Why are police agencies across the country considering and moving to cloud technologies to handle digital evidence? We spent the first quarter of 2015 traveling from city to city with Microsoft, the leading provider of cloud solutions for law enforcement, and we want to share the primary benefits you will gain when it comes to the solution.
Top Benefits Law Enforcement Gain with Cloud Migration
Budgets are tight for police agencies, yet directives to limit liability and increase productivity have not changed nor are they likely to. The challenges that police agencies face are numerous when it comes to maintaining, improving and responding to policing needs and changes.
Some of the top challenges that police agencies face include:
Rising Cost of Storage Space: With the rise of digital evidence, agencies nationwide have converted to using digital evidence over evidence available on film. This has led to significant improvement in the quality of video, audio and image evidence, but the price both in dollars and in space that digital evidence requires are overwhelming.
The Inadequacy of Traditional Servers: One of the challenges that police agencies are facing is the inadequacy and “slowness” of traditional servers. Traditional servers that are maintained in-house are far less effective and efficient at storing digital evidence. What’s more, once they reach their limit, the process to gain additional storage capacity is time intensive and costly.
As is outlined in an article Outsourcing the Evidence Room, “The conundrum facing agencies is how to balance capturing the video evidence they need without breaking the budget. The answer to the vexing issue of storing massive amounts of digital evidence is to turn to a solution that has been around for quite some time: cloud computing.”
What exactly is cloud computing?
Cloud computing, as defined in the article, is “defined as a remotely distributed computer storage service that is hosted by a third party.” A number of service providers out there are household names such as Microsoft, Amazon and even Google. These providers “specialize in remote computing or storage services” and “are accessed using existing broadband infrastructure with SaaS or StaaS contracts with third party vendors.”
3 Benefits to Cloud Computing in Law Enforcement
What many police agencies are realizing is that the benefits to cloud computing can more than answer the challenges they face. Consider the three benefits most of interest to police agencies as outlined in the Outsourcing article:
- The Cloud is Cost Effective: In fact, it has been found that the total cost of ownership for in-house servers and accompanying support is actually MORE expensive than outsourcing to private cloud providers. “Estimated savings by utilizing cloud services versus in-house equipment, labor, and infrastructure range from 30 to 50 percent.”
- The Cloud is Scalable: Users who move to cloud service providers find that it’s simple to expand or reduce storage for digital evidence needs when compared to growing their legacy server model. Agencies can instantly gain the space needed or reduce the same in a cloud solution. In the traditional in-house solution, “if an agency fills up its in-house servers and needs to expand storage, it needs to budget more time, space, money, and personnel.”
- The Cloud Provides Access to Innovation: Cloud service providers are closer to the latest technology as well as providing redundancy and top security, which is something that most public agencies cannot reach with traditional in-house IT services and staff.
Are You Spending Too Much on Storage?
Where is your agency when it comes to moving to the cloud? What we are seeing throughout the country is a massive shift from in-house storage solutions to outsourced cloud solutions, and this is being done without compromising quality, security, or the preservation of digital information—in fact, cloud storage solutions are improving how police agencies address all of these concerns.
We want to hear from you! Let us know what concerns and needs you have as a police agency with storing digital evidence among other types in the cloud. As we prepare to implement this solution within our own offerings, we’d like to hear from you what is most important in the process. Contact us for insights and solutions!
Contact us to join the conversation!