Research and Discussion

Military Technical sector promotes digital transformation

9/26/2022 8:28:16 AM

The Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress affirmed that “Building and perfecting the legal framework, etc., specific policies to promote digital transformation and digital economy….”, thus creating motivation for the cause of national construction and defence. This is an important task among the three breakthroughs of the whole army, which requires the Military Technical sector to thoroughly grasp and effectively implement by taking appropriate measures.

Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into the operation of an industry or an organisation to fundamentally change its operation principle, model, and mode of operation to enjoy better benefits and efficiency. In other words, it is the change in management and administration methods, etc. based on a digital platform, aiming for the goal of better efficiency. Having realised the importance of digital transformation, many countries have quickly applied it and achieved positive results, not only in terms of economy but also in other fields, including national defence and security. In our country, the Party and the State have issued several resolutions, decisions, directives, etc., in which digital transformation is identified as the driving force in national modernisation. Thoroughly grasping this policy, the Central Military Commission and the Ministry of National Defence have focused on leading, directing, planning, and implementing this work by taking drastic and synchronous measures as well as scientific and appropriate steps.

Maj. Gen. Doan Minh Dinh of the General Technical Department and Maj. Gen. Nguyen Dinh Chien of the Military Industrial and Telecommunication Group (Viettel) sign cooperation agreement

In recent years, digital transformation has become an inevitable trend of the whole country and the whole army. For the Military Technical sector, this task of paramount importance, which helps commanders and technical agencies to optimise the operation of the Sector in the whole army and at each level and each unit; simplify, quickly and promptly provide necessary data of technical management objects, including weapons, technical equipment, technical facilities, technical staff and cadres, supplies, and budgets, etc. Therefore, closely and remotely managing in real time all daily operations of weapons, technical equipment, equipment and technical assurance procedures, operating procedures of technical facilities and technical staff and cadres; ensuring timely direction and technical intervention whenever there is an incident, improving combat readiness, implementing life-cycle management of weapons and technical equipment, etc. to provide favourable conditions for the Sector’s technical assurance for the whole army, meeting the requirements and tasks under any circumstances.

However, this is a new task, conducted in unfavourable conditions, especially when the human resources and infrastructure have not met the requirements while the military environment requires high security, etc. Therefore, in the coming time, the Military Technical sector, together with the whole army, will continue to thoroughly grasp and effectively implement the resolutions and directives of the Party, the Central Military Commission, and the Ministry of National Defence on digital transformation, thus creating a firm foundation to build the Army advancing straight to modernity. Importance is attached to some contents as follows:

1. Strengthening leadership and stepping up propaganda. Sticking to the leadership and direction of the Party, the State, the Central Military Commission, and the Ministry of National Defence on digital transformation as shown in the Resolution of 13th National Party Congress, the Resolution of 11th Military Party Congress, agencies and units strengthen their leadership via synchronous implementation of measures, with priority given to planning leadership resolution in both the short and long term to unify guidelines, goals, and methods of direction and implementation. This also serves as the basis for generating and promoting the synergy of all forces related to digital transformation as well as all units for this new, complex, and difficult task. At the same time, creating the proper awareness for the party committees, commanders, and heads of technical branches and majors. Additionally, agencies and units need to step up propaganda to raise awareness and build responsibility for all forces related to digital transformation. This work must be based on a master plan with many flexible and effective forms, such as technical clubs and knowledge contests. Building specialised categories and pages on the mass media, especially Technical Portal, Technical and Equipment Magazine; introducing, disseminating and replicating examples of digital transformation in each stage, thus creating strong widespread effect in the Sector.

2. Developing human resources, ensuring legal environment. This is a special material factor playing a decisive role in implementing digital transformation. In order to well implement this content, agencies and units need to thoroughly grasp and follow the Party’s guidelines on building a contingent of cadres in general and technical cadres in particular. First of all, it is necessary to build a contingent of qualified technical cadres and staff with sufficient responsibility, in which commanders and heads of agencies, units, and the Technical sector need to be trained and retrained in terms of digital knowledge and skills to be competent enough in leadership, direction, administration and application of digital technology. Technical cadres and staff are trained to master digital tools in implementing and dealing with tasks. During implementation, the Sector needs to coordinate with specialised training institutions, notably Military Technical Academy, Military Institute of Science and Technology, Military Telecommunications and Industry Corporation, and technical colleges, etc. to promote training, building, and attracting human resources to meet the Sector’s professional requirements for digital transformation. At the same time, actively organising on-spot training, coaching and retraining on digital skills, sharing digital resources, and applying digital technology, etc. to spread and create a digital environment in the units. Along with the preparation of human resources, the Technical sector needs to coordinate with functional agencies to review and propose the planning, amendment, and supplementation of legal documents, mechanisms, and policies suitable to specific characteristics of the Sector, thus creating favourable conditions for digital transformation. Moreover, actively participating in the building of standards for technical cadres and staff related to digital transformation as well as the set of criteria for evaluating the digital transformation index. Those standards and criteria serve as a basis for human resources development and implementation, thus meeting the requirements and tasks.

3. Organising forces and planning regulations on direction, administration and operation suitable to each level. Because of the fact that digital transformation is implemented in both interlaced and sequential steps over a long period of time, involving different factors, fields, forces, institutions, and processes, etc., there is a need for centralised, unified, and continuous direction. Therefore, units at regimental level and above (units with technical agencies) need to organise a Digital Transformation Steering Committee with specific responsibilities, tasks, and powers to act on behalf of the party committees and commanders to command digital transformation. There is also a need for a strategy for the whole Sector, a detailed plan, or a breakdown roadmap of the digital transformation process. Defining professional issues in digital transformation as well as promulgating regulations, inspection regimes, acceptance tests, reports, reviews, etc. on digital transformation in the whole Sector and each unit. At the same time, it is necessary to establish a specialised force for digital transformation, including: an information technology force as the core, a force that grasps the organisation and implementation process of technical aspects that need digital transformation (usually technical staffing agencies) to closely coordinate with the professional forces. Those specialised forces need to be clearly defined with their functions, tasks, and powers to have sufficient authority and responsibility to operate. Besides, depending on the security level of each field, it is necessary to apply various forms of research and implementation with other forces, especially in the construction of technology infrastructure, digital infrastructure, digital platforms, and other tasks in implementing digital transformation.

4. Actively mobilising resources to build science and technology infrastructure for digital transformation. This is a key material factor for digital transformation, which requires the Technical sector to strictly implement the professional steps in digital transformation in the whole Sector and each unit.  First, it is necessary to survey, assess, and analyse the current state of the organisational system, functions, tasks, and the relationships between components; analyse core operational processes and assess the current state of data and technology infrastructure, etc. By doing so, determining the direction in which core technologies are applied to related digital transformation contents; determining both the short-term and long-term goals for each content of the Sector and each unit; proposing technological, financial, and human resources measures, and determining specific programmes, projects, and implementation roadmaps. Taking advantage of digital infrastructure, 4G and 5G digital platforms, fibre optic cables, military digital data transmission network, data centres, military cloud, etc., the Military Technical sector and units invest in computers, servers, backup and recovery equipment, network equipment, security equipment, etc.

Because there is a large amount of data in the Military Technical sector that needs to be updated for exploitation, there should be specific plans to use specialised automatic digitising equipment to organise digitisation and store data. To make the management, command, and specialisation operate smoothly on the digital platform, it is necessary to digitise those processes via the use of suitable application software as well as to build automated and remote control systems in the operating model of a smart technical facility, which serves as a basis for the integration of process digitisation technology applications and the building of a digital platform. This is the very last digital transformation to be put into use at the Technical Operations Centre of the Ministry of National Defence and the Technical sector under strict security assurance.

From the abovementioned analyses, it is urgent and practical that digital transformation in general and digital transformation in the Army in particular be implemented, which serves as a prerequisite for promoting the operational efficiency of the Technical sector, contributing to building the Army advancing to modernity, meeting the requirements for national defence in the new situation.

Major General, Associate Professor, Doctor PHAM DUNG TIEN