Aerospace & Defence

British Army chooses SAS to accelerate its digital transformation

22nd July 2020
Lanna Cooper

The British Army has invested in SAS Viya to enable better and faster decision making as part of its digital transformation programme known as Project THEIA, as it looks to improve operational efficiency, use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automate certain tasks and analyse complex data to unlock new insights.

The investment is intended to improve the Army’s ‘operational readiness’ by optimising its supply chain as well as asset availability and performance, and improving how it recruits, trains and retains its best soldiers. Analytics will drive predictive asset maintenance, where AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) will ensure equipment remains operational for crucial missions, and faulty equipment is predicted in advance to reduce costly down-time.

AI will be used to automate certain tasks so personnel can focus on key strategic decisions and share best practice across the defence community. For example, Viya will enable the Army to streamline its data preparation using native access engines by automating processes that normally take up a lot of time, leading to significant cost savings.

There will also be scope for self-service visualisation of this data and Viya supports all methods of data manipulation, analytics development and leading programming languages such as Python, Java, R and Lua - opening the platform up to wider use across the Army.

“Technologies such as hyper-scale, multi-tenant cloud technologies, AI and Machine Learning (ML) - and the ability to exploit the IoT - provides the Army an opportunity to transform as part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We have already experienced how analytics can deliver significant insights and have delivered millions of pounds of efficiencies in the last two years.” explained Major General JJ Cole OBE, CIO and Director of Information in the British Army.

“The Army will continue its digitalisation through Project THEIA as part of the modernisation of our capabilities in order to transform the British Army so that it is fit to fight in the 21st century.  SAS Viya allows the Army to continue to scale out its data holdings choosing the on-premise Army Hosting Environment or increasingly the MoD Cloud data hosting options, all dependent on the data type, classification, workloads and technologies. Ultimately it will make the Army more agile by being able to test, learn and make decisions more quickly than before.”

Charles Senabulya, VP & Country Manager, SAS UK & Ireland commented: “We’re delighted to be helping the British Army in its digital transformation efforts. We know that advanced analytics and AI can not only automate existing processes to free up time for key decision-making, but allows for more rapid testing and scenario analysis to uncover ‘unknown unknowns’ and help ensure those decisions are accurate and timely.”

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