Forces accelerate IT investment

Policing will provide the highest growth in the public sector for investment in software and IT services (SITS) over the next few years, according to a new report from IT analyst company TechMarketView.

Oct 25, 2017

Policing will provide the highest growth in the public sector for investment in software and IT services (SITS) over the next few years, according to a new report from IT analyst company TechMarketView. The PublicSectorViews: UK Police Software and IT Services Supplier Landscape & Market Trends 2017/18 says that while policing accounts for a relatively small share of the public sector market, it will be the fastest growing area with annual growth of more than seven per cent. This will be driven by three core trends: •Increasing levels of collaboration between national and international police forces and other agencies in response to the growing threat of terrorism that operates across geographical borders; •Cloud and mobile technologies – while concerns about data security have previously held back cloud adoption in UK policing, the use of body-worn video (BWV) cameras, together with the increased use of CCTV, in-car cameras and citizen-captured video and images, are pushing forces towards cloud implementation; and •Greater use of data analytics to predict crime patterns. TechMarketView says policing is a sector that has “struggled to realise the potential in digital technologies”. In Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services’ (HMICFRS) Annual Assessment of Policing 2016, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Thomas Winsor said: “The police are particularly far behind many other organisations in the way they use technology. There are good examples of forces using innovative technology or making innovative use of existing technology, but these are too few and far between.” However, TechMarketView says while policing is the smallest of the public sector areas that it tracks – worth just four per cent of the total public sector SITS market – with a predicted compound annual growth rate of 7.2 per cent between 2016 and 2020, it will be the fastest growing. It adds that Home Office data suggests police in England and Wales spent £800 million on ICT in 2016, including hardware and staffing, with SITS expenditure accounting for approximately 55 per cent of that figure. “The market is dominated by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),” says the report. “It spent circa £250 million on digital policing in 2016; that’s equivalent to 31 per cent of the total ICT expenditure in the sector.” The report says the trend towards “greater collaboration” in the sector is helping to create “attractive opportunities” for SITS suppliers. “UK policing has undergone significant change and faces many ongoing challenges, including adapting to new threats at a time of declining resources. Austerity has acted as a catalyst for digital transformation, but the sector has been slow to embrace new technologies,” it added. “Programmes such as the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) and National Police Chiefs’ Council’s (NPCC) Policing Vision 2025, the NPCC’s Digital Policing Portfolio (DPP) and National Enabling Programme (NEP), and the Police Transformation Fund are helping to accelerate the rate of change, placing technology at the heart of policing.” A report last year by Police Market Report, the monthly subscriber-only bulletin that specialises in police ICT, predicted that police technology capital investment would top £400 million for the third year in a row as forces geared up for the new Emergency Services Network. John Rowland, editor of Police Market Report, said forces were now “widening digital boundaries in terms of storage, evidence handling and monitoring”, with more resources going into shared initiatives. This view is shared by TechMarketView, which said: “One of the key trends that we have seen in recent years is the increasing move towards collaboration in its various forms. This is being driven by the need for greater efficiency, changes in the nature of crime and government policy.” Most opportunities will come from smaller clusters of collaboration and shared procurement, such as multi-force shared service agreements.

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