The world is changing quickly. Public safety agencies are constantly evolving as they adjust to new technologies and emerging threats. In this article, I’ll share five key trends that will affect how public safety agencies communicate in the future.
Public safety messaging will evolve as much in the next 5 years as it has in the past 5 years.
„The future is not far away,“ said a recent New York Times article. And we couldn’t agree more. In fact, the next five years will be as transformative as the last five years. Conventional wisdom says that messaging and public safety communications will continue to evolve at a rapid pace—and we’re here to say that conventional wisdom is right!
Public safety agencies need to be proactive in order to keep pace with emerging technologies like 5G and end-to-end encryption. The way we communicate with each other is changing faster than ever before: in just over 20 years, we’ve gone from fax machines and landlines to smartphones; from text messages (SMS) to multimedia messaging service (MMS).
The environments where public safety agencies operate are becoming more complex.
You’ve heard this before: the environments where public safety agencies operate are becoming more complex. This is true because there are more users of smartphones, social media, messaging apps and video chat. People are using virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to communicate with each other in new ways.
The public safety community is adapting to these changes too. We need to make sure our systems support the communities we serve—and that means finding new ways for our critical messages to reach their intended recipients during critical incidents.
Critical messaging must be multichannel to cover all possible means of communication.
Multichannel is a term that refers to using multiple methods of communication to reach your audience. It’s important to understand that while multichannel messaging relies on digital technology and traditional methods of delivering critical messaging like paging or text messaging.
You can make sure your message reaches everyone in the right way at the right time by sending out an instant notification on your pager or their phone.
The future requires a resilient and redundant public safety network.
Redundancy is essential because it enables a public safety network that can endure the most intense and chaotic situations. Redundancy requires not only backup, but also resilience—the ability to switch from one channel to another if the first channel is lost. In other words, redundancy requires not being dependent on a single technology or service provider.
The future is not far away; agencies need to be proactive to keep pace with emerging technologies.
We must be proactive in our response to emerging technologies, or we risk being left behind by our competitors and adversaries.
Agencies need to be aware of the ways in which emerging technologies could affect their business models, public safety strategies, and how they communicate with their stakeholders.
With the pace of technology and its impact on public safety communications growing exponentially, it is essential that agencies stay on top of changes. Critical messaging is an important part of any public safety agency’s mission, and it will continue to be so in 2023. Agencies need to be proactive about staying ahead of the curve by identifying emerging technologies and preparing for them now so they can take advantage when they become available.