29 August 2018
It was great to hear the home secretary’s calls earlier this year for better sharing of intelligence between MI5, the police, wider partner agencies, and private organisations to help disrupt potential terrorist plots at a much earlier stage. However, without the right technology they may struggle to achieve this.
Historically, the police and wider security forces’ IT infrastructure has been a patchwork of legacy systems and technologies whose disconnection has contributed towards siloed data and poor functionality. This can be hugely detrimental to the collection, analyses and distribution of intelligence which relies on timely and accurate data.
Given that 3,000 terrorist suspects are currently being investigated and a further 20,000 are in the background with numbers expected to grow, mobile technology, with shared information at the fingertips of frontline officers, is critical to preventing future attacks.
With the growth of commodity technologies, SaaS solutions, and software vending portals such as the government’s G-Cloud, a new generation of mobile cloud advancements is emerging which could transform inter agency intelligence sharing.
These solution developments make it easy to deploy a single app for any operational business process, from anywhere, on any device, and in real-time. With a single portal to access, record and report everything they need, it’s quick and easy for users to complete tasks, share information with others, and ensure accuracy of data.
Also, functionality is enhanced and comfort assured, with a simple user interface that also adopts the familiarity of popular social media platforms. Furthermore, open standards inherent within today’s cloud architectures allow stronger integration of essential back-office databases and the individual disparate systems used by the security, emergency services and commercial sectors.
This all combines to provide the more flexible, responsive and efficient ICT infrastructure that’s needed for securer, more accurate and timely intelligence sharing, to help obstruct developing plots.
With solutions becoming easier to procure through portals like G-Cloud, which negate the need for expensive lock-in contracts with a single supplier, there is no longer a need to persist with piecemeal approaches to technology procurement.
With the right solutions now within easier reach, the tools are available to improve intelligence sharing, which must be implemented now if we are to better protect our citizens.