The deployment by the Queensland Police Service (QPS) of 500 iPhones and iPads illustrates the degree to which Queensland is rapidly adopting key ICT trends. Both its adoption of cloud solutions, as well as its adoption of mobile technology- both client-facing and back-office – now have significant momentum.
With the further adoption of mobile devices by QPS, each of the major service delivery agencies in Queensland now has a use of mobile technology which is likely to evolve into a mission critical one for the agency.
Queensland’s 2013-17 ICT Action Plan stated, “In order to improve customer experience a two pronged approach will be undertaken, focusing on both direct digital access to services for the community and utilising digital to provide front-line staff with better access to information and tools.”
A number of agencies have already deployed mobile solutions while others have indicated the desire to do so.
Queensland Police Service (QPS)
While QPS have deployed 500 iPhones and iPads to staff, another with 1250 are to be deployed by November 2014. In a press release Minister for Police, Fire & Emergency Services, Jack Dempsey said, “The technology provides a platform for myriad different functions, and will eventually include applications such as fingerprint and facial recognition technology.”
The optimised mobile system, QLiTE, is expected to save front-line officers more than 30 minutes desk-time per day through being able to be accessed via mobile devices. QLiTE allows officers to conduct person of interest checks, driver’s license checks and vehicle checks.
The wider-deployment of mobile devices follows a trial of 500 Apple iOS devices in 2013. The pilot was part of an overarching plan to develop a solution that will “facilitate the secure capture, delivery, receipt and management of QPS resources, assets, operational information and intelligence, regardless of geographical location”.
In January 2014, QPS invited Expressions of Interest (EOI) to establish whether its current technology can service current and future business needs and also to confirm the ability of the market to provide a suitable mobile solution. It included the need for information on mobile devices, Wi-Fi hotspots and back-end architecture to support mobility.
According to the EOI documents, “many officers are utilising personal communication devices, personal GPS mapping and other digital devices, to improve their operational effectiveness in the field”.
In February 2014, QPS issued a Request for Information (RFI) on an Online Forms Solution to eliminate manual data handling. This solution has been flagged to improve mobility services on the front-line. Mobile devices will also now be used to monitor CCTV footage of Brisbane’s entertainment hotspots. 10 iPads will be deployed to QPS officers with access to 82 City Safe cameras as part of an $970,000 digital upgrade and expansion of Brisbane City Council's City Safe CCTV.
QPS’ portfolio department, the Department of Community Safety, flagged in its 2012-13 Annual Report the development of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy.
Queensland Transport and Main Roads (TMR)
In March 2014, TMR approached the market for an as-a-service electronic infringement system. The Fare Invasion and Infringement Management system will allow transport officers to issue notices via mobile devices that integrate with a software-as-a-service solution. “The mobile hand held devices will wirelessly transmit the notices to the solution database when communication is available,” stated the EOI.
The mobile device also is to provide wireless access to TMR’s internal Transport Registration and Integrated Licensing System to run backup identity checks.
During 2012-13, TMR also rolled-out mobile webmail to 5,000 of its staff with the aim of meeting “future challenges in workforce mobility”, according to its 2012-13 Annual Report. A program of work has also commenced to enhance registration and licensing for citizens by ensuring online services are optimised for mobile devices.
Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services (Communities)
According to the its 2012-13 Annual Report, Communities is currently working to implement its Information Management Strategic Plan which “focuses on supporting an increasingly mobile workforce with the need for information wherever they are”.
In 2012-13, the Department’s Integrated Client Management System (ICMS) entered a business-as-usual phase. ICMS holds information about clients and their placements with carers and care services. The system has been designed to cater for highly mobile clients and as such is available state-wide and in real-time.
Communities plans to trial other mobile solutions in 2014 to “assess their effectiveness in service delivery”.
Queensland Health (Health)
According to its 2012-13 Annual Report the Department has been working towards “exploring the use of mobile technology solutions”. Health currently operates 1,100 smartphone devices and another 12,000 mobile handsets.
Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE)
In 2013, DETE procured 14,000 Windows 8 tablets from Acer for students to use in Schools around the State. The Australian reported that the contract was worth about $13 million. CIO David O’Hagan said "The digital revolution has created remarkable opportunities for enhancing student learning, and devices with built-in 3G allow our students to stay connected wherever they are."
The State’s 2013-17 ICT Action Plan indicates that by July 2014 “Government must develop the capabilities required to seamlessly exchange information needed to support front-line services.” This mandate is likely to increase the use of mobile technology in more agencies across the State.
For more information, please contact the Editor (02) 9955 9896.