The Launch of Australia’s Defence Data Strategy


According to an article published by the Australian Department of Defence on August 4, 2021, the government has launched a new defence data strategy.

The world is experiencing rapid digitisation and growth in the creation of data.

The increasing connection of services to the internet is exposing vulnerabilities in global supply chains, a potential precursor to conventional conflict. Emerging technologies, highly dependent on data, are being rapidly translated into weapons systems. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and autonomous unmanned weaponry, are shrinking decision time and improving weapon precision and lethality.

Data underpins the ability to make rapid and informed decisions. Lead the Way: Defence Transformation Strategy recognises that the effective use and management of data is critical to everything Defence does.

Unlocking the power of Defence data will help automate processes and reporting, increasing the ability to make informed decisions regarding strategy, capability, and resources.

On 4 August, the Assistant Minister for Defence, The Honourable Andrew Hastie MP launched the Defence Data Strategy 2021-2023.

The Strategy outlines the pillars, practical initiatives and priority data areas that will guide Defence in uplifting data management and analytics across the organisation.

The five pillars in the Strategy – govern, trust, discover, use and share – will help guide data management across the organisation and will enable Defence to use data more effectively as circumstances change.

The Defence Data Strategy demonstrates the investment in data capability within the Defence workforce. Implementing the Strategy will fundamentally changing the way Defence manages and works with data, building strong data literacy and analytic skillsets.

The Strategy will uplift Defence enterprise data management and analytics practices in order to deliver on the Defence vision and mission.

The 2020 Defence Strategic Update identified that Australia’s security environment has deteriorated. Major power competition, military modernisation, disruptive technological change and new threats are all making our region less safe. As the strategic environment changes around us, we have to change with it.

Defence, as a matter of necessity, must continue to improve its ability to deliver on its current commitments while retaining the organisational capacity to anticipate and respond effectively to strategic challenges.

We recognise that the Defence enterprise is a strategic national asset, and we are responsible for it.

Just as we raise, train and sustain our military capabilities and our uniformed people, we must also ensure our enterprise can always adapt to our changing strategic environment.

This requires a high-performing One Defence enterprise with a culture that embraces continuous improvement.

Defence must lead the way in clearly demonstrating our ability to deliver our enterprise outcomes, and to provide maximum value to the people of Australia.

This means that we must have the ability to:

  • Learn about our environment, our risks, our opportunities, and our own performance
  • Evolve how we operate our enterprise, support and develop our people, and deepen our partnerships
  • Align our priorities, our processes, our systems, and how we engage and communicate inside and outside Defence, and
  • Deliver the Defence Mission and strategic effects, through our capabilities, our services, and by clearly demonstrating Defence’s value to the nation.

To achieve this ability, we require:

  • A continuous improvement culture, based on our Values and Behaviours, clear accountabilities and trusted information.
  • An enduring system for transforming the Defence enterprise – this will be a continuous process to align resources to priorities, reform activities, opportunities and risks in accordance with our evolving strategy.
  • Priority reform areas of focus, which includes:
    • Driving Improved Capability Delivery.
    • Strengthening Defence’s approach to Australian Industry capability, including innovation, export and harnessing opportunities from Australian science and technology.
    • Adopting a strategic approach to Defence enterprise resilience and supply chain assurance.
    • Improving Defence’s Strategic Workforce Planning, Learning and Management.
    • Instituting an improved enterprise performance measurement and reporting framework.
    • Improving Defence engagement and communications.

The initiatives in this Strategy will help us to work together as One Defence to continuously improve and adapt to face our challenges.

The strategy can be found here:

Or read as an e-book below: