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How secure cloud collaboration has revolutionised the Defence industry

One of the greatest challenges facing today’s Defence industry is keeping up with the rapid pace of change.

With increasing platform acquisition costs and squeezed defence spending, the MOD can often no longer afford to be at the forefront of research and development in many areas, with their budgets dwarfed by those in the technology industries.

The pace of technological change has left project teams struggling to keep up with the demands for cutting-edge technologies from front-line commands, whilst adhering to traditional requirements definition and acquisition processes.

Also, with more non-permanent staff and a shift towards complimenting teams with secondees, agency staff and contractors, the risks of knowledge leakage had become more apparent.

In 2015, it was identified that to ensure the British Armed Forces still have access to the best capabilities, the MOD must improve its access to innovative ideas developed by SMEs, and must find ways of streamlining its acquisition – essentially a rebalancing of the Industry/MOD relationship in a secure environment.

Joint Force Command’s Information Systems and Services (ISS) identified Kahootz as their chosen secure cloud collaboration provider, adopting a system that had been proven and certified for use in other security-conscious government departments making it an accredited official-sensitive collaboration software.

The system became known as Defence Share, and following certification by Defence Assurance and Information Security (DAIS) the service was accredited for use up to OFFICIAL SENSITIVE (OS).

Defence Share - OFFICIAL - SENSITIVE accredited

This certification was a key enabler for use within Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S), removing the need for the encrypted disks and couriers that had previously been used for the transfer of sensitive information.

Defence Share remains the only system of its type to achieve this certification in this context.

Following the successful roll out across the defence community and with a growing user base within DE&S, ISS, DIO and the Front Line Commands, the system is giving SMEs direct access to delivery teams, allowing better-informed purchasing decisions to be made and reducing the risk of cost escalation and delays.

One well known example of this is the SKYNET 6 information sharing environment, used by the ISS Delivery Team to conduct premarket engagement with a broad range of companies. The system was recently described by one industry user at the ISS Engagement day held by techUK as “the gold standard in industry engagement.”

defence share - gold standard

Another benefit that hadn’t been anticipated by the MOD was the creation of ‘Corporate Knowledge.’

Defence Share allows all users to see the context and reasons behind decisions made by their predecessors and delivers the full audit trail, enabling new team members to enter the process with the necessary background understanding.

Outside of the MOD, the same system has been adopted by Team Defence Information and is as an example of how new ways of working can enable a more flexible workforce, offering the ability to work on mobile devices or your own device, removing the anchor to a secure desktop or laptop.

It has also moved conversations away from email into contextual discussions and forums, allowing better stakeholder engagement and for programmes to be delivered faster.

The success of Defence Share within the MOD and Team Defence environment has not gone unnoticed by the wider Defence community, with an increasing number of prime contractors adopting the service to improve engagement with their supply chain and industrial and academic partners.

Kahootz supports thousands of users across the defence network and was recently selected by Babcock as one of their Innovation Partners at the Underwater Defence Technology Exhibition; along with winning the GDS 2017 Award for Best Cloud Based Collaboration Tool.  

If you wish to use Kahootz to foster closer collaboration with other organisations in the Defence industry, start a free, no obligation 30-day trial today.

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