Insights

What does the National Policing Digital Strategy (NPDS) mean for your force?

2 September 2021

The NPDS outlines a series of digital ambitions for UK policing over the next 10 years. It builds upon the Policing Vision 2025 in identifying the critical data and technology building blocks required to fulfil their primary objective of making communities safer in a digitally disrupted world.

The pace at which advancements in technology are taking place continues to increase at an unprecedented rate. This ever evolving digital landscape places even greater demands on police services to continually adapt and innovate the tools, methods and processes they rely upon to protect the general public. 

The NPDS recognises that cloud infrastructure and services will be fundamental to the effective adoption of new and emerging technologies, as and when they become available. It is considered an essential step on the path to accelerating innovation and building the capabilities that UK Policing needs to respond to the challenges posed by criminality. 

The shift to cloud will create a more modular and flexible technology estate, enabling the secure transmission of data between connected applications and technologies, and ultimately providing a foundation for innovation to scale across the service.

Where to start with cloud

Exploiting new technologies to assist with the digitalisation of core police processes and services is a key component of the NPDS. The first step is identifying an outcome or some value that your force is looking to realise by utilising a cloud service. This could be improving availability, reducing infrastructure costs, or something more operational like enhancing agility or reducing the time to insight. In the first instance, do not feel obliged or under pressure to deliver all of these benefits at once.

As you would with any other proof-of-concept or trial, agree upon a set of KPIs to evidence the value that you’re looking to drive by adopting cloud services. Then, explore which technologies could help solve these problems most effectively. If necessary, look beyond your own force to secure the support you need to make the most informed decision. 

Avoid the biggest pitfall most organisations fall into when adopting new technologies: letting the solution define the requirement or outcome. It is often tempting to invest in the latest trendy technology or service, particularly when there is plenty of hype and everyone else seems to be adopting it. Cloud is no different.

AWS’s Police Assured Landing Zone (PALZ) allows you to spin up a cloud environment quickly and securely in the knowledge that it adheres to all the assurance and security regulations that apply to police. It is relatively cheap to experiment with cloud using this model.

The value you’re able to demonstrate using this ‘sandpit’ style environment will support your business case, enabling you to secure the additional funds, resources and / or time that you need to scale and build out the project.

How can SASE support cloud adoption?

In order to effectively harness the full potential of cloud services, the underlying network infrastructure also requires careful consideration. Cloud Gateway’s flexible, cloud native security and networking solutions provide rapid, secure connectivity between your whole estate and cloud services providers, removing or reducing the administrative burden on internal IT teams. Forces can be securely connected to PALZ, or similar environments hosted by other cloud service providers, in a matter of minutes without disruption to users or operations.

Furthermore, SASE supports hybrid and multicloud models that allow organisations to leverage the best of on-premise and public cloud services. While it makes sense for new workloads to be hosted in cloud environments, it is highly likely that some legacy applications and services were not built in a way that is compatible with cloud. Over time, these can be rearchitecteded or replaced utilising cloud technologies, but this a process that could take years or even decades with an IT estate on the scale of UK police.

SASE allows your force to future proof the underlying infrastructure so that it does not become an obstacle to transformation at a later point.

Download Police Force of the Future: Building a Business Case for Cloud Adoption

If you’d like more information on any of the points raised in this blog, please do not hesitate to get in touch. For a more in-depth account of the challenges and opportunities facing UK police forces, download the ebook here.

The ebook defines and discusses the concept of a Police Force of the Future, along with a roadmap for getting there, the obstacles we are likely to encounter along the way, the solutions to overcome them, and the benefits that will be realised once we get there. It provides you with the answers and insights you need to make an informed decision about the best way forward for your force, regardless of what stage you’re at on your digital transformation journey.

cloud adoption
Cloud First
cloud strategy
Digital transformation
Public Sector
SASE
Myles Clarke