Category Archives: SaaS

The Sunny Side of Cloud-Based Solutions

shutterstock-cloud-computingCloud computing for law enforcement, in simple terms, refers to software hosted off-agency and available to the user through their internet connection. This type of software-as-a-service, or “SaaS” offers several advantages over software that is hosted locally on the user’s hardware.

Computer hardware is always being tweaked and improved upon, and state-of-the-art equipment can become obsolete extremely quickly in this environment. Many vital pieces of software that law enforcement rely on can be extremely demanding of hardware resources. With cloud-based software solutions, the software and the hardware required to run it are maintained offsite. The agency users simply access the software through an internet browser on a computer or smart phone, and have access to all the functionality of the software with none of the costs or hassle involved in hosting locally. These costs also include maintenance and security. 

Cloud-based solutions also allow for software to be more portable, as the software can be easily and readily accessed by any user with a smart phone. In addition, compatibility across platforms becomes less of an issue, as the software only needs an internet browser to function. This means law enforcement officials can seamlessly move from using a MacBook at work, to their Windows Phone at lunch, to a Linux based PC at home, without having three separate installs with varying functionality. 

cloud-computing-benefitThere are some things to look out for. While having software and hardware off-site offers great advantages, it’s important to note that data is hosted off-site as well. It’s important to carefully navigate the terms of use and make certain that the agency is not signing away the rights to important, classified, or proprietary data. 

Still, the major advantages of cloud-based software make it a powerful and very accessible tool for law enforcement. The simplicity and ease of access are defining characteristics of the cloud-based revolution.

The Case for Software as a Service in Law Enforcement

 

Police officers protesting against budget cuts join public sector workers striking over pensionsState and local law enforcement agencies face a growing number of challenges due to lack of resources and the ever-dwindling public coffers. As a result of  legacy technologies that compound costs – through maintenance fees, implementation expenses, hardware purchases, and software upgrades – agencies are constantly challenged to do more with less.

 

To reduce cost and increase flexibility, more and more law enforcement departments are motivated to try cloud computing- Software as a service (SaaS). The benefits of SaaS to law enforcement agencies are many and varied.

 

Reduced Investment in Software Setup

 

shutterstock-cloud-computingThe majority of the law enforcement organizations already have the needed IT infrastructure to access SaaS applications. The essential requirement is a secure and stable Internet connection with devices that can access the web.

 

Cloud Computing Lessens Technical Effort

 

With SaaS solutions, agencies can easily store data or run applications which are accessible from any web-connected device at anywhere and anytime. Instead of investing in capital expenses such as software and computer servers, departments can effectively rent these on a variable payment plan.

 

Rapid Deployment

 

SaaS is typically ready-baked for its adopters. Through SaaS, agencies eliminate much of the delays of a traditional software deployment. Once subscribed, users can literally begin enjoying the benefit of the platform immediately. Contrast that to standard software deployments which can take weeks or months to spin up.

 

cloud-computing-benefit

System Maintenance is Automatic

 

Maintenance costs for SaaS subscribers are almost free. As part of their subscription fee, the SaaS provider manages upgrades, bandwidth adjustment, and bug fixes. It removes many of the headaches that an agency’s IT group experiences with new software versions and updates.

 

Traditional Policies Can Confound Adoption

 

Even though many US agencies are already using – or considering – cloud computing, adoption of SaaS is still a tricky decision for law enforcement. Because of the need to safeguard sensitive and confidential information that is saved offsite, the pace is slower than other market segments. That tide, however, is turning.

Case Closed Software is a leading provider of investigative case management software for law enforcement agencies across the country.