Leader: Military tech trial has lessons for the private sector

Armies work together better than companies

Armies work together better than companies

The public sector is often criticised for being slow to embrace new technologies.

Part of the problem is one of scale - it's hard for such large organisations to move quickly and adapt to every new technological whim.

The other part of the issue is cost. Spending taxpayers' money means that investment decisions have to be very tightly justified.

So increasingly the public sector finds itself playing catch-up to its more glamorous private sector rivals.

This is why it is heartening to see the British Army at the forefront of new technologies - and those aimed at preventing loss of life, at that.

The need for new identification technologies is a reflection of how the battlefield is evolving. As deployments of multinational forces become the standard way of dealing with conflict, Nato has realised it is vital that forces from different member countries can communicate and recognise friend from foe.

And Nato is wise to test - and most likely deploy - a number of different technologies to allow for combat identification, rather than try to track down a mythical one-size-fits-all answer.

In fact, the way that Nato forces are testing technology together for the common good may provide a lesson to the private sector.

Collaborating on new technology to make sure it works for all the people that need to use it is a great idea. It's hard to imagine a group of friendly private sector organisations working on such a big trial together.