Public safety technology’s state of the union
Published: March 12, 2013
Deltek is pleased to present a guest blog on public safety technology in the cloud from InterAct™. InterAct is a GovWin member and this blog post was written by James Cape, senior vice president of marketing.
If you are interested in guest blogging for Deltek on the public safety arena, please contact Evan Halperin for more information! Meanwhile, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn!
Public safety technology has come a long way over the past few years, but many would argue that the industry is still 10 to15 years behind commercial sector technology capabilities. Is this because the needs of public safety are fewer? Certainly not! But as state and local budgets continue to shrink, public safety agencies are being asked to do more with less money, which could impact their ability to fulfill their mission.
Some of this technology gap can be attributed to historical inefficiencies in the industry:
· Political competition instead of cooperation between local, state and federal governments
· The procurement process is expensive:
oThe average, mandated public safety competitive procurement process costs between $50K and $350K
oThis is not for the products, but simply the cost of the request for proposals (RFP) and selection process
· Agencies demand highly customized solutions that can’t easily scale
Apply modern technology
A new generation of technology has already had an immeasurable impact in the commercial sector. There are companies that didn’t even exist 15 years ago such as Google, SalesForce.com, and Amazon, which offer information technology models based on what is commonly called cloud computing. Cloud computing models enable organizations to dynamically share computing resources, ultimately saving them 60-90 percent of the total cost of ownership (TCO) as compared to typical client/server IT systems.
Cloud computing is the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network by a public or private service provider and accessed by end users from the Internet. Cloud computing enables configurable virtual software application instances that serve multiple client organizations – these applications are referred to as multi-tenant applications.
Multi-tenancy is an essential attribute of modern cloud computing and is one of the many reasons why cloud computing is more beneficial for public safety users. Multi-tenant applications reduce the need for administrative and financial resources necessary for managing individual applications, operating systems, networks and enable governed data sharing between agencies.
Moving to the cloud
Cloud computing allows public safety agencies to share computing infrastructure so they can focus on what they do best – keeping people and their communities safe. Public safety cloud options are superior to traditional premise-based solutions in that they are more secure, more reliable, less costly, easier to use, and they make data sharing and citizen connections simple.
It may be impossible to retrofit most legacy public safety applications to run in cloud. Most vendors will need to adopt completely new platforms to build new cloud applications – a process that will take years to complete.
While adoption of cloud technology by the public safety community is a relatively recent phenomenon, there are agencies both large and small today benefiting from its use. Two examples include the Indiana State Police and Harrison County, Miss. In 2011, the Indiana State Police deployed a state-wide private public safety cloud available to agencies across the state, and Harrison County recently completed modernization of its entire emergency response system.
InterAct believes that the benefits of cloud computing are so great that its adoption has become a key success factor in achieving the mission that we share with our customers: the safety and well-being of citizens and their communities.
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