Canadian Cadet Organizations Digital Strategy


Citizens and public servants of all ages expect to take advantage of technologies to get informed, obtain services and collaborate, while maintaining traditional approaches of engagement. The Canadian Cadet Organizations (CCO) will remain in synch with this paradigm in order to attract, support and retain a dynamic and mobile workforce of 10,000 adult staff, more than 65,000 digital-native youth, and 130,000 parents and guardians who have high expectations on how to interact with youth organizations, and their government. 

This strategy aims to outline the Digital (IM/IT) capabilities that are required to support the CCO business requirements and address its current challenges.  It provides a roadmap of effort that will support the delivery of cadet programs for years to come, and enable the program evolution through a sustainable and scalable approach, in accordance with assigned resources and obligations. This strategy will be aligned with the strategic drivers described below, which include key policy instruments of the Government of Canada as well as the Department of National Defence & the Canadian Armed Forces. 

In order to account for the technological evolution and the potential shifts in the underlying context, this document will be reviewed on annual basis.  Results will be assessed and the strategy will be evolved as required.

Strategic Drivers

The following Strategic Drivers have been taken into consideration when developing the CCO Digital Strategy, as they encompass government and departmental strategies, policies, obligations, and mandates:

The Challenges

The current challenges are contextual elements that, along with the Strategic Drivers, constitute the foundation of this strategy:

  1. Cadets have limited access to the CCO Net and/or CCO Net computers, but they increasingly require access in order to support staff, deliver training and other ad-hoc requirements.  
  2. The delivery of the Cadet Program is increasing our requirements for distance learning and virtual engagement.
  3. Collaboration between youth and adult staff is difficult and is limited to using personal means, while being an increasing requirement.
  4. Access to online services is difficult from personal computers (i.e. non-CCO Net computers) and from mobile devices, while the demand for these methods of access, known as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), is increasing.
  5. The cost of life cycling computers and providing Internet services for Corps/Sqn staff is high.
  6. Users lack the required mobility to support their day-to-day work (e.g. limited access to Corps/Sqn facilities, week-end offsite activities, CTCs, training from the field).
  7. Communicating with parents and providing them with information and resources is difficult as it requires many platforms (e.g Facebook, Extranet, email) for which the utilization varies at all levels of the organization.
  8. The JCR Program represents emerging, and in some cases unique, IM/IT requirements that will necessitate additional capacity and potential resources.

Risks & Assumptions

The following elements have been identified as potential risks for the achievement of this strategy. The mitigation measures presented constitute the assumptions that we are working with at this stage.

  1. This strategy relies on a stable and recurring funding, as well as available funding for initiatives that are not included in the current baseline. It is expected that this strategy should generate savings on a medium to long-term basis, which could be repurposed in support of the overall strategy.
  2. The nature of technology and its inherent complexity will force review and adjustment of this strategy.
  3. Complying with IT engineering and security policies will continue to be a priority in order to ensure compliance with GoC and DND/CAF direction to provide secure, robust, and trustworthy information systems. Building and maintaining these systems in a large department with a mandate that includes national security results in the engagement of many stakeholders who must be consulted with to ensure that the appropriate checks and balances have been put in place.  
  4. This strategy is based on business requirements that are mutable and dependent on the evolution of the Cadet Programs and their social and digital context. When changes occur, this strategy will be adapted.
  5. As with any strategic document, there is a risk that it might be perceived by stakeholders to be a firm commitment, while in fact, it is a vision of the future, and a roadmap driven by current business requirements.

Digital Vision for the CCO

As part of this strategy, we will be pursuing the following digital vision for the CCO, our people are equipped to effectively communicate, collaborate, learn, train and work through digital services that are:


Optimized for Digital


Factors such as cybersecurity and built-in quality will not be considered limitations or constraints, but rather enablers to support a successful digital organization.

The Pillars

The following elements will be instrumental in delivering and sustaining this strategy

The Digital Strategy is composed of a series of initiatives (see section on “Lines of Effort”), each of which delivers an IM/IT capability (outcome). However, in order for these changes to work and to be successfully implemented, there are organizational requirements that should be sought, which constitute the pillars of the strategy.

These pillars are:

People have the required digital skills to perform in a digital environment:

  1. Adult staff and youth are skilled and able to operate, perform and behave in a digital environment. They are able to use and leverage digital tools as well as the data and information at their disposal.
  2. The staff that are responsible to deliver on this strategy have the required knowledge and tools to succeed, and they rely on best practices.

The organization promotes and supports a digital and innovative mindset

  1. The organization has a culture of continuous improvement where people have the capacity to innovate and resolve business problems.
  2. The organization is responsive to people’s needs and expectations on how to interact together, and with the institution.
  3. Efforts on digital transformation are inspired and supported by best practices, initiatives, and lessons learned from our government, our allies, and other youth organizations.

Information Technology is user-centric, optimal and reliable:

  1. Services are designed in accordance with the Government of Canada Digital Standards and Service Strategy.
  2. Architecture is lightweight and flexible, which means that its quality, sustainability, and scalability will remain an area of focus while promoting the use of cost-effective, modern, and flexible components.
  3. Equipment is well managed, cost-efficient, and optimized.

Information and data are everybody’s business, well protected and are leveraged to their full potential:

  1. Record keeping best practices are adopted so that information is stored properly in a manner that it can be retrieved, shared, and leveraged.
  2.  Cybersecurity awareness is raised so that proper digital behaviour are part of people’s day-to-day work habits and due diligence is applied at all times.
  3. Data custody habits are promoted, so that data will be considered from the ground up when designing services and policies. Data is made available to support planning and decision making (e.g. analytics). Data is also maintained and updated accurately at all levels of the organization.
  4. Knowledge is nurtured and managed in a way that it can be used and shared at all level of the organization.

Lines of Effort

This strategy is broken down into Lines of Effort (LoE), each of which represents a business priority that the Digital Strategy aims to support. Each LoE is implemented though a series of outcomes that consists of Digital (IM/IT) capabilities to be delivered. The specific and underlying business requirements are defined for each of these capabilities. LoE, outcomes and business requirements will be assessed on a yearly basis with regards to their achievement and their strategic alignment.

Not listed in this strategy are the specific projects to be developed and the tools to be delivered. These are to be implemented using lower-level plans.

Line of Effort 1: Enabling new forms of learning and training delivery

Outcome Business requirement
#1-1: Enable online learning Provide a capability/vehicle to support the delivery of training to cadets and adult staff through virtual means.
#1-2: Equip classrooms with modern IT equipment Provide classrooms at training centres and training establishments with required equipment for a dynamic learning experience.
#1-3: Enable technology-based training Enable the utilization of technology-based training for youth and adult staff (e.g. STEM, simulators, cyber training, apps) when deemed a requirement for training programs or activities

Line of Effort 2: Connecting to our audiences

Outcome Business requirement
#2-1: Provide a conduit for official communication Provide corporate and official information to all audiences (e.g. announcements, key links, events) in a manner that is consistent, reaches all audiences in a timely fashion, and is easily accessible.
#2-2: Allow access to key corporate resources Allow all audiences to easily access, in a timely manner, the official and corporate static resources which they require (e.g. orders, publications).
#2-3: Enable the sharing of dynamic content Enable all levels of the organization to share dynamic content with youth and parents/guardians in a manner that is consistent, reaches all audiences in a timely fashion, and is easily accessible (e.g. orders, joining instructions, lesson plans, letters, calendars).
#2-4: Provide web conferencing Allow every level of the organization to conduct online meetings and events with all audiences.

Line of Effort 3: Empowering youth

Outcome Business requirement
#3-1: Allow cadets to use IT assets and internet connections Enable cadets to use the corporate IT assets and Internet services at their unit to increase their level of contribution (youth leading youth) and provide them with the tools needed to contribute (e.g. teach lessons, provide administrative support, develop memoranda and orders, cadet reporter, etc.).
#3-2: Allow staff and cadets to collaborate together Enable adult staff and cadets, at all levels, to collaborate together for the administration and conduct of the program (e.g. sharing lesson plans or training aids, collaborating on a document, etc.).
#3-3: Provide access to information systems by senior cadets Enable authorized senior cadets to access Fortress and other information systems in order to provide administrative support to their unit.

Line of Effort 4: Supporting our mobile workforce

Outcome Business requirement
#4-1: Allow part-time staff to access CCO Net services from personal computers and mobile devices (aka BYOD) Enable part-time staff (CCO Net users) to easily access and utilize CCO Net services (e.g. email, SharePoint, Fortress) from the Internet (i.e. without a CCO Net connection) using their personal computer and/or mobile device(s). This supports a BYOD approach and will significantly reduce the requirement for DND computers at the local level.
#4-2: Facilitate collaboration between part-time staff Enable part-time staff (CCO Net users) to share documents together (e.g. Corps/Sqn op orders, lesson plans and memoranda). Currently, such collaboration is difficult with corporate tools as it requires a CCO Net connection to access file sharing platforms (e.g. SharePoint, email, shared drives, etc.).
#4-3: Increase mobility of part-time staff Enable part-time staff to be mobile by connecting to Internet from various locations (e.g. field, classrooms, office, parade square), to support the large variety of requirements for Internet connectivity.
#4-4: Optimize use of IT assets Enable part-time staff to use DND IT assets in different contexts and for different reasons than doing administrative support, which has been the initial requirement for providing IT assets to Corps/Sqn. IT assets are required to be used to support the broad spectrum of people’s tasks. It also need to account for the fact that they are used in various locations and not necessarily in an office (e.g. classroom, parade square, in the field). As a result, different form factors should be considered for assets provided, and some flexibility/options should be offered. Although not limited to this list, some valid business requirements include the use of IT assets for coaching (e.g. picture/video to support individual coaching), participation in virtual/online training and engagement, teaching (presentation, video), etc.
#4-5: Increase connectivity in DND-owned/leased facilities Provide fast and reliable over-the-air CCO Net through Wi-Fi in DND-owned and leased facilities (e.g. CTC, CFTC, RCSU, HQ, Armouries with Corps/Sqn, etc.).
#4-6: Provide public Wi-Fi for in-house population Provide public Wi-Fi for quality of life purposes (e.g. schooling, banking, social media) for youth and adult staff when residing at a training location (e.g. CTC, CFTC, CIC training).

Line of Effort 5: Optimizing business processes

Outcome Business requirement
#5-1: Deploy online services for parents and cadets Enable parents and cadets to interact online with the organization for transactions such as enrolment, summer training applications, update of contact information, etc.
#5-2: Support online transactions for staff Enable staff to interact online with the organization for transactions such as pay, HR, summer employment applications, update of contact information, etc.
#5-3: Support self-service Provide access to adult staff and youth (and their parents) to their personnel file/information for consultation and update.
#5-4: Computerize required business activities Improve business activities of the organization where gaps, issues, and risks exist with current processes, such as: long cycle time, lack of data quality, and accuracy, non-compliance with regulations and lack of oversight.
#5-5: Support data and information collection Collecting data and files from people at all levels of the organization in a safe and reliable method while remaining flexible and agile.

Line of Effort 6: Leverage data and information

Outcome Business requirement
#6-1: Support analytics Enable staff at all levels of the organization to leverage data in support of planning, decision making, and analysis.
#6-2: Open Data Comply with the DND/CAF Open Government Implementation Plan by releasing specific datasets about the program (unclass) that will support innovation, research and accountability. Open Data is governed by the GoC Policy and Directive on Service and Digital. Providing self-access should reduce ATIP.
#6-3: Support robust and efficient information and knowledge management practices Implement and support efficient tools and practices for information and knowledge management at all levels of the organization so that information and knowledge are leveraged to their full potential while being easy to maintain.

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