July 11, 2012 | Written by: Andrew MacIsaac
On July 1- 4th of this year IBM Hosted the World Cities summit in Singapore. As part of this event a number of Smarter Cities Conversions with thought leader from both inside and outside of IBM were conducted. One in particular was a conversation with Mark Cleverly, Director for Public Safety Solutions at IBM. Mark lays out what he sees as the greatest challenges faced by public safety agencies as follows.
1) There is a fragmentation of information. Which stems from the fact that data needed to fight crime or respond most effectively to public safety situations is many times not centrally controlled, managed nor readily accessible by any one agency.
2) With this fragmentation comes a real challenge around creating a trusted verifiable source of information and insight that allows public safety agencies to take action with a high degree of confidence.
3) Thirdly there is a significant challenge in the ability to gather and share information between local and centralized resources in a timely manner
4) While in the past it might have been sufficient for agencies to react quickly to a situation in today’s multi hazard / multi threat environment there is a tremendous need for public safety agencies to use predictive analytics to head off threats before they occur
As Mark points out these challenges are pretty universal in cities across the globe, but some cities with forward thinking officials who have strong leadership capabilities are able to address these challenges and make real progress in making their cities smarter and more importantly safer. Cities like Rio in Brazil and Davao in the Philippines have dynamic leaders who have made public safety a priority and have spearheaded the efforts to unify multiple agencies around a common purpose of creating a safer environment for their citizens. In both of these cases technology is the main element of unification that brings multiple agencies together in a way that enables them to share data, coordinate response and collaborate with a common purpose and mission to ensure public safety.
A recent white paper from Frost and Sullivan entitled Smarter Public Safety: Enabling and Enhancing Crime Fighting Capabilities highlights how technology, specifically analytics is giving cities the tools they need to make smarter public safety a reality. You can download the paper here: https://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/iwm/web/signup.do?source=swg-NA_ISDP_Standard-Reg&S_PKG=101A805W
You can see the conversation with Mark here. http://youtu.be/-YdM2RtS-Io
You can also see other Smarter Cities Conversations from the World Cities Summit here: http://www.youtube.com/user/IBMSingapore/videos?feature=context-chv&sort=dd&page=1&view=0