Data-driven applications are developing at a rapid clip in both civilian and military use. Patria is a pioneer in data-driven solutions in its field.

Business models and applications based on large amounts of data and their analysis are making rapid headway in all sectors, from industry to property management. This development is further accelerated by artificial intelligence and other advanced data analytics.
This is the assessment of Teemu Alakoski, Senior Vice President, Business Development at Patria’s Finland division. Patria closely monitors the evolution of data-driven operations.
“Data-driven solutions are developed at a rapid pace in the civilian market. We can adopt the best practices and technology from that sector and utilise them in defence industry applications,” Alakoski says.

A big development leap in the last decades

The utilisation of data has proceeded in stages with the evolution of technology. Just a few decades ago, it was for the most part only possible to process electronic data with individual devices. In the next phase, devices could occasionally exchange data with each other.

And as connectivity improved, the development of ways for devices to communicate smoothly with each other was started up. This was done by standardising protocols.
“However, efficient sharing of data required both the sender and the receiver to interpret the data in the same way. This issue was solved by developing data models that describe data and the relationships between data,” Alakoski says.

Even more advanced solutions for data processing and analysis were also required to handle the exponential growth in data volumes caused by always-on data connections.
“Following this gradual development, data is now at the core of all activities,” says Alakoski.

Industrial internet applications enable the collection of data from an ever greater number of devices and systems.

Today, technological solutions are also crucial in facilitating the processing of big and unstructured data, system integration and federation, and the identification of unforeseen phenomena — and have thereby raised the development potential of systems to a whole new level.

Patria invests heavily in data-driven products and services

According to Teemu Alakoski, data will be even more important in the future — one reason is that industrial internet applications enable the collection of data from an ever-greater number of devices and systems.

Data center

Organisations will thus be able to use data and analytics in real time even more effectively in their operations and decisionmaking. Data-driven analytics can also be used in forecasting. 
For example, servicing requirements and equipment wear and tear can be predicted more accurately.

At Patria, data-driven operations mean not only data collection, but also advanced analytics and decision-making support, which open opportunities for the development of existing products and services. Completely new business is also being developed around data-driven operations.
“With new digital solutions, we can provide customers with cost-effective and performance-enhancing solutions,” says Alakoski.

Analysed data boosts operational efficiency

As a strategic partner, Patria has developed data-driven operating models in cooperation with the Finnish Defence Forces. For instance, data is collected on equipment use and maintenance. Analyses of this data boost the efficiency of maintenance work, improve predictability, and produce alternative scenarios for decision-making purposes.
Data can also be collected and analysed on the handling and use of vehicles. This data can be utilised for purposes such as the development of training and lifecycle management.

Experiences of data-driven solutions gained in Finland are also utilised in the Patria OPTIME service for international markets, which covers military equipment maintenance, lifecycle modifications and system integrations, supply chain management and equipment training. The OPTIME service efficiently harnesses new digital tools.

Patria’s digital applications are built on an analytics platform developed by the company. This platform is utilized in, for example, Patria’s command & control, surveillance, and intelligence systems.

Patria also has unique substance and cyber expertise in the security authoritiy and military domains, thanks to which it can efficiently develop digital solutions.

Comprehensive networks keep Patria up to date


In order to take full advantage of the opportunities opened up by data-driven solutions, one must keep a close eye on technological development. Alakoski says that Patria has effective mechanisms and comprehensive networks for this purpose. They enable the adoption of new civilian technologies and good practices for military uses.

For example, Patria participates in the Finnish DDE Digital Defence ecosystem, which seeks to create significant new business in the defence and security sector by bringing together leading companies and research institutes in defence, security and civil technologies.

In addition to national driver projects, the Business Finlandfunded DDE is proactively participating in EU and NATO defence industry programmes.
The development of data-driven operating models in fleet management is also one subarea of the European Future Highly Mobile Augmented Armored Systems (FAMOUS) development project, which works on technologies and capabilities for the armoured vehicles of the future, including data utilisation.

Patria is leading this project as the defence industry representative.

Special requirements of military use must be taken into consideration

One challenge faced in military applications is that you cannot rely on a network connection in demanding field conditions. Data  transfer might also be jammed, or it might be prudent to refrain from data communications for operational reasons.

“When developing applications, you must take into account that data will not be available at all times. Operations must not come to a halt even if you lose the network connection between devices.”
Information security in data use is essential in all industries — especially so in defence and other security-critical sectors.
“Patria has invested heavily in ensuring information security,” says Alakoski.

In addition to military use, data-driven applications are also used by other security authorities in Finland. One example is the field management system that is jointly used by several authorities for the efficient management of operationals, maintenance of situational awareness and entry of data into multiple systems. It enables the authorities to exchange information and communicate with each other in real time.

Alakoski says that the strong uptake of data-driven operating models in the defence sector is evident from the fact that instead of network-centric warfare, the sector has shifted to talking about data-centric warfare as a prerequisite for multidomain operations.