Differences and Advantages of Cloud and On-Premise Technologies for Defense

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Adoption of Cloud in the Defense Industry: Rising Data Trends

Over the last decade, the adoption of Cloud or On-Premise technologies in the Defense Industry has sparked numerous debates. Historically, the armed forces have approached cloud adoption with caution, but recent advancements are significant and indicative of a substantial shift. 

According to GlobalData, current spending on SaaS  in the Aerospace, Defense, and Security Industry amounts to $340.4 billion, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) exceeding 17% from 2021 to 2026. 

Major defense forces are incorporating cloud into their modernization strategies, despite ongoing concerns about specific implementation scenarios. 

The Advantages of Cloud in the Military Services 

The adoption of Cloud and On-Premise technologies in the Defense Industry is showing tangible benefits. 

In 2018, the United States Department of Defense (DoD) launched a specific strategy, the DoD Cloud Strategy, marking significant strides toward the implementation of enterprise cloud. John B. Sherman, CIO of the Department of Defense, highlighted the positive impact of this initiative on the Joint All Domain Command and Control and the progress in key areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, software modernization, and cybersecurity. 

Similarly, the UK Ministry of Defense has outlined its Cloud Strategic Roadmap for Defense in a recent document, emphasizing the intent to coordinate and accelerate cloud adoption within the defense forces. 

The Ministry recognizes the strategic value of data and envisions a future where the cloud will enable quicker decisions, maintaining a competitive edge in integrated global warfare across all domains. 

Cloud vs On-Premise in Defense: Which Solution to Opt for? 

Given the sensitive nature of defense operations and their extensive supply chain, the choice between on-premise and cloud implementations is not one-size-fits-all. 

It is crucial to adopt the most suitable approach based on the specific use case. 

A recent IFS webinar revealed that, in the defense industry, only 3% of companies deploy their ERP software exclusively in the cloud. 

Conversely, 64% prefer a combination of on-premises and cloud-based solutions, or opt exclusively for on-premise implementations. 

This highlights a clear trend: the need to support both deployment models, Cloud and On-Premise technologies, ensuring that functionality, performance, and security remain intact and uncompromised. 

IFS Cloud: The Integrated Cloud Platform for Defense Industry Companies

To support both Cloud and On-Premise technologies, IFS has launched IFS Cloud, consolidating a variety of features into a single Integrated Cloud Platform for Businesses, specifically designed to meet the needs of the defense industry. 

This cohesive product offers deployable capabilities that organizations can adopt individually, adapting at their own pace through a customized implementation model. 

IFS Cloud is designed to address the complex needs of organizations involved in the construction, operation, maintenance, and support of mission-critical military assets

The software covers a multitude of requirements, from managing defense contracts in production operations in the United States to overseeing the maintenance of cutting-edge military platforms and facilitating the deployment and operation of military UAVs. 

IFS Cloud thus eliminates the need to separately manage the integration, operation, support, and updates of distinct products. 

IFS Cloud Backs Defense Contractors

Defense contractors typically face challenges related to managing numerous disparate point solution and complex integrations, which can hinder seamless communication across various systems. 

The complexity is amplified given that the main defense contractors, with budgets ranging from 20 to 100 billion dollars, operate across multiple sites, making their vast IT landscape overwhelming. 

IFS Cloud meets these challenges by covering every aspect from inception to decommission, thus simplifying the intricate network. The platform offers a comprehensive and ready-to-use solution for the diverse needs of defense contractors, with the added benefit of supporting the entire life cycle of military assets or programs, both now and in the future. 

A significant advantage? 

Access to such essential functionalities for maintaining the mission readiness of military equipment can be seamless, whether it involves an on-premise solution or a cloud solution. 

Security and Flexibility in IFS Cloud Deployments 

Security is the top priority in every deployment scenario, without exceptions. 

IFS Cloud is hosted on Microsoft Azure and accessible through select Azure data centers around the world, enabling customers to choose the location best suited to their specific needs, which can include factors like network latency or data sovereignty

Regardless of whether an on-premise or a hybrid cloud implementation is chosen, IFS Cloud services can be configured to integrate with clients’ IT domains. This is achievable through an Azure VPN (Virtual Private Network) gateway or an ExpressRoute circuit. 

VPNs establish a secure and encrypted tunnel, utilizing the public internet network as the underlying transport provider, thus ensuring the privacy of data in transit to and from Azure. These site-to-site VPNs employ IPsec for transport encryption, ensuring a high level of security. 

Protection and Security of Mission-Critical Operations 

IFS Cloud undergoes annual testing conducted by trusted third parties to ensure impeccable security. These tests include thorough evaluations of both the infrastructure and the applications, replicating realistic scenarios on the Internet. Designed to support mission-critical implementations, IFS Cloud offers considerable flexibility, allowing deployment options both in the cloud and on-premise

Among the prominent defense sector clients served globally by IFS are renowned organizations such as Lockheed Martin, the United States Navy, Babcock, Portsmouth Aviation, the Swedish Defense Material Administration (FMV), the Norwegian Navy, and others. This underscores the extensive customizability of the deployment options offered by IFS in the cloud. 

To find out more about IFS Cloud for Defense see our brochure

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