The complexity of protecting citizens changes with each passing day, and four key paradigm shifts are impacting how public safety organizations meet their missions:
- Large and small public safety and justice organizations across all geographies are combating increasingly complex and sophisticated cyber crime and cyber security threats.
- Citizens, businesses and employees are pressuring government agencies for interactive and real-time Internet, mobile, and social media public safety solutions.
- The volume, type, frequency, and velocity of unstructured data from online sources, social media, cameras, and sensors has exploded.
- Austerity measures aimed at reducing costs have led to reorganizations in an attempt to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
These are just a few of the many topics that emerged as top priorities during our conversations with public safety and justice officials during our recent roadshows in Australia, UK, Denmark, New Zealand and China. They were also among the priority topics on the agenda at the Public Safety & Justice Worldwide Advisory Council and Forum, held last week in Redmond, where public safety and justice customers were able to speak directly with each other and Microsoft specialists about the best ways to identify, prepare, prevent, and respond to public safety and justice challenges and internal constraints.
Officials at the forum discussed their pressing need to streamline processes and procedures while improving cross-agency collaboration and information sharing; to gather, analyze, and manage an increasingly overwhelming volume of unstructured information from a vast array of social media sources; and to maintain the highest level of efficiency in order to meet budget requirements. They are under enormous pressure to meet the demand of both the daily tasks of everyday public safety, like combating cyber crime, protecting critical infrastructure, and implementing cyber security policies, as well as the large, anomalous events such as natural disasters that can devastate cities at a moment’s notice.
Time and again, we have heard that flexibility and scalability are the most important qualities of effective public safety solutions and best practices experienced by fellow practitioners – a topic I discussed in depth in a recent On Government blog post. Agencies need an accurate assessment of the operational environment in any given scenario, from routine to catastrophic.
We were honored to host these public safety leaders and look forward to an open and engaged discussion about the collaborative solutions that can support their life-saving missions. Microsoft is committed to supporting and addressing the priority requirements raised by these customers and more broadly all our public safety and justice customers. Please watch this space and follow us on Twitter for more outcomes from similar events and future updates on Forums in your region.
Managing Director, Public Safety and Justice, Worldwide Public Sector, Microsoft Corporation