The phrase data rich and information poor (DRIP) was first used in the 1983 best-selling business book, In Search of Excellence, to describe organizations rich in data, but lacking the processes to produce meaningful information and create a competitive advantage. DRIP was defeated in the private sector with wise implementation of information technology. However, government institutions have lacked the incentives to attack the disease and have instead treated the symptoms of the dilemma armed with a gross misunderstanding of the cognitive domain. In the U.S. Department of Defense, a deluge of data overwhelms analysts and provides little information that is timely and relevant to decision makers.
While Russia and China are known for their lumbering civilian and military bureaucracies, both nations are nonetheless demonstrating that they can be nimble enough to accelerate certain technological developments, along with testing and evaluation. So far, both competitors have proven that they can take specific American elements and apply them to their own unique ecosystems. Nonetheless, using American-style institutional and procedural concepts is still a novel idea for the top-heavy ministries tasked with such breakthrough technological developments in both countries.