Although mobile technology is an ever-expanding presence in the civilian environment, the military has been slower to utilize the benefits of mobile computing. Adoption of mobile computing technology using smartphones and tablet computers has traditionally faced three obstacles: financial restrictions, reliability in rugged field conditions, and security.
The current state of the economy and federal budget cuts, for instance, have caused the layoffs or furloughs of a sizable number of military personnel and the U.S. government is also considering the closure of some military bases in the next few years.
With the shrinkage of federal spending, military leaders are now tasked with the challenge of fulfilling mission-critical goals while simultaneously coping with a reduced workforce and the necessity of allocating funds to only the most vital resources.
Field conditions have also slowed the usage of mobile technology. Military personnel are often required to engage enemy forces in rugged combat conditions and a high degree of electronic reliability in adverse weather conditions or remote terrain is a necessity in order to make the difference between victory and defeat.
Cyber security in mobile technology, however, is the major issue for the military. To prevent unfriendly combatants from discovering vital military data and using it to the detriment of U.S. military forces, a high degree of encryption and proper security training is essential.
For example, Trojan horses and other malware accidentally introduced from thumb drives or other corrupted portable devices must be blocked from penetrating computer networks to protect the activities of military personnel from time-consuming impediments.
Wireless networks must also be protected to prevent hostile forces from accessing wireless networks as classified data is transmitted from the field to command centers.
As of June 2012, the U.S. military had over 250,000 commercial mobile devices in use, and we predict that the usage of mobile devices will increase in the decades to come. Possible adaptations for mobile computing in the armed forces are extensive.
Mobile data collection systems such as COMMANDmobile® would have multiple adaptations:
- Transmission of real-time weather condition images to military commanders to enable them to make more informed decisions
- Easier tracking of personnel movements
- Swift identification of friendly forces
- Faster confirmation that necessary equipment and supplies have reached troops
- Rapid ordering of replacement parts for equipment that is malfunctioning
- Remote diagnosing of medical conditions affecting the performance of military personnel
- Quicker access to medical lab results from military medical facilities
- Reduction of expenses and manual labor
For a demonstration of COMMANDmobile’s capabilities, contact us for more information.