If you’ve ever been part of a law enforcement technology procurement project or evaluation program, you know that one area government/public safety struggles with is the measurement and analysis of technology and its benefits.
The first thing to examine is the critical difference between ROI measures used in the private sector versus those used for law enforcement, public safety, and government. The reality with public sector innovation is that most investments, regardless of their origin, don’t end up ‘paying for themselves’ the way they might in the private sector.
So, how can you measure the success of your investment?
The left-brainers look at the hard numbers, the cost-benefit ratio, and dollars/cents (“hard” ROI); the right-brained thinkers are more concerned with less-quantifiable benefits such as stakeholder engagement, job satisfaction, increased personnel and public safety and other improvements indirectly created by the solution (“soft” ROI).
It’s easy to make the process of assessing the value or the success of a tech solution complicated; using complicated equations, calling on consultants, or just ending up frustrated claiming “there is no way to determine the ROI (Return on Investment)!”
The truth is, you don’t need a degree in Mathematics to assess the value of a system, process, or even a new technology solution.
You simply need to ask the right questions and engage your stakeholders. Here are a few good questions to get you started:
Does the technology solution…
- …reduce or improve first responder risk factors?
- …positively impact my organization’s stakeholders (internal & external)?
- …improve and help to ensure user and general public safety?
- …feature intuitive design, reducing on-the-job stress and hassle for the user(s)?
- …enable and empower users/stakeholders with data and/or improved decision-making abilities?
- …work efficiently and effectively in the conditions required?
- …support infrastructure and minimize duplication of effort?
- …allow my organization to support the system/solution without being cost-prohibitive?
- …save or appropriately use time, money, and/or resources?
- …have a strong track record and dedicated technology partner?
If a satisfactory number of the answers to each of the questions above are “yes!,” then it is safe to say that, with proper training and implementation, the technology solution(s) in question are poised to provide significant ROI to help your organization succeed.
Voila! No magic formula or multivariate calculus required.
For more on defining technology ROI in public safety, check out L-Tron’s most recent white paper: Defining Technology Success.
Defining technology ROI is a difficult task and is something that is constantly evolving.
What are the great questions you are asking? What other questions should be brought up in tech solution conversations? Give us a call and let us know – (800) 830-9523