The pandemic fueled the need to use technologies in different ways to address new challenges within a rapidly evolving environment, according to a study conducted by Morotola Solutions in partnership with a team led by Chris Brauer at Goldsmiths, University of London.
The Consensus for Change report surveyed 12,000 citizens and interviewed 50 public safety agencies, commercial organisations and industry experts across 10 geographic markets. These include Australia, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Nordics, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“We also saw an accelerated adoption and modernisation of technologies with significantly compressed implementation timelines,” said Mahesh Saptharishi, SVP and CTO of Motorola Solutions.
The study finds that 88% of citizens globally want to see public safety transformed through the use of advanced technology. Respondents in Singapore were even more optimistic, with 92% advocating for the use of technology to make Singapore safer.
Findings in Singapore also show that 77% of respondents believe that technology is necessary in making emergency services more efficient, and 73% reporting they want to be able to use technology to help make their communities safer.
Three quarters (76%) of Singaporeans reported that using technology in public safety ensures business continuity and productivity.
However, 72% of them shared that they need to be able to trust organisations that hold information about them, highlighting the need for data privacy and building of trust.
Globally, 71% said more specifically that advanced technologies, such as video cameras, data analytics, cybersecurity and the cloud, are needed to address challenges of the modern world.
Also, 75% said that they are willing to trust the organizations that hold their information so long as they use it appropriately.
The study identifies three major trends that demonstrate an inflection point in how citizens and organizations are thinking about technology and safety.
First is that the pandemic redefined expectations for safety. Brauer said citizens all over the world are coming to terms with what it means to live with COVID-19 and how it impacts their safety.
“Our shared experience of the pandemic has made us realise that technology can play a far greater role in keeping us safe and has increased our understanding of why public safety and enterprise organisations need it to respond to new threats,” said Brauer.
Second, the pandemic accelerated technology innovation, especially in the areas of cloud adoption, video security and interoperability between disparate organisations and systems, while reconfirming the need for reliable and resilient mission-critical communications.
And third, technology must be used in fair, transparent and inclusive ways. Citizens want the benefits of technology to be easily understood and for it to be used in ways that are transparent, fair and inclusive.
The research also identifies that more public education is needed to increase understanding of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI).