Capgemini is developing cloud-based services targeted at UK police authorities, the company revealed today.
The IT outsourcer’s CIO for the criminal justice sector told Information Age this morning that it is “on the verges” of offering a ‘messaging-as-a-service’ option dedicated to police forces, and is exploring opportunities for further cloud-based services.
“We’re working fairly closely with a number of forces to find out exactly what it is they would be interested in putting into a cloud environment … with all the necessary security accreditation built in,” said Roy Toner, who was previously assistant chief constable for operations with the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
One application that might be appropriate for cloud hosting is enterprise resource planning (ERP), he said. “When you’ve got large volumes of data and standardised processes, it makes sense that you could run that in a hosted environment.”
Toner said that these so-called “P Cloud” services are likely to be based partly on newly built infrastructure, partly on Capgemini’s current data centre platforms and partly on existing infrastructure owned by the police forces themselves.
“There’s been a tradition in the public sector of starting off new projects with a big bang, and I think those days are now gone,” he said. “We have to look at what we have already and how we exploit that to the full.”
Police authorities are bracing themselves for drastic cuts in the coming years. Budgets will be cut by 8% in 2012 and 2013, then by 6% and 4% in the following years. The Association of Police Authorities said today that its members are “deeply concerned that front-loading cuts will strip out the required financial flexibility”.
These cuts are forcing authorities to consider “a whole range of alternatives that they haven’t looked at before” to make “organisational aspects, such as IT, HR and finance as efficient and cost effective as possible,” Toner said. “The ‘do nothing’ option is no longer an option.”