In brief

In brief

  • Carl Sharpe, Global Public Safety, Innovation Lead at Accenture looks at digital innovation and digital modernisation for policing.
  • Digital strategies constantly change, how do public safety agencies build the agility to adopt and adapt to future technologies seamlessly?
  • How can policing organisations be more productive and proactive so they can react quicker and ultimately help the citizens they serve?


The price of failure

One of the themes we've been talking about recently is around digital innovation and digital modernisation for policing and when we think about things like cybercrime and some of the more advanced capabilities that organised crime is using against public citizens, we pivot to policing and we wonder how are we going to do things and how are we going to fix things for policing organisations, how are we going to help them be more productive and be more proactive so they can react quicker and then ultimately help the public. So what we have—we've come across is we want to be innovative and we want to be more modern but there’s often a lot of restrictions around the price of failure.

Fail early. Fail often. Fail forward.

So, it is not very often that you get told that once you failed, you've actually succeeded. You can't walk in and say boss I did something yesterday, it blew up and they will be like, that was great, you did amazing here's a promotion. Typical it's the other way around but fundamentally what is really, really important here, is that we need to be able to fail in a controlled environment and we need to be able to embrace that failure so that people understand that they feel safe, they can try and fail and they can learn and it’s only through those failures in a controlled environment when we actively are seeking to fail, where we are going to learn how to succeed, fail early, fail often, fail forward, actively fail and that is what is ultimately going to lead us to succeed in this.

Do less and do it well

We are often equally spread too thin where we are trying to do everything and when we try and do everything, ultimately you're not going to be able to do anything as well as you would like to. So the key message here is, identify what you are going to be good at doing and do that well, do less and do it well, if policing is our core mandate, do it well, if it's not information technology, if it's not back office modernisation, if it's not vehicles and cars, stop doing them and find somebody else to do that stuff for you. If policing is one of the things we want to be focused on, do that, really focus on that as hard as you can and do it well.

Get moving. Get started

When we move to the topic of digital strategies, we are constantly looking at modernising about how we are going to do things. How are we going to change it, how are we going to advance, how are the newest, latest technologies going to affect us and we then end up getting stuck a little bit in paralysis-analysis, where a new technology comes out. We had adversarial, artificial intelligence last year, that has been replaced by natural language generation. How are all of these things going to tie together? What we need to understand is that digital strategies are going to change and are going to evolve and will be wrong the day after you start them. If you spend six months building them, the day after, they’re going to be wrong. So spend less time, get moving and get started.

Carl Sharpe

Lead – Global Public Safety, Innovation

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