Delivering the Edge through People, Technology and Innovation
Following the release of the Integrated Review (IR), Defence Command Paper and Defence & Security Industrial Strategy (DSIS) in March 2021, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) have released the Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) 2025 Strategy. In whole, the strategy puts a focus on delivering an edge for the UK’s Armed Forces through people as well as technology and innovation.
The vision set out in the DE&S 2025 Strategy is “to be recognised as leaders in the delivery of military equipment solutions for the information age”. With this, the strategy outlines five strategic priorities as listed below:
- Pace and agility for our clients
- Value to the taxpayer and society
- Delivery through people
- Accelerated digital solutions
- Delivery through partners
Pace and agility for our clients
To accelerate acquisition, DE&S will pilot streamlined approvals and assurance processes by 2022 and target a reduction in average approval times to one-three months by 2023. To improve delivery, DE&S will deliver new tools, including P3M Release 4, Unifier, Sub-ledger and MyHR.
Additionally, a DE&S space delivery team will support the newly established “Space Command and UK Strategic Command by providing a single interface for delivery of new capability” and together it will support the delivery of the UK Defence Space Strategy.
Value to the taxpayer and society
To achieve this, the DE&S aim to: reduce the carbon footprint of the capabilities they deliver and support by 2050; deliver a package of carbon reduction initiatives by 2025 to target net zero DE&S operations by 2040; adopt the Government’s social value model in contracts under the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations by June 2021; scale-up their efficiency capability building programme and create four domain efficiency hubs.
Delivering through people
To achieve this, the DE&S want to: deliver a leadership capability uplift programme from 2021; launch a smarter working programme covering technology, infrastructure and policy in 2021; launch a new DE&S learning platform, supported by new learning tools and methods by 2021; deliver on its Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing Strategy.
Accelerated digital solutions
A key mention within the context of accelerated digital solutions is ensuring clients have access to cutting-edge technologies. For this, DE&S will pilot an expeditionary robotic centre of expertise and aim to host four centres by 2024. Furthermore, the innovation bridge shall be fully operational, providing the infrastructure for collaborations by Mid-2022.
DE&S will build capability in these technologies and work with Defence Digital to support the creation of an AI centre, with the aim of delivering new data science software tools, an AI sub-strategy by 2025, and ensuring sufficient skilled data science employees.
Interestingly, DE&S will pilot digital evaluation projects to clear capabilities without the need for live trials to accelerate delivery timescales and reduce project and support costs.
Delivery through partners
In this section, an emphasis is placed on the relationship between DE&S and industry. There will be a continuation of the roll out of standardised management information to improve delivery confidence and supplier performance. Furthermore, new approaches to commodity acquisition will be considered and changes to the DE&S internal approvals and assurance processes will accelerate the process from tender to contract award. Where possible, future requirements will be shared more widely to improve portfolio planning.
Additionally, to support innovative commercial arrangements, DE&S will adopt a cloud-based e-marketplace for low-complexity acquisition by 2023 and aim for 80% purchasing to be made through this method by 2025.
Implementation of DSIS
The strategy outlined the intention to work more closely with the MOD to ensure a more strategic approach to industrial capability, something “that is critical to our strategic and operational needs”. Furthermore, relationships with strategic suppliers will be used “to optimise the flow-down of terms and conditions and to stimulate small and medium enterprise (SME) involvement”. To develop supply chain resilience, DE&S will pilot digital supply chain mapping with suppliers for five critical capabilities by 2022.
The DE&S 2025 Strategy sets out the ways in which DE&S will implement the recently published IR, Defence Command Paper and DSIS, with an overall mission of equipping and supporting the UK’s armed forces for operations now and into the future. Outlining five strategic priorities in its approach to 2025, the strategy is very much welcomed by ADS and we will look to actively engage with all stakeholders in its implementation.
This blog post was authored by Pardeep Ruprai, Industry Secondee to ADS.