What’s stopping the uptake of cloud computing in certain areas of government and the public sector? While talk of cloud has become ubiquitous, both in government and outside, there has been a certain amount of hesitancy in public security and policing.

There are two likely reasons for this, as I discuss in my article ‘Digital Transformation in Public Security and Policing’. The first is, unsurprisingly, around security and the need to safeguard the information disseminated across the cloud. Secondly, and equally compelling, is that many aspects of cloud computing go directly against how police train their staff. There is little in policing that is open, transparent and designed for sharing and collective use of sources. Worse, in many countries police officers do not have full internet access when sitting behind their desks.

Still, the cloud wave will not be lost on public security and police. It started passively, with law enforcement using the internet to enrich their criminal case files. Then, private clouds and virtualization were introduced in closed environments to at least deliver the benefit of efficiency gains. But now increasingly community policing thrives on internet and cloud technology. Suspects are found in collaboration with the general public, police forces within a country and internationally work together and have learned to share resources. Slowly police forces are realizing that speed in many cases may be much more important than security. Undoubtedly in law enforcement, due to regulation and for other reasons, data protection and security remain important – and legally much data cannot be in the public domain. But attention is now also being paid to the flip side of the coin – we will most likely see a further development of internet supported collaboration, within police forces, across government agencies and with companies and citizens.

Find out more in my article ‘Digital Transformation in Public Security and Policing