Skip to Main Content
Access your saved content
Budgetary strictures are affecting even public safety and service organizations.
In this article, Accenture argues that cloud-based services offer these organizations a way to do more with less that is superior to traditional forms of inter-agency collaboration.
Firefighters. Police. Emergency workers of all kinds. These public servants do the heavy lifting when it comes to protecting and serving citizens, and in many ways they define one of modern society’s most important achievements. Political sensitivity used to ensure that public safety organizations were typically the last to feel the budget ax. But in today’s severe fiscal climate, these agencies—like the rest of government—are now being forced to do more with less.
In order to do more with less, the public service organization typically looks to leverage the economies of scale generated by consolidating IT systems with those of fellow agencies. However, this type of cooperation produces only limited benefits because several factors cap the size of such partnerships:
Government agencies are often not geared up to collaborate, and frequently have different processes; for example, how they procure goods and services may not be compatible.
The ability of collaborative groups to execute diminishes as they grow in size and complexity.
Members of a collaborative group usually need to be at the same point in their IT refresh cycles.
Typical collaborative approaches are often based on geographic consolidation, but this configuration may not be optimal. For example, emergency management systems can be affected by regional disasters, making geographical diversity potentially more attractive.
System consolidation takes time to initiate, which may not mesh with ever-shorter technology life cycles.
Instead of collaborating with each other, public-safety organizations can achieve better results by using hosted managed services such as cloud-based software-as-a-service or business-process-as-a-service applications. Examples of systems that organizations could host on the cloud include computer-aided dispatch as a service, records-management as a service and 911 as a service.
Cloud-based technology can scale more effectively than legacy technologies, and collaboration is not required to achieve sufficient size. However, public safety organizations that move into the cloud can, in fact, collaborate much more easily.
Read the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council report.
Manuel Sánchez López is managing director-Accenture Police Business Services, Public Safety. With 16 years’ experience in intelligence methods and international police forces, he specializes in IT strategies and complex transformation processes for police and intelligence services. He is based in Madrid, Spain.
James R. Lipinski is consultant-Accenture Police Business Services, Public Safety. Lipinski has more than 20 years of experience assisting public-safety organizations solve their most complex problems with innovative information technology solutions. He is based in Arlington, Virginia.
November 13, 2012
Skip Footer Links