Setting out the North Star for Army Digital Transformation, and supporting the Digital Strategy for Defence

Tuesday 18 April 202310:50-19:00 BST 200 Aldersgate, Barbican, London, EC1A 4HD

In partnership with
British Army

Conference Partner

Workshop Partners

“We are living through an era of exponential technological change. Machine learning, quantum computing and artificial intelligence will fundamentally change the character of war and potentially alter its nature. We must be ready for them. 

The conflict in Ukraine has also reminded the world that an army’s ability to process and exploit data at speed is vital in enabling it to fight and win on land in the 21st Century.

To remain competitive, the British Army must capitalise on the most recent advances in data and digital technology. This is not just the business of specialists. Our ability to exploit data, compete and protect ourselves in the electromagnetic spectrum is the responsibility of the whole force – down to the very lowest level.”

General Sir Patrick Sanders KCB CBE DSO ADC Gen

Chief of the General Staff


The Army’s vision is “to become a data-centric, digitally optimised Army by 2030, improving warfighting competitiveness and corporate effectiveness, delivering advantage across all domains”.

Following the publication of the Land Industrial Strategy and our Army Digital Transformation Conference, attend this conference to:

  • Understand how the Army intends to achieve its aim of becoming a data-centric and digitally optimised Army, aligning with and supporting the Digital Strategy for Defence; and participate in Q&A
  • Help shape the Army's approaches and solve cross-industry problems during the workshop
  • Receive an advance copy of the Army Digital and Data Plan 2023
  • Network with decision makers and key stakeholders from industry and the Army

10:50 Registration and networking

11:50 Opening remarks, Chief Disruptor
Richard Morgan, Founder, Chief Disruptor Defence

11:55 Opening Keynote and Q&A: "A Data-Driven Army: Exploiting Data to Compete, Fight and Win in the Digital Age"

General Sir Patrick Sanders KCB CBE DSO ADC Gen, Chief of the General Staff

12:20 Keynote and Q&A: "Building the British Army Digital Ecosystem: Old and New Challenges"

Major General John Collyer, Director Information and CDIO, Army HQ

13:00 Networking lunch

14:00 Workshop

Table 1: Greater Operational Effect (Digital and data-centric capabilities which improve operational effectiveness and degrade competitor capabilities) Table 4: Faster Acquisition and Deeper Integration of Capabilities (FULL) (Deploying digital capabilities to the user in a timely and predictable manner) Table 7: Accessible and Assured Data and Information (FULL) (Ensuring that comprehensive, accessible, timely and assured data is securely available at the point of decision making)
Table 2: Increased Digital Resilience (Capabilities that are highly robust, resilient, flexible, and reliable whilst supporting collaborative data exploitation) Table 5: Release of Substantial Efficiency across the Army (Materially improving productivity across all the Army's activities) Table 8: A Digitally 'Fit' and Empowered Workforce across the Business and Battlespace (FULL) (Digital expertise across the force to enable full exploitation of digital capabilities)
Table 3: Multi-Domain Integration (FULL) (Competitive advantage through a pan-Defence approach and integration; and sharing with allies, partners and academia) Table 6: Design Authorities Construct (An integrated design and assurance model to ensure that the Army's design is fit for the future) Table 9: Process Optimisation and Digitisation (FULL) (Providing tools and procedures that are available and optimised to enable efficiency across all activities)

15:30 Workshop table leads brief all conference attendees on the key conclusions of their tables

16:00 Networking coffee break

16:35 Panellists respond to workshop conclusions, followed by Q&A

Major General John Collyer, Director Information and CIO, Army HQ

Brigadier Stefan Crossfield, Head of Information Exploitation, Chief Data Officer, Principal AI Officer, Army HQ

Charlotte Luks, Head of Cyber and Security, Army HQ

Brigadier Pete Drew, SRO Land ISTAR and Information Activities, Army HQ

Colonel Eddie Maskell-Pedersen, Chief of Staff, Information Directorate, Army HQ

Chris Squier, Defence Business Unit Director, Roke Manor Research

17:40 Closing remarks

Major General John Collyer, Director Information and CIO, Army HQ

Richard Morgan, Founder, Chief Disruptor Defence

17:50 Networking drinks

19:00 VIP dinner

Hear from...

General Sir Patrick Sanders, Chief of the General StaffGeneral Sir Patrick Sanders KCB CBE DSO ADC Gen, Chief of the General Staff

General Sir Patrick Sanders commissioned into The Royal Green Jackets in 1986. He has commanded at company, battalion, brigade, and divisional level, including on operations in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. 

His staff appointments have all been in operational and strategic roles. These have included Brigade Chief of Staff, Directing Staff at the Joint Staff College, Pol/Mil adviser for the Commander of Coalition Forces in Iraq, Colonel Army Strategy, Chief of Defence Staff’s Liaison Officer to the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Head Operations (Military) and Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Operations) in the MOD. 

Subsequently, his appointments were GOC 3rd (UK) Division and Commander Field Army. He was promoted to General in May 2019 and assumed command of Joint Forces Command, which transitioned to Strategic Command in December 2019. In June 2022, he assumed the post of Chief of the General Staff. 


Major General John CollyerMajor General John Collyer, Director Information & Chief Information Officer, British Army

Maj Gen Collyer commissioned into the Royal Signals. He commanded at Squadron and Regimental level and subsequently Joint Forces Cyber Group and 1st (United Kingdom) Signal Brigade. His staff appointments have included the MOD Operations Directorate, Defence Intelligence, Army HQ, HQ Allied Rapid Reaction Corps and the United States Security Coordinator HQ. In the deployed arena, he has operated in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. He holds a 1st Class Information Systems Engineering Degree with honours and a Masters in Defence Studies from King’s College London.

Following an assignment as Head of Strategy, Capability and Development in the Army HQ Information Directorate, he was appointed Director Information and CIO in October 2021.


Stef CrossfieldBrigadier Stefan Crossfield, Head of Information Exploitation, Chief Data Officer, Principal AI Officer, Army HQ

Brig Crossfield commissioned into the REME in 1992. His initial assignment as a Lieutenant Colonel saw him working for Director Force Development ahead of the SDSR and then join the core Army 2020 team for 10 months.

Brig Crossfield took command of 6 Armoured Close Support Battalion REME in 2012 just before Op HERRICK 18. On his return he was selected for promotion to Colonel and temporarily acted as DCOS 3 (UK) Division.

Brig Crossfield has more recently delivered the narrative describing the military offer as COS to DPers and completed an Academic External Placement at Exeter University securing an MBA with Distinction in 2018. He served as DACOS YELLOWHAMMER in Jan 2019, completed a short tenure as DACOS Current Plans in HQ Home Command and upon promotion to Brigadier joined Army HQ as Head Information Exploitation (IX) in late 2020. As Hd IX, Brig Crossfield also fulfils the roles of CDO and Principal AI Officer for the British Army, and SRO for two Digital Defence Programmes.

Brig Crossfield is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. He is also a Chartered Manager and has a Masters Degree in Information Systems.


Brig Pete Drew-1Brigadier Pete Drew, SRO Land ISTAR and Information Activities, Directorate of Programmes, Army HQ

Brigadier Pete Drew is the Senior Responsible Owner of the Land ISTAR and Information Activities programmes within the Army TLB. Prior to this he was the delivery team leader in Defence Digital responsible for the evolution of OpNET and the delivery of the international interoperability programmes to support the integrated, multi-domain demands of Defence. 

Commissioned into the Royal Corps of Signals in 1992, his career has taken him on operations in Croatia, Belfast, Iraq and the broader Middle East and Afghanistan as Commander Joint Force CIS. He has worked in staff appointments with the Royal Marines delivering their littoral Electronic Warfare and communications capability, within Army commitments supporting operational planning and has been the Military Assistant to the Director General within Information Systems and Services. He has a long track-record in capability delivery. He also served in Joint User C4ISR, UK StratCom where he was responsible for the transition into service of Defence’s operational level C4ISR capability. His last overseas tour was in Saudi Arabia as a Programme Director delivering transformative C4ISR capability in support of the Kingdom’s National Guard. 

Brigadier Pete Drew is a graduate of Cranfield University (RMCS) and Kings College, London, where he read for degrees in Design of Information Systems and Defence Studies. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and is a Chartered Engineer. He is also an alumnus of the Said Business School’s Major Projects Leadership Academy.


Colonel Eddie Maskell-Pedersen-1Colonel Eddie Maskell-Pedersen, Chief of Staff, Information Directorate, Army HQ

Col Maskell-Pedersen commissioned into the Royal Corps of Signals in 1999. On promotion to Major, he served within the Special Projects capability branch sponsoring soldier systems, demolitions and the counter terrorist response portfolio before deployment to Afghanistan for which he was awarded The Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service (QCVS).

He promoted to Lt Col in 2015 and deployed to the Middle East to embed within the Special Operations Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve as the J5 Deputy Director for which he was awarded his second QCVS. On his return he established the CIO position within a specialist 2* Operational HQ, prior to assuming Regimental Command in June 2018. Following promotion to Colonel and assignment as the Military Assistant to the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff in August 2020, in December 2022 he was assigned to the Army Headquarters as the Chief of Staff for the Army CIO.

He has completed two Masters Degrees, the first was in Battle Space Technology and his second was in Defence Studies. He was accredited as a Chartered Engineer in 2022 by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and is working on achieving his Fellowship.


no_photo_femaleCharlotte Luks, Head of Cyber and Security, Army HQ





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