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The Defence Series - The Top 4 Areas to Watch

Posted on March 2021 By Danny Watts

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Over the last 6 months, iO Associate’s Business Manager Danny Watts has brought to you The Defence Series. The aim of this group is to bring together the defence community to discuss hot topics across innovation and growth.

As our series grows, we have been considering what skills and experience we see as being critical in 2021 onwards. Below are the 4 keys areas we believe are crucial to defence:

1. Cyber Security

The Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced just last June that the government had launched a specialist Cyber regiment to combat the increased attacks we are facing from hackers from enemy states. This focus on Cyber Security is set to increase further in 2021 as the MoD look to become more and more agile and in doing so adopt more Cloud based services, which of course need protecting. As part of The  Defence Series, Danny will be speaking with Sara Sharkey who is heading up the MODCloud project for the MoD regarding the key concerns around cyber security for Defence Digitals as they look to add more data and services to MODCloud.

  1. 2. Data (including  AI, advanced data analytics and machine learning)

  2. Data will continue to be a huge growth area for both government and defence in 2021 as they look to take advantage of the vast swathes of data at their disposal and the advancement in AI based analytics. The Governments continued support for growth of data and AI technologies was outlined recently in a report published by the MoD who recently hired Caroline Bellamy into a new role as their Chief Data Officer. The continued support in this area both across defence and government is suggestive that future projects and programme will continue to arise within the space as the power of data, AI and automation continue to grow.

  3. 3. UX / User Centric Design

  4. Over the past couple of years, we have seen the adoption of UX and design principals stepping to the forefront of both private and public sector entities. Whether across service, experience or accessibility we’ve seen an increase of companies questioning their original offerings and understanding that user simplicity and experience is what can provide a USP.

  5. Our work specifically within government and supplying individuals with GDS experience has grown significantly over the past 12 months where a number of government services and consultancies providing them have been involved in rolling out new Covid related services across We foresee that the roadmap for the next 12-24 months will continue to show a similar trend with both public sector and commercial entities focussing on usability and accessibility for a customer that will likely continue to remain distanced and online.

  6. 4. DevOps

  7. Data is probably the hottest topic of 2021 but one of the keys to a good data strategy is accessibility and a DevOps culture combined with a strong cloud team is the way to ensure easy access. Most government bodies don’t have to skills for this in-house, so this will be a key area which they lean on consultancy partners to help them achieve. We’ve already seen huge growth in this area since the start of the pandemic as the public sector has seen the agility having a cloud first approach brings.

  8. You can find our previous interviews as part of The Defence Series here:

  9. Please get in touch with Danny to find out more ( and/or join here