BT & the MOD: A Public and Private Defence Relationship

Jonathan Cole (CB, OBE), Director, Defence at BT talks about Data, Tech and the Private and Public Defence relationship

A lot of people aren’t aware that the army runs an external placement scheme for officers, and that such schemes can act as bridges between the private commercial sectors and the traditionally public world of Defence. The technical knowledge and expertise gained, can run in both directions, thereby strengthening both sectors and propelling strategy and development; providing mutual benefits to Defence as a whole. Jonathan Cole, (CB, OBE and Director of Defence at BT) is one of those bridges, and due to his extensive knowledge and expertise, is an important asset to BT.

“I took part in the placement scheme as a fairly senior officer,” he says, “as I was a Brigadier who was about to be promoted to Major General, and for six months I had the opportunity to come and work for BT.” At that time, Cole worked in  BT’s Technology unit rather than where he is now - at BT’s Enterprise business which is one of the customer-facing areas. “I really came here to have a breath of fresh air, to learn about the commercial world and about some of the technologies that are out in the commercial sector which Defence was potentially not utilising. In many ways it was a chance for me to understand another large enterprise with a lot of parallels to the MoD.”



Featured Videos

View all

Marching to the beat of digital transformation

Brig. Stefan Crossfield & Major General Collyer share the British Army’s digital transformation progress so far, the challenges encountered and next phase

Digital Transformation

Supercharging southeast states with critical infrastructure

Digital Transformation

Migros Group: A technological and data-driven retailer

Digital Transformation

VitalityHealth: Telehealth in a digitised world