With the Government reducing funding support for key applications, the drive to cut IT spend has never been more compelling. Richard Perkins, of STL Technologies, explores some quick wins with tried and trusted solutions that offer forceful savings in case and custody management, drink-drive prosecution management and IT infrastructure, with potential payback as fast as three months.
Police custody and detention
Custody management is a complex procedure; an application needs to be technically proven and quick to implement if savings are to be realised within the financial year. Any alternative to the existing custody solution should be intuitively user-friendly, with easy user training, require minimal development and successfully integrate with the Police National Computer (PNC), case preparation and the courts.
STL’s custody management solution is the preferred solution for two of the UK’s largest police forces, being easily scaleable and quick to learn. The combination of its highly-competitive maintenance costs and licences with low training and successful integration with other systems results in a system that consistently and capably delivers.
Case and account management
Time savings can really kick-in with the smooth integration from custody to case preparation. However, eliminating double-key entry, having effective interfaces with other systems and full electronic documentation capture do not cut the IT spend. Savings accrue from how the implementation, training, set-up costs, licence fees and support agreements compare to the existing provider. Taking in all these elements, I believe a payback is easily attainable within 12 months.
STL’s case preparation solution has a successful track record within the police – it comes from a stable of established criminal justice applications that include Libra [national case management system], which is used in every magistrates’ court. Extensive functionality and intuitive processes support efficient case preparation; resulting in non-financial benefits of reduced error rate and saved time.
Infrastructure consolidation continues to be one of the private sector’s most common methods of cutting its IT budgets. Operational expenditure is frequently reduced following server virtualisation; with tangible savings often being realised just four months after the investment.
To financially quantify whether a virtualised infrastructure has any potential value, the server capacity and usage is assessed for 30 days by specialist analytical software. At STL, this assessment is free; eliminating any risk in investment as there are no pre-purchase decision costs.
Time savings or procedural improvements are rarely accounted for in the operational budget, generally being an additional benefit. Drink-drive procedure software offers no IT operational budget savings. LIBIS software is a unique solution that impacts the force’s operational and prosecution key performance indicators (KPIs).
By delivering a consistently successful prosecution rate, the risk of a drunken driver being let off, or worse, the case going to appeal because of procedural errors, is virtually eliminated (to date). The result is less time in court at appeals, saving significant ‘bobby’ hours, as well improving the prosecution success rate.
Your criteria for a safe solution that saves money
Changing any software application can feel risky. Choosing the right partner is paramount to ensuring project success. Consider these question and they may help you separate the potential IT partners from the time-wasters:
•What other forces do they work with, are referees available?
•Can they give an early indication of costs/savings based on experience?
•What pre-purchase costs are there?
•What time-scales can the project be delivered to?
•Are they willing to stand by the words with service level agreement (SLAs)?
•Can they minimise the training impact on the business?
•Richard Perkins is the sales and marketing director for STL Technologies, helping clients improve business performance by delivering valued ICT business solutions to the public and private sectors. As experts in the criminal justice field, STL Technologies has designed, created and implemented national and local case management applications, including Libra case management for the Ministry of Justice, Scottish courts and the Isle of Man.
For more details, call 01284 778600, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.stl-technologies.co.uk