February 07, 2014

#creativedisruption Survey 1 Results

By Ben FitzGerald

Thanks to everyone who participated in our first survey. Here are some quick visualizations of the responses. 

FutureDefenseSurvey_results%5B1%5D_0.png 

Our initial takeaway points from the survey are as follows:

   1. Defense industry insiders, foreign policy professionals, and those in the private sector believe that change is coming to the defense industry. All predict large increases in spending on cyber and unmanned systems, at the expense of ground vehicles and manned aircraft.

   2. Respondents believe that the center of gravity in the defense sector is shifting more towards commercial, rather than military, technologies. 71% of respondents think future innovation is more likely to come from underlying commercial technology than purely military research. They also think that more commercial companies are likely to move into the defense sector between now and 2030.

   3. Respondents believed that Cyber and unmanned vehicles are likely to experience significant investment growth between now and 2030. That perception is supported by current investments in cyber, but not by current cuts to unmanned vehicle budgets. 

   4. The only place in the world where respondents are very confident that military R&D and acquisition budgets will increase is Asia. Respondents also view R&D and acquisition spending as likely to decline significantly in Europe.

   5. The perceived changes to R&D and acquisition budgets in 2030 would still see the United States maintain a lead in overall spending.

   6. Defense industry insiders had two main beliefs that differed from others:

          A. Defense industry insiders think spending on ballistic missiles and cruise missiles will stay about the same between now and 2030, but those outside think it is more likely to increase.

          B. Defense industry insiders are more likely to predict decreases in spending in manned aircraft between now and 2030. 

   7. While most people (87%) believe that military spending on software is likely to increase significantly, slightly less than half (48%) thought that about spending on hardware. People who believe spending on hardware is likely to increase are also more likely to think that future military capabilities will use more military than commercial technology.

   8. While respondents expect Iran's arms exports to remain relatively modest, relatively, through 2030, these exports have had disproportionate strategic impact in the region.

Please share your own observations and conclusions in the comments or via #creativedisruption.

Look out for the second survey shortly!

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