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Army CIO Raj Iyer On Leveraging Data as Foundation for Modernization

As the U.S. Army forges ahead with its transformational modernization efforts, the service is focusing on data and leveraging it as a center of gravity for a host of critical capabilities.

According to the Army Digital Transformation Strategy, published in October 2021, “The Army must adapt a data-driven mindset and embrace digital transformation to successfully respond to the threat of great power competition and win decisively in a Large Scale Combat Operations through [Multi-Domain Operations].”

Today, the Army’s Chief Information Officer and 2022 Wash100 Award winner, Dr. Raj Iyer, is pushing to operationalize data to deliver better, quicker, more efficient effects to warfighters. 

“Data and how you integrate that at all echelons for really fast, agile decision making” is what can truly give the Army the competitive advantage it needs in the future of warfare, Iyer said during the Potomac Officers Club’s 3rd Annual CIO Summit in April. 

Dr. Iyer is scheduled to keynote the Second Annual Army IT and Digital Transformation Forum hosted by GovCon Wire Events on June 15. Click here to register

“To us, the future is fighting with data as the ammunition and the cloud as our warfighting platform,” Dr. Iyer explained, highlighting the individual importance of each element as well as the criticality of the partnership between the two.

Ultimately, the usefulness and utility of the Army’s data will boil down to the technologies and processes used to synthesize it. Right now, the service is synthesizing “large volumes of data coming in from millions of sensors around the world,” and doing it at what Dr. Iyer refers to as “the speed of hypersonics.”

Over the past couple of years, the Army has been using manual processes to synthesize its data and make decisions, but now, that method won’t hold up. “We do not have that luxury anymore in the future,” Dr. Iyer warned, underscoring the need for technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence in the Army’s future.

In addition to Dr. Iyer, the 2nd Annual Army IT and Digital Transformation Forum on June 15 will feature other prominent leaders from the Army and its industry partners, who will join in a dynamic discussion surrounding the service’s modernization priorities. Register here.

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