Why Data is the Ammunition of the Future: Improving Management Information in Claims

Technology has always played its part when it comes to the art of defence. When countries go to war, it’s the one with the best technology who’s most likely to win. That’s always been the case, whether talking about weapons used hundreds of years ago or technology used in more recent conflicts.

Digital camera technology, for example, originally started life in early spy satellites where they were used to capture high-resolution aerial images of enemy installations. The classic walkie-talkie started life during WWII. It was initially developed for infantry use, then for field artillery and tank crews to provide convenient communication on the battlefield. In around 1487, the very first ambulances appeared on the battlefield. They were used by the Spanish army to pick up wounded soldiers from war zones.

Who knew that the original EpiPen started life in the military as an autoinjector intended for use by soldiers in the event of exposure to chemical warfare toxins and nerve agents.

The design allowed for fast, safe and easy injection of essential medication with ease. This technology made its way into the civilian sector with hand-held devices intended to be carried by those with severe allergies, for fast injection of Epinephrine in emergency situations. Countless lives have been saved since.

If you believe, they put a man on the moon 
Of course, it is well known that the initiative, which effectively launched the project management industry as we know it today, to put a man on the moon was inspired by the Cold War of the 1950s and 60s. I was therefore interested to read recently that John Sherman – effectively the US Department of Defense CIO – told the House Armed Services Committee’s panel on cyber, innovative technologies and information systems that cloud computing is a critical step for the department.

“We’ve made cloud computing a fundamental component of our global [information technology] infrastructure and modernization strategy,” he said. “With battlefield success increasingly reliant on digital capabilities, cloud computing satisfies the war fighters’ requirements for rapid access to data, innovative capabilities, and assured support.”

“Software capabilities and networks are also critical to our success,” he said. “[We] will release a software modernization strategy later this summer that builds on already developed guidance. We are dedicated to delivering resilient software capability at the speed of relevance. The FY [20]22 budget includes investments to enable software modernization with cloud services as the foundation to fully integrate the technology process and people needed to deliver next-generation capabilities.”

CIOs Firing Data Bullets?
In the meantime, the COVID-19 pandemic crisis changed the way the Department of Defense DoD) works, Sherman said. “The department deployed a commercial-based collaboration capability to enable the rapid transition to remote work. While cloud access and remote work introduces a significant burden to the DOD networks, we continue to deploy secure and agile solutions. All of these efforts must address cybersecurity from the start. The secretary previously discussed the department’s investments in cybersecurity and cyberspace operations that will maintain the momentum of our digital modernisation strategy,” he noted.

The DOD often says that data is the ammunition of the future, he said, adding, “The department has prioritised ensuring the timely, secure and resilient access to data needed for military advantage in all-domain operations. While data management is not directly tied to specific program elements in the fiscal 2022 budget request, we are identifying, assessing and tracking our data-related investments as part of the budget certification process that I lead.”

The reference to a digital modernisation strategy will have many London market CIOs nodding along in approval. It appears that even the US military have their own version of Lloyd’s Blueprint 2! Data is at the heart of military advancement today and has been made clear by the Lloyd’s Blueprint will be core to the London market going forward. Why data/information is so important is something I will discuss in my next blog in which I will look at the broader impact of management information on claims.