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Premise vs. Cloud Solutions: Choosing the Right Fit for Law Enforcement Agencies

As cloud computing becomes easier and more secure to use, its impact on almost every industry naturally grows. Law enforcement agencies are no exception. The shift from traditional systems to cloud solutions in law and enforcement means real-time operations, secure information about ongoing cases, and data-backed edge computing.

Here, we’re going to discuss on-premise vs cloud systems so your agency can choose the right model for better efficiency, security, and cost. Read on to enhance digital tools’ role in managing evidence and cases in justice systems.

Understanding On-Premise Systems

On-premise servers are those that a law enforcement agency owns. They’re stored within the precinct or other headquarters for police operations. Since the agency owns the servers, they have complete control over them and the data stored there.

In the past, on-premise systems were the go-to across all industries. They afford a high level of control over information and were more secure than the cloud in the past. While this is no longer the case due to recent developments, on-premise servers are a tried-and-true option many people prefer.

Unfortunately, on-premise systems have high initial and ongoing costs. There are also security and update challenges that negate the myth that on-premise means higher security. Cloud systems automatically provide real-time security upgrades that lend to growth.

On-premise systems are hard to grow and scale even after the difficult setup. Cloud-based servers are far easier for many law enforcement professionals to work with.


Understanding Cloud-Based Systems

Cloud computing delivers computer services over the internet. You store your data online and access it through the secure cloud that you rent out space in. You are effectively renting storage space to house your data. Some things agencies store on the cloud include servers they use, databases of information about cases they’re working on, analytic information, software applications used regularly, and intelligence.

The cloud is more cost-effective. There are also less upfront fees. Plus, since the right cloud services are already tailored to law enforcement and public safety needs, you don’t need to spend a fortune on other applications and software that meet industry requirements.

Cloud computing also affords better access from any location so that officers can look at intel while on the field. They also offer greater security because of constant upgrades. Finally, since you simply rent out space on an internet server, they’re easy to scale. Whereas on-premise may require buying more expensive server hardware, cloud based solutions are much simpler with simple plan or user upgrades.

On-Premise vs Cloud Solutions: A Comparative Analysis

Benefits of on-premise solutions include:

  • Greater control over data
  • Local storage that never leaves your law enforcement facilities
  • Low latency that prevents downtime

However, the cloud is better in many ways, including:

  • Scalability with less fical impact
  • Multiple redundancy ensures your data is safe.
  • Disaster recovery plans
  • Automated updates occur in the background without any downtime
  • Remote access, meaning you can access your system anywhere you have internet connectivity.
  • Collaboration features for better communication

The cloud is more secure because providers invest in security innovation for infrastructure. They also consistently manage security features and patching. Continuous compliance assurance, resilient firewalls and MFA, and constant upgrades also give it an edge.

Cloud solutions also help you save on computing costs. The lack of physical servers means that you never need to replace any hardware, nor do you need to buy it in the first place. You don’t need to pay rent for additional storage space or waste money on the high electric bills needed to run servers.

Plus, since there are many different cloud pricing models, you can choose the option that’s right for your law enforcement agency’s size.

Choosing the Right Solution

To find the right data storage for you, think about your specific needs. If you have a lot of data to store, as most public service agencies do, the cloud will likely store them more efficiently. If you’re trying to store a small amount of extremely controlled information, you may want one on-premise server in addition to storing the rest on the cloud.

Also, consider your budget and security needs. Make sure to do your research and assess what you can afford.

If you choose to go with cloud services, make sure that you research different types of cloud services. You may choose a scalable and easy-to-collaborate public cloud, but these are not ideal for sensitive data. A private cloud that only stores information from a single business is more secure and has easy organization.

Many people also choose to deploy hybrid clouds that give you the best of both public and private services. These are extremely scalable and have high levels of security, though sharing data may require extra configuration.

You also should think about the right provider for cloud computing services. 10-8 Systems has a cloud-based CAD specifically tailored to law enforcement agencies. They’re hosted on the AWS GovCloud and are 100% SSL encrypted.

Plus, since they’re both CJIS-compliant and HIPAA-compliant, you can operate within all legal boundaries of the industry.

Industry-Specific Solutions and Case Studies

Before investing in cloud computing, you may also wonder about specific cloud tools for law enforcement and legal sectors. Some of the most important features include:

  • Pre-established compliance with federal industry/government agency policies
  • Lower operational costs for law enforcement agencies
  • Protection against cyberattacks that could cause the loss of sensitive data
  • Automatic software updates that can reduce stress and afford peace of mind

Agencies can also customize fields during service calls. This lets them get recorded effectively. The function especially helps with accurate record-keeping and communication with command staff.

Additional Resources for Law Enforcement Agencies

No single solution fits every law enforcement agency, so make sure to assess your specific needs before deciding whether to use an on-premise vs cloud solution. However, note that cloud solutions are increasingly beneficial for cost, growth, security, and compliance.

You can download more detailed guides and infographics directly from 10-8 Systems.  Want more information or want to schedule a consultation to see if 10-8 Systems is the right fit for your agency? Click here!


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