Federal and state legislative mandates have expanded the mission of many public-safety agencies that still must do more with less. That’s the finding of a recent survey from the Public Technology Institute (PTI), in which 56 percent of respondents rank “just keeping up with the technology changes, personnel changes and the general workload” as their top priority.
The results are based on a poll of public-safety and IT officials from U.S. jurisdictions of all sizes, representing a population of more than 54 million people. PTI executive director and CEO Alan Shark notes that a majority of respondents expect budget decreases over the next fiscal year.
Cybersecurity also appears near the top of the list, with 45 percent of respondents identifying it as a top priority. IT leaders are concerned about rogue employees who want to extend the network using consumer-oriented file-sharing technologies or other unsecured technologies to circumvent IT policies. PTI recommends making security awareness a consistent message throughout the workplace as the best means of securing the network.
Smart devices and public-safety apps are another leading challenge, according to 41 percent of the respondents. One IT pro pointed to the need for mobility in everything the organization does, which makes it difficult to keep up with demand. Workers require more than just smartphones — they need police vehicles and wearable video technology, for instance.
Here are the top 10 public-safety technology priorities for 2014:
- Just keeping up (technology changes, personnel changes, workload)
- Smart devices and public-safety apps
- Records management and e-discovery
- Funding/grant opportunities
- Disaster mitigation, preparedness, response
- Hosted services (cloud)
- Shared services
- BYOD, BYOT and the Federal Labor Standards Act
- Role of GIS in public safety