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Today, the IBM Center for The Business of Government is pleased to release the report, Mitigating Risks in the Application of Cloud Computing in Law Enforcement, by Paul Wormeli, Executive Director Emeritus, IJIS Institute.
This report comes at an opportune time as the law enforcement community is undergoing a major transformation. Traditionally, communication within law enforcement was often linear and hierarchical. Today, communication happens in real time across jurisdictional boundaries. Because of improved communication and real-time information, the law enforcement community can plan where to place resources ahead of time, instead of only reacting to events after they have occurred.
One potential key to this is the advent of cloud computing. Cloud computing can be a cost-effective way to enable improved communication. Cloud computing also provides a potential for cost-savings for law enforcement, since law enforcement organizations don’t have to use their tight budgets to build their own information technology infrastructure. According to Steve Ambrosini, executive director of IJIS, there has been a constant search for “emerging and disruptive technology that might positively affect the productivity and efficiency of justice and public safety agencies, and promote better information-sharing in support of their missions.” Ambrosini continues, “Cloud computing has been one of the technologies with potential, but executives in justice and public safety have some general skepticism for concepts embedded in this powerful new infrastructure.”
Based on a survey of leaders in the law enforcement community about cloud computing, Wormeli gained an increased understanding of their major issues, which include concerns about reliability and availability, performance requirements, cost of migration, and the recovery of data. In response to these concerns, Wormeli explains how the law enforcement community can effectively respond. The report concludes with six recommendations on how law enforcement organizations can successfully implement a move to cloud computing.
We hope that this timely report will be read carefully by law enforcement officials as they weigh the pros and cons of moving to cloud computing. We also hope that the report is useful to other public managers at the federal, state, and local level who are also assessing a move to the cloud.