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Research shows SMART Board interactive whiteboards can lead to more informed and effective policing

– But integration and purchasing failings are slowing progress

New academic research findings have revealed that the use of SMART Board interactive whiteboards in policing are providing clear benefits for routine briefings and operational planning, but that common failings in integration and purchasing are inhibiting wider-scale adoption of the technology within Police Forces in the UK.

The research, commissioned by Steljes, the technology and market development organisation, and conducted by AIMTech, Leeds University Business School’s research group, examined the effectiveness of interactive technology in emergency planning, command and control and briefing scenarios in line with the National Intelligence Model*.

The ‘SMART Board interactive whiteboard Use in Policing: Intelligence briefing and Strategic Command & Control Communications’ Report (July 2007) highlights a number of key findings:

1. Improved communication effectiveness in routine briefing and operational planning

- Where SMART Board interactive whiteboards are being used, the report found that significant improvements in the effectiveness of communication are being made.

- In the case of routine briefings, boards can increase participation, attention and the ability to capture points – as a result, briefings are more comprehensive and accurate, and information better retained.

- Within command and control, it was found that SMART Board interactive whiteboards provide a faster build-up of a common operational picture, reduced instances of misunderstanding between those involved in the management of an incident, and resulted in faster decisions, leading to more effective containment of that incident. It provides a channel for a commander to do this wherever they are – even if remote from the command area.


2. The need for integration

- The findings reveal that there needs to be a high level of organisational understanding, change and resource to make effective use of interactive whiteboard technology.

- The report concludes that “no technology can exist within a vacuum and SMART Board interactive whiteboards are no exception”. The board has to become an integral part of a complex information infrastructure. For example, within the command and control setting, if the technology is to be effective, it needs to be able to access and display a wide range of information sources.

- Adopting the technology as a stand-alone purchase without integrating into the overall information infrastructure and the processes of everyday policing will result in it being seen as a display technology only.

3. Purchasing and adoption

- The purchasing and adoption of the technology is also an area of concern. The report concludes that there are no standard procedures and the technology is introduced by a number of different means.

- Problems arise when interactive whiteboards have been bought in as a result of an individual rather than an organisational initiative – such ad-hoc buying processes are often not supported centrally or integrated into a larger internal process.

- The report recommends that the ideal process of acquisition and adoption would be one which is centrally-driven and seeks to introduce changes to the way of doing business, rather than simply introducing the technology. Technical support, for example, needs to be in place to manage the integration of the equipment with the information systems, which then enable it to be used to its full potential, and training needs to be placed at the heart of the process.

“This research has provided us with a clearer picture of how SMART Board interactive whiteboards can benefit modern-day policing. The really key issues unearthed by the report show the importance for a common purchasing and adoption process, and the need for the technology to be integrated at the heart of the business process,” added Malcolm Stewart, Public Sector Business Manager at Steljes.

“We will continue to work with strategic partners to ensure SMART Board interactive whiteboards become an integral part of key business processes across the Public Sector.”

For more information about the research or to get hold of a copy of the full report, please contact: 08450 724 750

- Ends -

Notes for editors:

* The National Intelligence Model (NIM) is 'A Model for Policing' that ensures information is fully researched, developed and analysed to provide intelligence, which enables senior managers to provide strategic direction, make tactical resourcing decisions about operational policing and manage risk.

ABOUT THE RESEARCH

Responsible for the mass adoption of the SMART Board™ interactive whiteboard in the UK, Steljes commissioned the Leeds University Business School’s research group, AIMTech, to conduct the study, working in close partnership with a number of professional organisations such as The National Police Improvement Agency, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and The Association of Chief Police Officers. Visits were made and interviews were carried out with among others, Lancashire Constabulary, The Police Service of Northern Ireland, Leicestershire Police, The Police Information Technology Organisation (now NPIA) and West Yorkshire Police.

ABOUT STELJES

Steljes Limited is a technology market development and services organisation. It sources technologies from around the world, develops support services and works with people who use them - in the classroom, in the boardroom, at home or even on the battlefield.

It's been improving the ways in which people live, learn and work for twenty years, working hard to make sure its products really benefit people.

Steljes Limited is a privately owned limited company, which has been operating in the UK comprising five companies, under the strategic direction of Steljes Group.

Steljes is the exclusive representative of SMART Technologies Inc. in the UK and Eire and has increased its UK market segment share from 54.7% in Q4 2006 to 59.2% in Q1 2007, according to figures released by industry analysts Decision Tree Consulting (DTC). Steljes recently shipped its 200,000th SMART Board™ interactive whiteboard.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Six Degrees Limited in the following categories: Public Sector, Third Sector & Legal, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.