Saturday, July 23, 2005

Why interoperability matters

Take a Look At Your 911 Systems

By 911, I mean your public safety systems used by first responders for near real time operations (say Computer-aided Dispatch) and the police and fire records databases.

1. Until 9/11 (the event), these have been local systems, aka, vertical smokestacks, with little interoperation even across neighboring jurisdictions.

2. Public safety is a late adopter market with a lifecycle at about 12 years long (time from purchase to retirement). This means that technologies taken for granted on the public Internet are not used widely for public safety systems (security concerns aside for the moment).

3. 9/11 was the wakeup call the industry needed to finally take the issue of interoperability seriously and begin to work on standards for CAD-to-CAD (APCO 36) and database interchange (GJXDM).

That is why the work of this committee is so critical.

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