The world changed on Sept. 11, 2001. But your states law-enforcement agencies are still playing catch-up, especially when it comes to combining information that should be at their fingertips.
Your midsize Western state may not seem like the most attractive target, but take another look: major population center, large reservoir system, nuclear power plant. Its time to respond to the mandate from the federal Department of Homeland Security and upgrade the system whereby you store and share information about security threats. The data you need is out there, compiled every minute by hundreds of law-enforcement entities in your state. But tapping into those hundreds of data streams effectively and sharing that critical information intelligently is another story.
An even bigger hurdle will be boosting the cooperation between state agencies beyond the level of "nonexistent." Dont forget, each agency has its own budget—one its likely trying to cut these days.
To get everyone working together, your states department of emergency services will serve as the projects sponsoring agency, with plenty of support from the information-technology department. Youll squeeze money from the state budget to fund the initiative (perhaps even with a little help from the feds), but youll need to keep the scope reasonable: Plan to integrate data from eight state and 30 local agencies in the 12-month startup phase.
All you need now is low-cost technology that will allow you to securely share data without changing the databases that store it—and without tripping over myriad regulatory and privacy concerns that govern sensitive data.
The solution is to utilize the eXtensible Markup Language-driven framework that has already conquered much of the same territory for the health-care industry. The framework pulls information from disparate databases, adding tags and formatting that adhere to XML before assembling it all on the fly in a virtual database accessed through a Web-based application. The result: Authorized users view information in a common manner that allows them to share and exchange critical data.
To read the details behind this planner and fill in your own numbers, download the spreadsheet.
Baseline created this project planner. Park City Solutions Inc. in Midway, Utah, and Western Midrange Corp. in Bountiful, Utah, provided scope, staffing and pricing guidance. This planner does not reflect any specific implementation.
Reading the Planner: Line items sum upward to the boldface total for each section. Those figures, added downward, produce the total cost within each of the four boxes.