The acceptance of mobile tech in governments and the consumerization of the enterprise made a breakthrough with the New Zealand police force earlier this week. The National Business Review reported that, following an 11-month trial involving 100 staff members, the force has decided to outfit their officers with smartphones, and are opting for Apple devices over competitors. Thus, iPhones and iPads will become the tech weapon of choice for 6000 New Zealand law enforcement officers.
This is part of a larger global trend we’re seeing in government, and Law enforcement officers are a fantastic example of a mobile workforce employed by the state. The stakes of coordination among police officers are obviously very high, so it makes sense that they be outfitted with devices that allow for rich, instant, communication and collaboration. The police estimate that the investment will provide productivity benefits of $305 million over the next decade.
Of the 6,000 officers getting iPhones, 3,900 of them will be receiving iPads as well. Stephen Crombie, New Zealand Police CIO, pointed to the benefits of increasing consumerization of technology in large organizations: “The trial showed the most useful tools for officers were small devices for making phone calls or text messaging, accessing email, and accessing information and photo databases, and a larger [device] such as a laptop for staff who need to do more data entry.”