by Carolyn Purcell

Information Sharing Key to Integration

Mar 01, 20032 mins
Enterprise Applications

Concentrated efforts by local, state and federal organizations during the past decade have focused attention on the need for improved information sharing. Initiatives like Maricopa County’s are sprouting up in many places. The county’s emphasis on data modeling demonstrates its seriousness and bodes well for its success. I hope it also considers the emerging national standards for legal and law enforcement XML schema.

I suspect that as Maricopa County faces the issue of how to protect and secure information, its identity management problem will morph into a problem of identifying system users. The common case number application is a sterling example of this. Successfully identifying individuals across databases, whether they are users or objects, raises privacy fears and heightens security concerns.

Maricopa County will realize its greatest benefits during phase two, as it enables communication with other jurisdictions across the country. The recent sniper attacks in the Washington, D.C., area demonstrated how quickly sharing standardized data between jurisdictions can expedite the capture of an elusive perpetrator. The county’s major focus is on ensuring trust and continued cooperation and collaboration. As IT helps simplify processes, the complexity moves into governance. It strikes me that Data Integration Manager Larry Bernosky appreciates the role of governance and has emphasized his customer relationships as essential to making this coalition work.

Tips from the Integration Trenches

As the manager of data integration for Maricopa County’s Integrated Criminal Justice Information System agency, Larry Bernosky offers some advice for moderating massive integration projects

1. Treat each organization as a valued customer. “You need to have a common process and architecture so the big guys don’t dominate the little guys,” he says.

2. Be patient. Allow time for vetting.

3. Make detailed and continuous plans. Ensure schedules are in place, interfaces are detailed, documents are current and testing is comprehensive so that agencies have a continuous view of what is happening and what is expected of them.

4. Stay in touch. Give briefings and reviews so that people don’t wander away and lose interest.