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Pump Up The Volume: In Memory For Public Security

Everyday oceans of data wash over public security agencies, with each tide data levels are relentlessly rising. Navigating these oceans of data has become increasingly difficult for public security agencies who often face strong undercurrents, switching  winds and intentionally muddied waters.

Today, connecting these drops of data and information so that you can make the right connections, carry out a sound risk assessment and take fast decisive action has become a hugely challenging core competency to master.

The Christmas Day Bomber, is an example of where large volumes of data exist, yet ‘simply connecting the dots’ for many reasons can be extremely challenging

Previous security examples have taught that there is often no single point of failure, it is indeed the complexity of processes, cross agency working, numbers of people involved & the huge volumes of data involved that all are contributing factors.

Mr Russell Travers, Deputy Director for Information Sharing and Knowledge Development. March 2010 stated in a recent committee session that

“our overall ability to piece together partial, fragmentary information from multiple collectors. This requirement gets beyond watchlisting support, and is a very complicated challenge involving both numbers of analysts and the use of technology to correlate vast amounts of information housed in multiple agencies and systems”

If we think about the security context, traditional technology approaches have often lacked the immediacy that officials on the ground need to make better, more informed decisions.

The Terrabyte problem, centres upon the challenges associated with the aggregation of data across multiple sources, countries, teams whilst contending with  differing formats and variable quality. The consequences have often been slow, dated and disconnected information, accessible only to a few centralised personnel.  

Many law enforcement officers, field agents and border protection officers will tell you, that intelligence & knowledge are king in their fight to improve safety adn security. If they have immediacy and availability at the point of need, then they can make good decisions and take decisive action.

Whilst there are no single silver bullets,a combination of innovative technology process improvement and good governance can make a huge contribution to improving the ability for not only the dots being connected, but the knowledge being in the hands of officers who can and will act.  

The traditional model of loading up databases over many hours if not days, running complex queries that can take many minutes if not hours, giving time for analysts to make assessments, refining such analysis and then passing this down through a chain of people cannot be sustained in the future.

In-Memory changes the game for public security agencies, it enables them to provide immediacy and consumption to the officer who is often best placed to act and who is possibly the closest to the person or persons in question.

Instead of crunching terrabytes of traditional columns and rows in traditional databases, with In-Memory you will be able to provide lighting quick responses across truly huge datasources and do so in a way that delivers a very light footprint for device based access.

In the longer term this will change technology fundamentals around architectures, volumes, processs, roles, structures and outcomes. 

This means officers on the ground, with knowledge and intelligence immediately at their device, supporting them in their role. In reaching critical decisions, they are able to explore and refine situational awareness instantaneously on their terms. So no waiting for a fusion centre or some remote office based team to call them back in a while.

The future for In-Memory in public security is very bright, clearly safeguarding the data privacy and data protection needs of individuals is extremely important. However the reality is that government has the pieces of data already.

It is the inability to connect these data drops of information in an ocean of information and content which is their reality. In-Memory will improve safety, security and will help government become better custodians of the intelligence lifeblood upon which we all increasingly rely.

SAP Business Explorer for example takes a first major step into In-Memory, one example here is around a border management example whereby officers can quickly analyse and assess the risk posed by certain passengers using in memory to provide immediacy and consumability at the point of need.


   Instant value, on any device, orchestrated across department, agency, country and sector boundaries has always been the key challenge for public security agencies, I believe In Memory will be a disruptive technology for this market space, we are excited to explore the possibilies and future steps.

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