Friday, January 19, 2007

Hurdle to Interoperable Comms: It's Not Money

Federal Computer Week ran a brief story on a market research report by Datamonitor, whose primary findings were that local communities plan to spend a lot of money on interoperable communications, but that there's still no guarantee of success:

State and local governments will boost their technology investment by 40 percent in the next five years as they struggle to overcome communications problems that stymie coordinated emergency response efforts ...

Technology spending will rise from $3.2 billion in 2006 to $4.4 billion in 2011 ...

But despite increased spending, those initiatives could run into a raft of problems ... Public safety agencies say funding is the major obstacle to improving interoperability, said Kate McCurdy, Datamonitor’s government technology analyst, “but we cannot overlook the fact that collaboration and collective decision-making is difficult in an environment where individual agencies or jurisdictions typically purchase equipment independently.”
These findings echo DHS' own recent findings, which indicated that "Governance" was the major factor for successful implementation of interoperable communications (original report: here; my blog entry: here).

You can't overestimate the importance of collaboration and information sharing. Throwing money at this problem will not solve it by itself.

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