Cloud computing has more than a silver lining in digital policing
Charlotte Hails, Justice & Blue Light Lead at Virgin Media O2 Business, underlines the benefits and cost savings of cloud computing to the police. #DigitalPolicing
Justice and Blue Light Lead
Virgin Media O2 Business
31st May 2022
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The pandemic has ensured it’s been a tough couple of years for the emergency services. Not only were the police challenged with ensuring the public followed frequent changes to government guidelines, but there were many increased costs to shoulder to ensure continuity of service to the public.
Covid-19 has been a positive catalyst for change that was needed
One of the most significant additional costs in the last few years has been IT equipment for home working and the necessary infrastructure. Due to the change in working environments caused by the pandemic, hybrid working is now the norm and this has led to an increase in people working in various locations, bringing with it increased demand for bandwidth and connectivity.
Facing such challenges has accelerated the need for the police to adopt a hybrid cloud model. After all, cloud-based applications, such as Microsoft Teams and Office365, have been widely adopted to enable hybrid working. Our research suggests the pandemic has accelerated digital progress in the justice sector by 5.3 years, which is the fastest of any sector.
The increased demand and expectations for seamless digital services, from both private and public organisations, mean they can’t rely on their legacy infrastructure and network. But what additional value can the cloud provide the police?
A better everyday police experience
Surrey and Sussex Police are a great Virgin Media Business customer example of digital transformation done right. Despite identifying that new technology could support officers in their day-to-day jobs, their legacy infrastructure simply couldn’t handle the amount of data and digital services needed.
Implementing a software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) solution has provided them with many benefits, including faster connectivity, boosted network security and reduced operating costs. Body-worn video equipment has been rolled out and operational services have been migrated to the cloud. The greater bandwidth and network speeds have created a better everyday experience for officers, and they can now spend more time focusing on face-to-face interaction
Such technology also has the benefit of increased safety for officers and the public, and more positive outcomes for victims of crime, which should lead to increased confidence in policing.., Not to mention the value for money achieved through significantly reduced operating costs, enabling reinvestment in tackling crime.
“Legacy network has had its day. Cloud-based services are now the way forward.”
Dr Steve Conn, Technical Project Manager, Surrey & Sussex Police
There’s no going back
With the right investment, cloud-based digital technology has the potential to streamline processes, cut operating costs and lead to faster, fairer outcomes. It’s set to have a significant impact on the entire public sector, potentially adding £13.4 billion to UK GDP by 2025.
The justice sector is already benefiting from better ways of working, from online crime reporting and streamlining administrative tasks, to video-enabled court hearings, which allow more trials to be held to support the backlog of cases from the pandemic. The efficiencies provided by digital technology are vital for easing tensions in the sector and future ways of working. One thing’s for sure: an exciting new age of digital transformation has begun, which will change the way policing operates now and in the future.
The foundation to digital transformation
With so many advancements in digital tech, one thing has the power to hold your progress back or drive it forwards faster: the quality of your network infrastructure. Cloud applications can be very inefficient when running on legacy networks, and just think of the increased cybercrime/security threats.
Investing in your infrastructure, so it’s modern, cloud-based and always kept secure with the latest updates, is the foundation to digitally transforming your organisation. No matter what the world throws at you in the future, you’ll always be connected and ready to adapt. Currently, 54% of police forces are working on their digital transformation plans post-covid. How are yours progressing?