The vast majority of Department of Defense (DoD) IT managers agree that cutting-edge defense technology is needed to meet their mission, but more than half of their mission-related technology needs to be updated or replaced.

That’s one of the main findings from the latest infographic by MeriTalk, in partnership with AWS, titled “Command and Control: Priorities for Next-Gen Defense.” The infographic explores both the challenges and opportunities of cutting-edge technology for the DoD, drawing results from a survey of 100 DoD IT managers.

According to the survey, 90 percent of DoD IT managers say the need for cutting-edge defense technology to meet the mission is “greater than ever,” but an estimated 54 percent of their mission-related technology needs to be either updated or replaced.

DoD IT managers lack confidence in their tech’s ability to meet key mission objectives. Only 28 percent of IT managers are “very confident” in their tech’s ability to “leverage data to gain an advantage over adversaries.” Other areas where managers lack confidence include delivering services to soldiers and non-combat DoD personnel – 38 percent are very confident in their tech – and the ability to make informed, timely decisions on the battlefield – 41 percent are very confident.

Additionally, 87 percent of respondents say their department’s command and control system needs modernization. The top three roadblocks IT managers face when it comes to updating these systems include data security regulations (50 percent), contract or procurement complexities (48 percent), and continued investments in legacy systems (47 percent).

The good news is that 92 percent of those surveyed agree IT modernization is critical to bolstering the nation’s defense. The majority of DoD IT managers – 52 percent – say their top modernization objective is to reduce risks and improve their overall cybersecurity posture. “Cybersecurity should come before all other considerations,” said one respondent.

Additionally, 94 percent of DoD IT managers agree “innovation is essential to preserving and expanding our military’s competitive advantage.”

For more research findings and future-proof innovation strategies, download the full infographic.

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