Accelerated demand for and adoption of technology for public safety

Dr. Chris Brauer, Director of Innovation at Goldsmiths, University of London

Motorola Solutions partnered with an independent research team directed by Dr. Chris Brauer at Goldsmiths University of London to conduct a global study to uncover how expectations for safety and security are changing to fuel public safety and enterprise innovation.

The Consensus for Change report surveyed 12,000 citizens and 50 public safety agencies, commercial organisations and industry experts across 10 geographic markets of Australia, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Nordics, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States.

It analyses how the COVID-19 pandemic heightened awareness of the need for technology to enhance public safety and accelerated innovation and tech adoption for emergency services.

“The pandemic fuelled the need to use technologies to address new challenges in a rapidly evolving environment,” said Mahesh Saptharishi, SVP and CTO of Motorola Solutions.

“We also saw an accelerated adoption and modernisation of technologies with significantly compressed implementation timelines. This research profiles the extraordinary ways that public safety and enterprise organisations continue to adapt to changing policies and needs.”

The study finds that an overwhelming 88% of citizen respondents globally want to see public safety transformed through the use of advanced technology.

Major findings of the Consensus for Change report

  • 71% say advanced technologies, such as video cameras, data analytics, cybersecurity and the cloud, are needed to address challenges of the modern world.
  • 70% say emergency services should be able to predict risk, a task that can be supported by advanced technologies.
  • 75% say that they are willing to trust the organisations that hold their information so long as they use it appropriately.

The research identifies three major trends that demonstrate an inflection point in how citizens and organisations are thinking about technology and safety.

The pandemic redefined expectations for safety

Dr. Brauer said that conducting the study against the backdrop of the global pandemic uncovered unique insights into public expectations and attitudes for safety.

“Citizens are coming to terms with life around COVID-19 and how it impacts their safety.”

“Our shared experience of the pandemic has made us realise that technology can play a far greater role in keeping us safe and has increased our understanding of why public safety and enterprise organisations need it to respond to new threats,” emphasised Dr. Brauer.

The pandemic accelerated technology innovation

Consensus for Change highlights how the pandemic sparked high-velocity innovation.

Public safety agencies and businesses are interested in cloud adoption, video security and interoperability between disparate organisations and systems.

This reaffirms the need for reliable and resilient mission-critical communications.

Technology must be fair, transparent and inclusive

The Consensus for Change report also reinforces the need for transparency and trust to increase public support for technology deployments.

Citizens want the benefits of technology to be easily understood and for it to be used in ways that are transparent, fair and inclusive.

The research also identifies that more public engagement is needed to increase understanding of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI).

“As technology continues to quickly evolve, it is critical for organisations to ensure that their advancements are built, and understood, to be human-centric,” Saptharishi said.

“AI should be designed to respect human decision making and consider the public’s input and needs while allowing users to make better decisions and respond to complex threats.”

“By designing advanced technologies to be assistive, we ensure that the decision-making remains the sole responsibility of humans.”

The Consensus for Change report is an essential resource for public safety agencies and enterprises to understand and apply lessons from the pandemic.

The pandemic has highlighted the need to look at things and respond differently.

Assessing risks and better predicting areas of operational disruption in addition to evaluating and integrating the right technologies to support business continuity are expected aspects.

It has also reinforced the need for better communication and collaboration with communities and among stakeholders to secure support for the expanded use of advanced technologies.

As communities across the globe continue to respond to wide-reaching threats to our safety, these insights emphasise the steps they can take today to assure greater safety for the future.