Structural issues in Network Enabled Defence. Matie du Toit (SISPA) Hugo Lotriet (University of Pretoria). Network Enabled Defence defined. For the purpose of this paper we adopt the following definition by Alberts et al. (1999):
Matie du Toit (SISPA)
Hugo Lotriet (University of Pretoria)
For the purpose of this paper we adopt the following definition by Alberts et al. (1999):
“NCW is about human and organizational behavior. NCW is based on adopting a new way of thinking— network-centric thinking—and applying it to military operations. NCW focuses on the combat power that can be generated from the effective linking or networking of the warfighting enterprise. It is characterized by the ability of geographically dispersed forces (consisting of entities) to create a high level of shared battlespace awareness that can be exploited via self-synchronization and other network-centric operations to achieve commanders’ intent.”
(Alberts et al., 1999)
Alberts et al. (1999) emphasize that the value that information-based operations add should still be measured in terms of the contribution to overall military objectives. This implies both (1) that the information strategy plays a supporting role in terms of overall strategy; (2) there should be alignment between overall strategy and information strategy.
There is a need for negotiation of shared objectives.
There is a need for structures of collaboration and joint decision making amongst autonomous and semi-autonomous units.
There is a need for flexibility and the structural ability to learn and renegotiate in order to ensure continuous competitive advantage;
There is a need for continuous alignment as part of all strategic management activity within a diversified networked organisation.
Change objectives needed to support the overall strategic objectives of NED should be institutionalised as part of the organizational culture in order to ensure participation at all nodes in the network;
The strategic processes should be undertaken in a manner that minimizes uncertainty and conflict amongst participants. This implies explicit clarification of roles, responsibilities and expectations;
All processes should be both scientifically well-founded and practical;
There is a need for an integrated Networked Enabled Defence Information Systems architecture that supports both the overall strategic objectives and requirements and those of every organisational unit involved in the network.
There is a need to ensure that the NED context (Institutional, inter-organisational, social, technical) is as well understood as possible by as many participants as possible.
There is also a need that all role-players understand the organisational complexity of NED.
Standardization will ensure optimal integrated functioning.
Time is needed in order to achieve this.
Formulation of an overarching defence strategy for NED.
Formulation of NED strategy for all autonomous and semi-autonomous units taking care to align these with the overarching strategy.
Formulate an overarching technology strategy that would support strategic business intent.
Formulate technology strategies for each autonomous and semi-autonomous networked entity.
Formally confirm alignment of all strategies at all levels as realised in practice.