms of training and career growth, 58 percent of the respondents felt satisfied with the current provisions and practices.
It is apparent from the outcomes of the sample survey that the army personnel are mostly contented about their current status and the facilities they get by way of being employees of the MOD. It is apparent that in view of the strenuous circumstances military personnel have to work, they do deserve more than what employees working in other sectors get.
Nevertheless, just as growth is imperative in every field of human activity it is logical that army personnel should be offered ample opportunities of growth and career advancement so that they are able to progress and afford higher standards of living in keeping with the fast pace of development that is taking place in the present economic environment because of globalisation.
At the same time, the MOD has to approach each issue very cautiously because of its constraints relative to funding and organization in view of its answerability before the UK Parliament.
It is apparent that the MOD faces an uphill task because it has to make the best use of its meagre resources that will primarily be made available from the savings in costs emanating from the downsizing of the armed forces as provided for in the Army 2020.
There are some major elements of the Army 2020 Programme through which the MOD envisages to bring major structural and procedural changes in the working of the ministry and its departments, which will have a strong bearing on the working conditions and satisfaction levels of regular soldiers and reservists while also creating ground for vastly improving the effectiveness and efficacy of the Ministry’s performance in a highly evolving national and international security environment.
The establishment of a Reaction Force is in keeping with the objective of attaining higher readiness so that contingency tasks can be performed at short notice. The Reaction Force will be equipped and trained so that it can carry out all the operations and interventions in any enduring requirement in the future.
In addition, provisions have been made for the establishment of an Adaptable Force comprising of regular and reserve soldiers that will be assigned logistics and infantry functions respectively in meeting the obligations of the MOD. This manpower will be used for wide-ranging tasks such as defence engagements, enduring actions and overseas assignments.
A third category of staff in the MOD will pertain to a brigade of Command Support, Combat Service Support and Combat Support, which will be primarily involved in maximising sustainability and efficacy in the MOD’s functions. However, there are apprehensions amongst a section of analysts in regard to moving away from the strategy announced by the SDSR in regard to the Five Brigade Model.
Some controversies were created by the announcements made in regard to the Army 2020 Programme, not only in the context of decision making about particular regiments and units but also in regard to a number of strategic issues. It has not been substantiated as to what factors were responsible in driving the given plans and how such projects were envisaged and assessed.
There is no clarification on the ways through which the proposed changes in regard to the army’s strength and configuration would guarantee that the envisaged functions could be undertaken effectively (Brooke-Holland & Rutherford 2012). There are no concrete proposals about how the reservists’ roles will change. It is aptly asserted by some analysts that the Army 2020 plans will be the most revolutionary in the MOD’s history.
It cannot be denied that the MOD has made use of various tests in determining the viability of the given amendments, but such tests appear to be more relevant on paper. In the case of the Future Reserves 2020 Programme, there are elements that are not corroborated with concrete test results.
In the absence of such results, there is no confirmation about the possibility of the plans being implemented successfully. The MOD has not provided specific examples or situations in which the Army 2020 plans have been contested or tested.
The National Security Strategy (NSS) and the Report on the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) of 2011 had clearly observed that the government should prioritise reduction of the budget deficit because otherwise there would be significant implications in the maintenance of national security. Given that all plans have to be financially focused it is important to stir up the army in reducing financial liabilities.
However, such criticism is not tenable because in the Army 2020 Programme the MOD has clearly outlined that the regular forces will be reduced to 82,000 personnel and that the Reserve Force of 30,000 will be built over an extended period of five years.
The immediate savings occurring from downsizing the regulars’ numbers to 82,000 will provide the MOD with resources to fund the gradual increase of Reserves over the coming five year period. It is thus apparent that the MOD is capable of meeting its financial liabilities accruing from the implementation of the Army 2020 Programme because it is designed in keeping within the limits imposed by its financial envelope.
In regard to the MOD’s fighting power emerging from the Army 2020 Programme, it has been argued by analysts that there is still need to analyze the operational efficacy of the military in the rapidly evolving security environment.
It is in this context that the House of Commons (2014) has categorically asked the MOD to provide them “with an assessment of how the Army 2020 plans will affect the “Fighting Power” of the Army providing comparable assessments of both current fighting power and projected fighting power following the completion of the Army 2020 plans” (House of Commons, 2014, p.5).
The House of Commons (2014) have clearly recommended that the Ministry of Defence should delve into determining the minimum threshold that would allow it to achieve operational efficacy. It is also essential to establish clear-cut goals about the development of such ‘critical mass’ that proves to be of much value for the MOD.
The public at large and critics would like to know how the MOD plans to achieve better efficiency in the defence by reducing the size of the work-force.
However, this aspect can be clarified well by the MOD if it substantiates on the combined impact of changes being made in terms of improvement in military capability emerging from innovative measures such as better coordination amongst regulars and reservists and adoption of better information systems.
Nevertheless, the MOD will have to be cautious because it is not yet known what risks will be faced and what stand the government will take in this regard. It is not possible to reduce the apparent threats through other kinds of investments, particularly building of up-stream capacities in the military arena.
The apparent threats assume greater significance in the light of the UK government’s massive financial and military involvement in Libya and the Middle East. Such situations have the potential of posing significant threats to the national security of the country.
It is thus apparent that despite the ambitious plans, the military is faced with a critical mass situation because there is no guarantee that the government will succeed in balancing between its national and global commitments (Brewer & Smith 2014).
The security risks faced by the UK in the future are indefinite, which is why the MOD is yet to provide a concrete basis for its proposals because as yet there is no provision of contingency initiatives in the event of the occurrence of unforeseen circumstances.
The MOD has not yet provided appropriate justification on how it has concluded that the provision of the given numbers of regular soldiers and Reserves will work well in meeting the imminent risks of security.
In effect, there is a strong need to create plans for achieving critical mass because of the uncertainty associated with the Fighting Power principle of the MOD. There is need to substantiate on the surety that the Army 2020 provides for a strong basis for the MOD to comply with its emerging obligations.
Although the main objective of the Army 2020 study was to redefine the objectives and capabilities of the army so that it has the added ability of defence and deterrence, there needs to be added action taken in the area of gaining expertise to engage in overseas capacity building.
Given the MOD’s plans to make the army more involved within the country in order to contribute more towards internal resilience, actions will have to be taken by the Army 2020 team in assigning the job of meeting the objectives set by the Future Reserves 2020 Study.
This can be done only if concerted efforts are made by way of constructing an integrated design for the army so that Reserves could be gainfully used in emergency as well as routine work. Regional Points of Command (RPoC) primarily pertain to involvement with UK societies and resilience activities pertaining to the UK homeland.
Although it has been assessed by the Army 2020 Team that the given functions will be best performed if a regional footprint is maintained while considering the control and command functions of regular and reserve forces, it is essential to maximise capability that should be fully integrated by deploying regular and reserve soldiers as also contractors and civilians.
But the success of this strategy will be dependent on the manner in which the Future 2020 programme works in being effectively equipped and manned. Extra efforts will have to be made in providing specialised military capabilities by way of training programmes that will focus on supporting strong relationships amongst people and employers.
In addition, the required legislation will have to be passed in allowing for the training programmes to be framed and implemented effectively. Stronger initiatives to implement the Army 2020 programme will have to be taken in hiring new reserves after June 2014. This will have to be a very cautious exercise because the number of soldiers will be reduced as a consequence of the Redundancy scheme and the Reserves.
Given that the reserves will have to be hired by the end of 2018 and a large number of troops will return from Germany, the MOD will have to strike a cautious balance in the deployment of these people.
Under such circumstances it is apparent that the strategic justification for the Army 2020 programme rests on the National Security Strategy and the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), which lays out what the army is expected to provide by way of frequency of delivery of the given tasks. The given functions are well substantiated through the workstream associated with the Target Operating Model (TOM).
Implementing such changes will require the organisation to use the ISS Transformation Programme.
A major component of the envisaged operating approach is that it is an efficient function of SIAM through which it is emphasised that specific processes allow ISS to adopt industry-focused best practices in delivering the required ICT services. Delivery is the eventual objective of the DCNS Programme that comprises of projects used in procuring services in keeping with the procedures provided for in the model.
Doubts have been raised about the ability of the Army 2020 to meet up with the present defence planning assumptions because of the UK’s current commitments in Afghanistan and the Middle East. The impending closure of manoeuvres in Afghanistan provides the UK government with opportunities to make strategic plans in influencing the Defence and Security Review of 2015 and the National Security Strategy for 2015.
In view of the massive changes envisaged through Army 2020, there is concern amongst many about the possible impacts of changes being made in the defence planning assumptions made in the SDSR of 2015. Revising such assumptions would not allow the Army 2020 to comply with the given assumptions and there would be added need to increase capabilities and provisions.
It goes without saying that the ongoing operations in Afghanistan and the constant changes taking place in the global security environment will create some adversities on the MOD’s ability in responding to sudden happenings.
It is known that a significant factor that drives the Army 2020 Programme is the belief that the defence forces are not capable of matching the need to establish five multi-disciplinary brigades because of paucity of required resources.
In a constantly evolving global environment and uncertainty about the constantly changing security risks, there is a great deal of apprehension about the Defence Planning Assumptions being appropriate in ensuring the nation’s security.
In this regard, the MOD needs to clarify what precautions it has taken or to elucidate on the plans it has made in regard to ensuring adequate flexibility in the availability of resources in contingent situations.
An essential aspect of the United Kingdom’s military policy has been its capability of taking armed and other actions involving the military in warfare as well as peaceful maintenance of law and order in regions such as Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East.
Because of the heavy financial commitments involved in such operations, the UK has already suffered a great deal and the government has not been able to offer convincing explanations to its citizens. Nevertheless, the Army 2020 Programme plans to continue with such expeditionary capabilities by establishing competency levels in the army whereby a broad range of military initiatives can be undertaken.
There is no doubt that such operations are of a different nature and require a different approach and state of mind. Because of the uncertain contingencies, the MOD will have to provide for additional resources on training and skills development in preparing a wholly integrated force that is competent to function in severe and challenging circumstances.
In keeping with its foreign policy commitments, the UK has no alternative but to develop a robust expeditionary force that is equipped with the skills to act lawfully under complex circumstances while being at ease in taking the apparent risks in exploiting the opportunities they get.
The Army 2020 envisages a much smaller army, but before implementing all the plans, it is important for the MOD to determine and declare how the military will work in conjunction with other services. There is need for the MOD to place on record how it will do the required testing in substantiating the chances of success of its new strategies as framed in the Army 2020 (House of Commons, 2014).
It becomes apparent from the outcomes of the sample survey that the workforce is currently in a positive state of mind about the current facilities and working conditions in the MOD. However, there are some apprehensions amongst the field force about not being given equal status as those of employees working in the MOD’s offices.
This is perhaps because of the close proximity these employees enjoy with the decision-makers. In view of such circumstances, there is need on the part of the MOD to examine the issues and take remedial action in removing these negative perceptions so that the field force remains in a high state of motivation.
It is apparent that in view of the difficult circumstances under which military personnel have to work, they do deserve more than what employees working in other sectors get.
Nevertheless, just as growth is imperative in every field of human activity it is logical that army personnel should be offered ample opportunities of growth and career advancement so that they are able to progress and afford higher standards of living in keeping with the fast pace of development that is taking place in the present economic environment because of globalisation.
At the same time, the MOD has to approach each issue very cautiously because of its constraints relative to funding and organization in view of its answerability before the UK Parliament.
It is apparent that the MOD faces an uphill task because it has to make the best use of its meagre resources that will primarily be made available from the savings in costs emanating from the downsizing of the armed forces as provided for in the Army 2020.
It is apparent from the research that the radical change that will emerge from the Army 2020 programme in changing the very structure of the army warrants several other actions on the part of the MOD to create a more conducive environment through appropriate actions in the areas of employee satisfaction and technology deployment.
In addition, the MOD has to introduce significant structural and procedural changes in the working of the ministry and its departments, which will have a strong bearing on the working conditions and satisfaction levels of regular soldiers and reservists while also creating ground for vastly improving the effectiveness and efficacy of the Ministry’s performance in a highly evolving national and international security environment.
Controversies have been created by the announcements made in regard to the Army 2020 Programme in the context of decision making about deployment of particular regiments and units. The MOD is responsible for clarifying substantiating on the varied apprehensions that have been raised about the factors that are responsible in driving the given plans and how such scenarios were envisaged and assessed.
The MOD needs to clarify on the ways through which the proposed changes in regard to the army’s strength and configuration would guarantee that the envisaged functions could be undertaken effectively. Concrete proposals have to be made about how the reservists’ roles will change.
However, there is no doubt that the Army 2020 plans will be the most revolutionary in the MOD’s history and it cannot be denied that the MOD has made use of various tests in determining the viability of the given amendments, but such tests appear to be more relevant on paper.
In the case of the Future Reserves 2020 Programme, there are elements that are not corroborated with concrete test results. The MOD has not appropriately substantiated in explaining how Army 2020 plans have been found to be viable in the current settings.
Given that all plans have to be financially focused, it is essential to make the MOD aware of the need to reduce its financial liabilities. At the same time, the criticisms in this regard are not entirely tenable because in the Army 2020 Programme the MOD has clearly outlined that the regular forces will be reduced to 82,000 personnel and that the Reserve Force of 30,000 will be built over an extended period of five years.
This will result in considerable savings in providing the Mod with additional resources to fund its technological initiatives that have been planned with the objective of bringing greater efficiency in meeting the challenges imposed by a changing global security environment.
The UK MOD is adopting the latest technology in its information systems, which is apparent from the initiatives taken under the Army 2020 in regard to the ICT (Information and Communication Technology).
It was envisaged to introduce the Defence Core Network Services Programme (DCNS) in improving the MOD ICT service deliveries in order to be supportive of digital agendas and to allow greater efficiency in mobile working as well as fixed users.
The Defence ICT Strategy 2013 articulates the actions that are to be initiated in ensuring procurement of ICT in ways that it can be easily supported through coherent methods in aligning and complying with government strategies.
The MOD has done well in introducing Regional Points of Command (RPoC) that pertain to involvement with UK societies and resilience activities pertaining to the UK homeland.
The given functions will be best performed if a regional footprint is maintained while considering the control and command functions of regular and reserve forces. Capability will be maximised and fully integrated by deploying regular and reserve soldiers as also contractors and civilians.
The overall success of the MOD’s strategy will depend on the manner in which the Future 2020 programme works in being effectively equipped and manned by the required personnel. But such programmes will succeed only if extra efforts are made in providing specialised military capabilities by way of training programmes that will focus on supporting strong relationships amongst people and employers.
The strategic justification for the Army 2020 programme rests on the National Security Strategy and the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), which laid out what the army is expected to provide by way of frequency of delivery of the given tasks. However, success of procurement processes in regard to the new ICT structures depends to a great deal on the SIAM capabilities and ISS Transformation Programme.
The DCNS is a part of the ISS programme that focuses on delivering information and communication technology (ICT) services in order to allow the MOD to work efficiently in conducting military operations. In order to achieve its defence vision, the MOD has to change the ways in which it exploits the value systems relative to power perceptions in its information systems.
It has been recognized by the defence reform review that information is a significant asset that is critical in issues of both battle and business. There is a strong need to make cost-effective deliveries in the context of military competence as also the effective delivery of MOD’s objectives in primary and support functions.
However, there appears to be no doubt about the MOD’s ability to mobilise resources in meeting its short and long term objectives established under the Army 2020 Programme.
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