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Over the past decade, the annual volume of data created and replicated worldwide has increased by over 3000 per cent. The figure has risen from two zettabytes in 2010 to 64 in 2020, according to research by the International Data Corporation (IDC).

Governments and militaries are eyeing this data revolution as an opportunity to gain advantage over adversaries – but it would be dangerously naïve to assume that greater data availability equals greater advantage.

More information is not a guarantee of better outcomes. Like any tool, its value comes from the way in which it is used.

Our Information Advantage report examines the ways in which defence and security must use data and information as tools to
gain advantage over adversaries. It addresses:

  • What is meant by ‘Information Advantage’ – a relatively new and as yet loosely defined term
  • Why innovation and technological progress in defence must be accelerated to keep pace with global data growth
  • What is needed to bridge the gap between possessing information, and applying it in order to achieve real-world effects
  • Which defence information management challenges can be tackled using practices adapted from e-commerce; and which require bespoke solutions

As the information sphere continues to grow exponentially it will give rise to new threats and opportunities for defence and security. Advantage will be continually gained and lost as circumstances evolve and adversaries adapt. The key to sustaining an information advantage over time is the ability to evolve and adapt faster than the adversary – and that will require new urgency and creativity in defence’s ways of working.