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Defence launches new Defence Data Strategy

The Australian Department of Defence has released its new Defence Data Strategy 2021-2023. The Strategy was launched by Assistant Minister for Defence Andrew Hastie MP on 4 August.

The Strategy outlines the pillars, practical initiatives and priority data areas that will guide Defence in uplifting data management and analytics across the organisation. Defence says the five pillars in the Strategy – govern, trust, discover, use and share – will help guide data management across the organisation and will enable Defence to use data more effectively as circumstances change.

Mr Hastie said, “The creation of a new Data Strategy was key to the Defence Transformation Strategy when it was released late last year. As our strategic challenges evolve we are also witnessing the exponential growth of data and its application in the digital battle space.

“Today, our lives are lived in an online world. The internet is the neural pathway of our day-to-day lives. Our future is going to be more digital. Our data must be trusted and secure if we are going to counter disinformation and ensure that we are making the right decisions at the right time. The capacity to remain competitive depends on Defence being a leader in operationalising data at speed and scale.

The 2020 Defence Strategic Update identified that Australia’s security and geostrategic environment has deteriorated, Mr Hastie added.

“Major power competition, military modernisation, disruptive technological change and new threats are all making our region less safe.

“Expanding cyber warfare, grey zone tactics, and the willingness by some countries and non-state actors to use hostile cyber activities are further degrading Australia’s strategic environment. These cyber activities will compromise military capability and operations if we fail to act.”

The increasing connection of services to the internet is exposing vulnerabilities in global supply chains, a potential precursor to conventional conflict. Emerging technologies, highly dependent on data, are being rapidly translated into weapons systems. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and autonomous unmanned weaponry, are shrinking decision time and improving weapon precision and lethality.

“If we want to fight alongside our trusted partners and allies we need to be able to share critical mission and intelligence data securely and at speed,” said Mr Hastie. “If we want to build sovereign capabilities in partnership with Australian Defence Industry we need our intellectual property and data to be secure.”

The Defence Data Strategy demonstrates the investment in data capability within the Defence workforce. Implementing the Strategy will fundamentally change the way Defence manages and works with data, building strong data literacy and analytic skillsets.

The Strategy will uplift Defence enterprise data management and analytics practices in order to deliver on the Defence vision and mission.

To download a copy of the Defence

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