The fast pace of change occurring in technology and business today has prompted industry and government agencies to explore innovative approaches to conducting business. While old paradigms are not being discarded, they are being reviewed to determine their effectiveness. Organizations that are willing to venture into uncharted waters are encountering successes and obstacles, but regardless of the outcome, they have learned lessons that both they and others can incorporate into future endeavors.
Internet accessible data libraries are looming as an important element in the continuing evolution of communications devices. By being able to hold a variety of waveform and signal processing algorithms on chips and in databases, these information storehouses give users enhanced flexibility in selecting specific material when and where they need it.
An evolving technology promises efficient spectrum use to enable bandwidth on demand in wireless broadband access systems. The technology is being implemented in point-to-multipoint systems operating across the millimeter wave region to provide wireless communications transmissions.
Engineers are using a new class of algorithms capable of encoding and decoding communications at speeds close to transmission channel maximum capacities, a feat that has eluded engineers since the 1940s when a theoretical limit to channel capacity was first defined. Under development since the early 1990s, these algorithms are now being tested in proof-of-concept devices.
Engineers are applying information technology practices to create complex simulations that go beyond the reach of existing single systems. Extensive simulations that model large-scale military operations can be generated by networking established systems to produce data in near real time.
A telecommunications company is seeking to lead the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence into the information age with its own information technology experience. Beginning with converting the British military's communications system to a commercial enterprise, the company is extending its menu of services and systems to fit a governmentwide approach to information access.
A British firm is embracing the military's trend toward using commercial electronics by developing a growing range of ruggedized products and systems. The focus of this longtime battlefield platform equipment provider has shifted from ruggedizing specific commercial hardware to providing complete off-the-shelf technology systems that are suited for military environments.
Moving rapidly to gain information dominance on the battlefield, the U.S. Army will fully equip and deploy a digitized division by next year. This continuing quest for information dominance and situational awareness also calls for outfitting a fully digitized Army corps by 2004.
A U.S.-German security education institution is seizing on discussion animated by international differences to build closer ties among North American, European and Central Asian nations. Military and government participants are encouraged to explore new ideas and approaches, rather than follow the lead of existing institutions and methodologies.
Ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, other barriers are crumbling within the German defense community. The private sector is playing a key role in convincing the military to abandon its old ways of doing business and adapt to the dynamism of the information age.
Germany has accelerated a longtime move toward acquisition reform by consolidating diverse activities in its main procurement agency. These changes have been driven largely by Germany's new security mission and by the need to incorporate substantial amounts of high technology into hardware and doctrine.
The United Kingdom is implementing acquisition reforms designed to produce less costly military systems faster and more effectively. These choice program innovations are being applied across the entire spectrum of defense purchases as the country revamps its procurement process for changing missions in a changing time.
Defense electronics contractors are going commercial in a bid to equip the United Kingdom with a rapidly deployable battlefield communications network. The country's Ministry of Defence is seeking a commercial off-the-shelf solution that is low-risk, easy to enhance and ready for deployment in about two years.
The Allied Forces Central Europe Command, once a bastion of Western Europe's defensive line, is reinventing itself to serve as a key element in alliance operations outside its area of responsibility. It is consolidating with another regional command, incorporating two of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's newest members into its structure, and preparing to serve as a parent headquarters to other alliance commands.
While blazing a trail on the frontier of paperless contracting, the U.S. Defense Department is discovering that a new set of opportunities and challenges emerges from change in the workplace. As in any formidable military operation, its leaders are striving to complete the mission successfully, while gathering information to share with others who are sure to follow the path to more efficient business practices.