Will the cloud deliver benefits for Public Safety?
The use of cloud computing has been around for a while. Salesforce.com, after all, arrived in 1999, and has been embraced by commercial organisations across the world. When it comes to Public Safety (PS) however, early adoption is not the model organisations adopt as the stakes are too high. Better to let someone else iron out the issues first ...
That isn’t to say PS has ignored the advancement, it has been investigated and tested and internal, private clouds, have been in use for some time. With the explosion in PS data, many of the initial concerns over cloud having been dealt with PS agencies are now looking at how they, alongside commercial organisations, can fully benefit from an increased use of a cloud approach to applications, data management and storage.
There are some obvious potential commercial benefits to a cloud approach. For organisations with accommodation issues reallocating space occupied by a room of servers to front line operational use is always going to be an attractive way of avoiding the need for more real estate. But letting go is never easy and passing across the responsibility for storing and managing what can be very sensitive data is a big step, especially where there are regulations and even laws governing how PS data is handled. The new Motorola Solutions White Paper - Converting to Cloud for Control Rooms looks at the challenges and opportunities around PS cloud solutions. One of the points the paper deals with the issue of security, how do you know your data is secure? Is a cloud approach more or less secure than a traditional on-premises data storage and application server approach? You may be surprised by the answer.
The paper also looks at the drivers behind cloud. How will the continued growth in the amount of data PS organisations now handle – data bases, video, applications and records? All these impact their ability to operate. How much new data will be produced, needing organising and storing as body worn cameras increasingly become the norm? Use of a cloud approach can let PS focus and invest in their mission rather than racks of storage and servers.
Contrary to views often expressed cloud is not an expensive option nor is it delivered as a one size fits all solution. On the cost side the paper highlights total cost of ownership differences in traditional and cloud models. The paper also looks at the different ways in which a cloud solutions can be deployed, running from a wholly owned private solution all the way to one that is fully shared and third party managed.
For more on the cloud and its use in PS you can download the white paper Converting to Cloud for Control Rooms and find out if clouds have both commercial and operational silver linings.
Harnessing the cloud can provide Public Safety agencies with flexible solutions to their data management challenges leaving them to focus on keeping us all safe.
David Parry is Director, EMEA Marketing
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