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Top 3 Trends from APCO 2022

Wendy Gilbert, Vice President, Product  | 14 September 2022  |  3 minute read

APCO 2022, APCO International’s Annual Conference & Expo, might be over, but we’re not done talking about it. The convention center in Anaheim, CA was filled with some of the greatest minds helping to shape the future of public safety, and our team was honored to be there representing Mark43.

While at APCO, we couldn’t help but notice how public safety answering points (PSAPs) and first responders’ needs are shifting and where technology plays a vital role. Here are the top trends we identified while on the ground:

  1. Evolving challenges need evolving technologies
  2. Cybersecurity – yes, it’s worth the investment
  3. Recruitment and retention continue to be challenges – it’s critical to work smarter, not harder

All three of these trends tie into one overarching theme: enhancing public safety operational effectiveness through cloud technology. Moving to the cloud provides a myriad of benefits across all three of the trends that we saw at APCO.

Evolving challenges need evolving technologies

Next Generation 911 is here and created quite a lot of buzz at APCO. Our society is continuing to rely on wireless, modern technology, and our communities expect public safety to have the same technology capabilities that are available at civilians’ fingertips.

When thinking about technology that evolves with your needs, look for cloud-native SaaS architecture that provides hands-free, ongoing maintenance, high availability, and a “fix one, fix all” network effect. When your technology is cloud-native, you receive superior benefits, including: 

  • Faster deployments
  • Ongoing and scalable release upgrades that span across all customers at one time
  • More predictable and stable costs
  • Incomparable security

Cybersecurity – yes, it’s worth the investment

The digital era provides many benefits, but also exposes many public safety agencies to high-profile cyberattacks. APCO hosted 12 sessions on cybersecurity in public safety communications, all highlighting the need to advocate for necessary funding for resilient systems to protect sensitive information. As our technology becomes more accessible, cyberattacks become more prevalent. Invest in vendors that have highly skilled professionals and protocols in place to make sure your data is protected with the strongest security measures possible.

Ganesha Martin, Vice President of Public Policy, Community Affairs, and Advisory Services at Mark43, recently sat down with Colonel Lamar Davis from the Louisiana State Police to discuss the importance of adopting and implementing new technology. Colonel Davis stressed the importance of having a proactive approach to managing your technology and data so that you can be the public safety organization your community deserves and trusts.

“Do not let a national incident be the driving force for you to locate funding. I will most certainly tell you that it will cost you more money to implement new technology at that time, and you will lose trust with the women and men of your departments, your stakeholders, and most importantly, your communities.”

In GovWhitePapers’ 4 Trends Impacting Law Enforcement Technology Use, Larry Zorio, CISO at Mark43, and other industry experts dive into the risks public safety is exposed to if agencies do not properly build a strong security posture and have a clear strategy for how they collect, secure, and share data. Zorio shares that “it’s critical for law enforcement to work closely with SaaS vendors to ensure everyone is on the same page in terms of the data they need and the stories they want to be able to tell with that data. This helps to avoid being overwhelmed once they have systems in place to manage the vast information available.”

Larry Zorio also shares more about his views on cybersecurity in the blog, 3 Pillars of Data Security: Confidentiality, Availability & Integrity.

Recruitment and retention continue to be challenging – it’s critical to work smarter, not harder

Various sessions at APCO featured open forum discussions around the challenges many agencies are facing in recruiting and retaining talent. When rooms were polled, more than half of attendees indicated their agency has changed their job posting and advertising techniques to help recruitment efforts. A majority of these same agencies also increased pay, but haven’t seen much success. Attracting the right people is a daunting task and is quickly becoming a new norm.

PSAPs and first responders need intuitive technology that will provide the best outcomes. At the end of the day, the people you have working for you should be doing the most important jobs that match their skill sets. Managing outdated technology shouldn’t be wasted on precious headcount. 

Ensuring your agency’s needs are met is critical to successfully complete a mission, and your technology should be able to provide what you need, when you need it. Cloud-native SaaS companies are able to meet your needs faster and with higher quality offerings. The scalability of cloud-native architecture allows product and engineering teams to incorporate more customer feedback into product innovation. You shouldn’t have to wait years for the enhancements other vendors can provide in a matter of months. 

Mark43 supports more than 120 public safety agencies across the globe. Interested in learning more? Fill out the form to the right to receive a personalized demo.

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