As the year comes to an end, forecasts and predictions for the upcoming year fill our newsfeeds. Blogs and articles peppered with the latest and greatest tech trends on the horizon for industries and consumers give readers an idea of what lies ahead. Here at PSN we know that 2023, like every passing year, will bring innovation with new technology software and hardware solutions for public safety. That said, we think one of the biggest trends coming next year is a shift in focus to operational implementation. What do we mean by this?
This year was the first year of some semblance of “normalcy” since the pandemic began in 2020. For public safety, the past two years were initially spent in reactive, perpetual response mode with all kinds of uncertainty around it and then, trying to keep staffing numbers up, decreasing response times, figuring out how to operate somewhat normally again, managing first responders’ stress, and essentially just trying to maintain and (maybe) grow their organizations. Now it’s time to catch up.
Public safety personnel are constantly upgrading equipment and implementing new workflows as new technologies are adopted. Nothing new there. Those that shift to more intentional and thorough implementation and utilization of new technologies will be the real winners in the coming months. Successful integration of new public safety technology solutions requires a lot of change management and training to make all personnel comfortable with changing operational workflows. There is always a learning curve, some much steeper than others, so the transition can be very difficult before the true value is realized, be it efficiency, savings, or increased safety. After several years of fast growth, companies need to focus on implementation and utilization to remain relevant, sticky, and positioned for future growth.
Complementing this shift is a continued desire by public safety for increased situational awareness on a “single pane of glass” (i.e., multiple data layers integrated into an agency’s primary, intuitive mapping tool), to include real-time personnel tracking. And, as the reliance on mobile applications continues its growth within public safety, the need for connectivity solutions, such as mesh, that offer better coverage in buildings and at cell edge increases as well.
We look forward to another exciting year, especially in terms of personnel proficiency and operational enhancements using all kinds of public safety technology.