The U.S. Army’s New Digital Transformation Initiative: 5 Key Takeaways

by | Oct 28, 2021

On October 20, a new digital transformation strategy for the U.S. Army was released by the Office of the Army Chief Information Officer, and there are several valuable takeaways that would be of interest to most types of businesses, government offices, and schools.

First, let’s start with the Army’s definition on what exactly digital transformation means for the nation’s oldest fighting force and why it’s important right now:

Digital transformation represents a shift in operations and culture that fundamentally changes how an organization delivers value through the adoption of advanced technologies such as cloud, data, and artificial intelligence (AI). Digital transformation is driven through innovation and new business and operating models, powered by a digital workforce that is agile, adaptive, and tech-savvy. Digital transformation is an enabler for Army readiness and reform and serves as a catalyst to revitalize and establish the Army’s digital workforce of the future.

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Digital transformation will be very important for achieving the Army’s future mission objectives.

This passage is from the “strategic intent” statement, and you can pretty much replace the word “Army” with “your organization” and the reasoning easily translates. This is important to note because the motivational themes and overall information management challenges are universal—even if the context of a warfighting force is very different:

  • With the Army, it’s the technological development of its “near-peer adversaries,” of which it needs to stay ahead. For you, it’s your industry competitors and peers—some of which may be nipping at your heels and vying to steal market share.
  • With the Army, it’s that the “cybersecurity attack surface area” is growing exponentially, which requires “fundamental changes” to properly address all cybersecurity needs. For you, it’s pretty much the same story—you’re more at risk for cybersecurity incursions because those threats are growing in both number and sophistication, and your exposure to cyberspace will only increase in the future. Therefore, instituting appropriate countermeasures should be an integral part of any organization’s digital transformation initiative.
  • For the Army, digital transformation indicates a “shift in operations and culture that fundamentally changes how an organization delivers value through the adoption of advanced technologies, such as cloud, data, artificial intelligence (AI).” And again, for you, this statement translates quite easily.
  • For the Army, “digital transformation is aimed at developing an organic digital workforce of the future that can continually adapt and adopt new digital technologies, and is capable of applying these technologies to mission needs.” For you, replace “mission needs” with “customer needs,” and it’s easy to see how closely the motivation for the Army’s digital transformation might align with yours.
  • And finally, digital transformation will help the Army “improve on how it executes institutional processes, such as requirements development, acquisition, Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE), and talent management. Digital transformation requires an outcomes-based, metrics-driven mindset to measure activities and to continually seek efficiencies and effectiveness.” Those “institutional processes” sound very much like ordinary business processes that are likely integral to your organization.

There’s plenty more relatable digital transformation logic where this came from—that’s why I highly recommend sitting down and perusing this entire digital transformation strategy document.

Got Digital Transformation Questions? We Have Answers…

Even though you may just now be considering the needs and implications of digital transformation, Imaging Office Systems has been helping many types of organizations (businesses, governments, and schools) plan and deploy digital transformations for a long time now…and the right path for you starts with first understanding your needs—so, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or if you just want to run some ideas past us to see what might be possible.

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The U.S. Army’s Digital Transformation Strategy at a glance. Graphic courtesy of U.S. Army