Military resistant to tech change


Resistance to adopting new technology is one of the biggest challenges within modern defence forces, says Cisco.As the world`s defence organisations increasingly become involved in joint humanitarian operations, integrated communication has emerged as a primary objective, says Derrick Hirschorn, unit head, Cisco defence team for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

“While the IP-based technology exists to address the requirements for a flexible, robust, secure, mobile and interoperable network infrastructure in the field, the biggest challenge remains resistance to change,” he says.

Defence architect for the EMEA Cisco defence team Edwin Tromp agrees: “A two-week testing operation held in Europe in May that involved over 40 military and peacekeeping organisations proved that IP-based networks could be deployed anywhere within a few hours.”

However, Tromp says the first step is establishing a willingness within the organisation to share information at all levels of the communication environment to operate more efficiently on a real-time basis.

Moving to IP

Tromp explains that IP-based networks use a plug-and-play format, typically involve far less cabling than traditional networks, and can handle any type of communication protocol. For these reasons, Tromp says most defence organisations are considering moves to IP-based systems.

Cultural issues aside, Tromp is adamant that defence organisations around the world are all slowly adopting the IP environment for technical networks, particularly in Europe.

“In addition to easier deployment, IP-based systems are much more resilient and integrated than traditional systems, but are still able to use the same encryption methods to guarantee a high level of security,” he says.

Hirschorn and Tromp are in SA to talk about technology solutions for military organisations at a Cisco security conference taking place in Sandton today.

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