by Lisa Banks

Queensland Police takes out BMC Innovation award

Sep 14, 2010
Finance and Accounting SystemsInnovationIT Management

Queensland Police has been awarded the BMC Innovation award at this year’s IT Service Management (ITSM) industry awards for its implementation of a service design process.

The implementation involved more than 200 legacy systems being replaced, a new incident management system called QPRIME installed, and the integration of ITIL version 3 guidelines.

Queensland Police information systems manager, Gyl Stacey, said a new service design process was sought in response to the changing nature of today’s police force.

“There are different threats to society, and public expectations have also changed,” Stacey told CIO Australia. “Policing services worldwide have to respond to this, with more information and intelligence-led policing.

“This doesn’t just increase demand on IT, it changes the way that IT has to be delivered. Police operations, and individual police officers, need real time information all day every day. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that this is a life and death issue.”

While Stacey said some areas of government have been known to waste money on upgrades to IT systems, cutting costs was a major priority for Queensland Police.

“Even as the demand for ICT services increases, the costs still have to be justified,” he said. “There is a finite pool of money, and IT has to compete for the same funds as everything else.

“Although this culture is prevalent across government, this would clearly increase the risks of our ability to deliver the levels of service expected by operational police officers. This was plainly unacceptable.”

As well as providing cost effectiveness, Stacey said the project provides transparency to the public.

“What we wanted to do was put some substance behind the concept of service level management,” he said. “It’s about understanding the breakdown of that service into its component parts and understanding precisely what capabilities are required to keep it in operation.”

“Our model allows us to justify every dollar to the people who have to sign off our funding. What this then means is that any business case is properly costed, with no gaps and no later surprises. It also means that we have a defensible position. This approach increases our agility, we as an IT provider and also our customer as a policing organisation.”

The project was run internally through the Queensland Police Department in an effort to foster in-house talent.

“Our approach is to bring in expertise to provide guidance to our own staff who then themselves develop and deploy the new processes. This is how we establish a sense of ownership and build enthusiasm for the new ways of working,” he said.

While an ROI is difficult for Stacey to measure, the benefits of the deployment include real-time delivery of police services.

“Our ROI is difficult to measure in pure financial terms. What I can say is that we deliver real time, reliable and fully integrated systems that deliver information to police officers on operational duty,” he said. “We no longer have huge numbers of discrete systems fulfilling individual informational and process needs.”

Next on the IT agenda for Stacey is a shift toward customer orientated services.

“Our next real challenge is to reorganise our ICT capability so that we can be responsive to future demand,” he said. “We tend to find that policing operations and the demands they make of us change rapidly with little notice and in unpredictable directions.”

“We want to move away from the traditional model of technology silos towards an organisation built around customers and services. Our focus will be on the different parts of the service lifecycle and not, as has historically been the case, on the technology components.”

Other big winners on the night included a joint win by Telsta and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship who took out the Microsoft project of the year award.