Reservists help lead the Army's digital transformation

Army Reservists are at the forefront of a major digital transformation programme designed to equip the Army to fight the battles of the future.

Thirty Reservists, whose civilian jobs are in the digital and technology industry, have joined the THEIA programme, and will use their commercial experiences to innovate and develop the Army’s digital skills.

The world is fast evolving in response to technology and our digital capabilities will be fundamental to our ‘Future Soldier’ vision and its ability to operate and fight.

Delivering a modern digital Army is a mammoth task and the digitalisation programme, called THEIA, is central to its delivery.

The project is a whole lot more than just new equipment. It's also about integrating the Army’s ways of working and empowering a digitally competent workforce with digital training, and the right tools to do the job. It will introduce new technologies to support the decision-making processes both in the business and operational spaces and promote a cultural shift in behaviours to improve the way we interact internally and externally with allies and partners.

Reservist Brigadier Marc Overton is one such expert. In his civilian career he is the Chief Solutions Officer for Sierra Wireless, a global leader in the Internet of Things (IoT). He said: “As an Army we need to focus on developing our technological and information advantage against our adversaries. To do that we need to ensure that we have the right people with the right skills and access to the right technology in the right places.

“The Army is just like any other large complex organisation going through a digital transformation. It has legacy systems, process and behaviours that need changing. In my experience the technology is the easy part, behaviours, skills and culture often take longer to change, the Army is no different in this. 

“Ultimately, we need to be much faster at delivering the right data to those who need it.  The key is to accelerate the information decision making cycle. At the same time to run the business we need to use digital solutions to be the most efficient organisation we can be.”

Also working on the THEIA is fellow reservist Lieutenant Colonel Chris Sykes who in civilian life is the Head of Digital Transformation for Methods Business and Digital Technology, a consultancy specialising in support to the public sector.

He said: “Project THEIA is the programme wrapper around the Army’s digital transformation. As an Army we need to maintain a technological edge against our competitors. Ultimately, we need to be much faster at delivering the latest technology to those who need it; and that we have individuals who not only know how to maximise its use but can experiment with it to push the limits even further.

For more information from Brigadier Crossfield, Programme Manager THEIA, about how vital THEIA is for the integrated review click here