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This year, we’re asking for your feedback on the six challenges we have identified in the industry.


A problem shared…

Working with public safety organisations for over 25 years, one thing above all others has become apparent: There are significantly more problems that we have in common than are individual to our organisations. And by definition, there are solutions, experiences, and lessons that we can share and all benefit from, if only we had the opportunity.

Let’s start the conversation

We are all busy. But sometimes we need to take a step back, take a breath and consider how we might help others to help us, and how we might share both our challenges as well as our solutions. To start the process, we have compiled a list of what we see as the six key challenges facing organisations across the public-safety community today.

Do you agree?

We have summarised the challenges below and it would be great if you could take a look and share your feedback with us and the wider community.

Six Challenges to consider

Below are the six challenges we hear talked about most often from you and other people in the public-safety community. Whether you agree, disagree, or just want to know more, we and others want to hear your opinions, thoughts and advice

Challenge 1 – Managing uncertainty around the government roadmap for critical communications   

ESN was originally planned to enter service ahead of the current Airwave technology end of service. The ESN programme is a huge and complex undertaking and the inevitable slippages have led to a situation where Airwave customers now need to move to an intermediate technology (DCS) in order to maintain access to the Airwave network prior to the subsequent ESN transition at some point in the future.

Consider:  How are you managing the uncertainty, including the impact on your technology timescales and budget? Do you have knowledge to share? Have you a full understanding of the systems these changes will affect? Are you aware of the technical challenges associated with the transitions needed to reach ESN?

Challenge 2 – Finding resources with expertise in control rooms and related technology areas e.g. ESN, unified communications, cloud/hosting/smart devices/mobile IT

Maintaining knowledge of industry offerings in the control room domain is a challenge for all public-safety organisations. It is too easy for incumbent suppliers to slip into ‘solution stasis’, leaving organisations with legacy capabilities, of which they are often unaware. Getting and keeping people with the right knowledge is tough.

Consider:  Do you have access to the right resources? Do you feel that you know the options and have the time and space to evaluate them?

Challenge 3 – Ensuring that new systems support existing and future operating models

Ways of working should determine how the system operates, not the contrary. However, procuring and delivering new systems without some impact on operational practices isn’t easy.  Ensuring that a solution is fit for today as well as being able to accommodate future needs is doubly difficult, especially when the drivers for change come from outside the organisation such as mandated change from national programmes.

Consider:  How do you structure requirements, specifications and contracts to maximise flexibility to accommodate change?  How successful have partnerships with suppliers proven when it comes to system changes?

Challenge 4 – Managing the security implications of adopting new technologies

Investing in new technologies and platforms such as cloud-based services has the potential to return benefits to public-safety organisations. However, such technologies also introduce complexity in several areas such as: connectivity, remote access, off-premises data storage and processing, which all have implications for security.

Consider:  Do you feel you are striking the right balance between risk and reward? How are you ensuring security-related expenditure is delivering value?

Challenge 5 – Public-safety organisations need to keep pace with the rapidly changing technology landscape and working practices

Public-safety organisations often find themselves focusing on their immediate needs and have limited time and opportunity to consider the wider picture, assess the implications of rapidly changing technology, understand its benefits and create a cohesive strategy to marry technology with better operational practices.

Consider:  How do you create time and invest resource in order to deliver on a benefits strategy?

Challenge 6 – Working reactively  is resulting in siloed projects

Often as a result of time and resource pressures, a lack of joined up thinking can cause disconnects between individual departments and the wider organisation. Typically, when programmes are resource stretched and time restricted, driving behaviours toward the fulfilment of siloed needs at the expense or realising wider benefits across the organisation.

Consider: Do you see this happening in your organisation? If so, how are you dealing with this and is this affecting benefits realisation?

Over to you…

We would greatly appreciate your feedback on the above. Please use the button below and we will provide an anonymised summary to all who participated.