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Device as a Service: Less Risk, More Satisfaction

John Odey, Director, Air Force & Space Force Business Development, Iron Bow Technologies

February 16, 2021  |  Digitization + IoT  •  IT Modernization  •  Managed Services  •  Mobility + End User Devices


By now most are familiar with the mantra that the U.S. Air Force (USAF) wants to (must) focus on core warfighting and C2 (command and control), and get out of the common IT infrastructure business. However, this of course doesn’t mean the USAF will cease to focus on technology. Just the opposite, the USAF intends to take advantage of this change to onboard innovation and new technologies faster and more efficiently. “Giving up” routine IT support and administration frees up essential resources and allows industry to deploy the latest technology without additional procurement processes and extended timeframes to implement something new.  New technology is driven by Industry, at an ever increasing pace, so it makes sense to gain a more direct connection and shorten that process.

Plus, as the USAF and Space Force (USSF) are further becoming “Digital” Services, there is more recognition of software being a key part of the warfighting effort. The Air Force Enterprise IT as a Service (EITaaS), PlatformONE, Advanced Battlespace Management System, among others are prime examples. This doesn’t mean a completely hands-off approach by USAF/USSF, however.  Well-informed governance, requirements, and warfighting needs remain crucial Government functions.

In particular, with today’s workforce being more mobile and dispersed than ever, device management is ripe for applying an “-as a service” approach for immediate impact. Device as a Service (DaaS) moves the total life cycle responsibility for managing the devices and the connections to the network from the USAF/USSF to the service provider.

Device as a Service encompasses several key elements:

  • Procurement and replacement of devices
  • Imaging
  • Device security
  • Logistics/distribution of devices, getting into the hands of users
  • Asset tagging and inventory management
  • Warranty support

Risk Reduced

DaaS has the key advantage of freeing resources from Government IT management, as well as reducing risk.  This approach moves the responsibility for capital expenditures and their management overhead to highly trained and staffed vendors that are built specifically for the activities involved in enterprise IT management. It is not practical for the USAF/USSF to continually invest in the latest device technology, take on implementation and provide management. With the DaaS model, the USAF/USSF has greater flexibility and meets the demands of the warfighters to successfully accomplish their missions without delay.

Customer Experience Upgraded

While DaaS reduces risk, it more importantly improves the customer experience with flexibility and agility on device choice and personal device use. DaaS allows the Air Force to deliver on the idea of providing a 21st century IT store to service members and staff. This store provides the user experience and interface of a commercial enterprise backed by the standards and practices needed for U.S. military security and reliability. Within that store, users can access and procure the most up-to-date technology that can be configured to meet their specific needs in the field, eliminating the “one size fits all” struggle of in-house device distribution. This choice also serves to improve service member morale and lethality as they now can get the right tool for the job at the right time.

Anywhere Anytime Access Enabled

Data is a powerful weapon for our military. Access to that data is critical and the right device can make the difference in ensuring that data is with the right people at the right time. DaaS allows for a wider range of device choices and enables those endpoints to be shipped with the proper configurations that ensure the required levels of security. This enables access to the required user data securely and quickly.

DaaS in the Field

A DaaS approach means Airmen and Guardians can move seamlessly from the home to the office, to another USAF/USSF facility, and to the battlefield with the device of their choice that meets their specific needs. The right device means maintenance crews can access automated, electronic manuals on flightlines. Engineers could have access to devices that have the latest sensors and accessories to support field work and the Internet of Military Things (IoMT). It also ensures that electronic flight bags (EFBs) provide the latest and greatest technology to Airmen. Finally, DaaS is an essential step to reach the vision of Joint All Domain C2 — increase the speed of the data kill chain and achieve decision superiority for the right mission outcomes.

For details on how Iron Bow delivers Device-as-a-Service visit our website.


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