Editor’s Note: The following is excerpted from Policing 2025: Envisioning a New Framework for Investigations (©2020 IDC #US46946220), a recent white paper created by Alison Brooks at IDC and sponsored by Cellebrite. The paper may be downloaded in its entirety here.

Like much of the broader business community, the COVID-19 pandemic forced police agencies to digitally transform at a breakneck pace. In the first stage of the pandemic, we saw agency IT scrambling to leverage underutilized but now crucial technology such as mobile solutions, remote working solutions, and virtual tools and to procure technology such as enhanced networking capabilities and software-defined security solutions that would allow the workforce to function virtually.

The pandemic highlighted the need to digitally transform to share information and data assets internationally and to work smarter across multiple jurisdictions and nation-states. Last, it fundamentally challenged the traditional, in-person, face-to-face police culture.

For many police agencies, COVID-19 pointedly highlighted gaps in digital maturity. Even agencies with very advanced digital workflows found themselves unable to provide core services because of fundamental gaps in core infrastructure — that is, missing elements of the tech-stack foundations — that would allow them to work remotely and securely. Police agencies find themselves on different points of the digital transformation (DX) maturity continuum. They also struggle to find a clear path to reinvention and transformation.

Essential Guidance/Call to Action 

Police agencies globally are experiencing a series of rapid, momentous changes, the pace, and scale of which are unprecedented. They must reinvent core service delivery while simultaneously re-establishing public trust in policing. COVID-19 has been a catalyst to deploy new technology that can provide a solid foundation to enable future reinvention in response to the inevitable next disruption. The crisis has also highlighted the need for consistent digital maturity across solutions, agencies, and jurisdictions.

Policing agencies looking for digital intelligence platform solutions to make them more efficient and transparent, and to establish credibility while enhancing trust, should heed the following advice:

  • With the continuous escalation of digital assets, digital intelligence platforms are more important now than ever. Digital intelligence platforms rein in data chaos and complexity, quickly transforming data into information, then into knowledge, and then into insight. This translates into a faster time to establishing evidence.

  • It will be increasingly important to automate the collection, analysis, and sharing of heterogeneous data sets. Agencies will need to focus efforts on force multipliers such as AI, machine learning, and cloud processing to deliver insights at scale.

  • Understand where there are gaps in the agency’s digital maturity; the vendor community supporting this market understands how to help surmount critical gaps, no matter how and where you are in the process of digital reinvention. There is no wrong door.

Read the full whitepaper here.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,100 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For 50 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company.

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