The start of this month marked 10 years since DIO was formed, providing an opportunity to reflect on a decade of our organisation delivering essential infrastructure services which help to keep our country safe and make a difference to the lives of the Armed Forces and their families.
Over the last 10 years DIO has made a significant contribution to Defence, delivering hundreds of critical projects and programmes such as the Army Basing Programme, which began in 2013 and supported the return of around 20,000 troops from Germany, and the Defence Estate Optimisation Programme which was announced in 2016 in order to transform and modernise the Defence estate for years to come.
How DIO has transformed over the past decade?
DIO was created in April 2011, when the former Defence Estates organisation was brought together with other property and infrastructure functions being carried out within the other Top Level Budget holders (TLBs) in Defence. It was formed to manage the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD’s) infrastructure and land and ensure strategic management of the Defence estate as a whole – optimising investment and supporting military capacity to best effect.
Back in 2011, Defence was focused on the conflict in Afghanistan and DIO had a key supportive role to play in enabling the training of hundreds of troops. Much has changed since, with threats in today’s rapidly changing world increasingly going beyond the traditional battlefield. This has called for new and different infrastructure solutions and DIO has continued to play a vital role in boosting military capability. Whether it’s providing infrastructure for Her Majesty's Naval Base (HMNB) Portsmouth to accommodate the new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers, or modernising Royal Air Force bases such as RAF Marham to support fighter jet capabilities, DIO has continuously delivered top class facilities for the Armed Forces.
DIO’s journey of transformation has seen it evolve and mature in a number of phases. We have embraced three major change programmes – the Enhanced Operating Model, Strategic Business Partner and most recently Future DIO. Since its creation, we have continued to transform how our organisation operates to meet changing Defence needs and progressively improve delivery for our customers.
Looking ahead to 2030
DIO’s 10-year anniversary is an exciting milestone, not only because we have so much to look back on and be proud of, but also because it marks the start of the next chapter in our organisation’s journey, as set out in our new 10-year strategy.
The new strategy will shape our direction for the decade ahead and is rooted in the fact that we really care about what we do; we care about the Defence estate, we care about our customers who depend on it, and we care about our own people working within DIO. It sets out the pathway to achieving our ambition for DIO to become an exceptional service provider via six ‘strategic responses’, which outline our priorities and explain how we will address the key factors likely to affect DIO in the next 10 years.
We recognise there is more we need to do to excel for our customers, which is why our new and robust 10-year strategy builds on what we have done before, while looking to the future. DIO will remain committed to its core purpose which has not changed since it was established in 2011; enabling Defence to live, work, train and deploy. Our new vision - “one team, excellent advice, outstanding delivery” - will help us deliver against this important role.