Zebra Study: 7 in 10 Public Safety Agencies See Need to Speed Up Mobile Technology Adoption

Zebra Technologies released study findings that reveal public safety agencies globally will increasingly adopt mobile technologies to continuously improve workflows and community relations within the next five years.

The final of Zebra’s three-part Future of Field Operations: Public Safety vision study shows that 86 percent of public safety respondents have indicated their agencies are taking a mobile-first approach in their technology strategies, and workflows are designed around first responders and their mobile devices. However, seven in ten agencies are still concerned that they are not investing quickly enough in new mobile technologies to keep pace with the speed of change, especially with the availability of faster 4G and upcoming 5G wireless networks.

In India, Zebra Technologies launched TC26 Touch Computers, which is the ultimate cost-effective solution for public safety front-line workers who need to capture and access data faster and more efficiently without stepping up in price. The Android 10-powered TC26 Touch Computer features a large 5-inch high definition advanced touchscreen that is easy to view both indoors and outside in bright sunlight.

“Mobile technology is critical to keeping communities safe and secure,” said Deep Agarwal, Regional Sales Director – Indian Sub-Continent, Zebra Technologies Asia Pacific .”Public safety agencies around the world are already realizing a performance edge by using rugged mobile devices across various use cases including communications, situation awareness, disaster and emergency management, identity management, e-citations, and asset management. With the availability of faster wireless networks coinciding with the implementation of robust mobile technology strategies, police, fire and emergency medical first responders can improve their productivity, effectiveness and relations with the communities they serve and protect.”

“In India, up to 2,000 units of Zebra’s TC75 touch computers were deployed by the Uttar Pradesh Police as part of UP-112 Emergency Management System. The TC75 is an enterprise-class handheld computer that enables communication and enables access to real-time information. Such rugged mobile devices offer reliable everyday usage which is crucial for the police officers who are always out on the field,” added Agarwal.

Within the next year, 88% of respondents to Zebra’s study say they expect increased productivity and efficiency by using mobile technologies – up from 52% today. Similarly, 84% say saving more lives will be another key benefit of using mobile devices within a year, jumping from 45% today. Deploying mobile devices and mobile printers will also lead to reduced operating costs within the next year, according to 79% of those surveyed – and notably, almost all respondents (98% ) say they will achieve savings within five years. Another advantage highlighted in the study is improved community relations, which 99% say will be realized by 2025, up from 38% today.

While many public safety organizations will continue to rely on a responsive model in their workflows, there will be a rapid growth of agencies that will adopt a predictive model that is able to assign the right asset to the right issue at the right time. This will more than double by 2025.

Among the most common applications used by public safety officers in the field today are email (53% ), mapping and navigation (51% ), and location-based services (50% ). Other applications not used by most agencies today that are rated as “extremely important” by those who currently use them include biometric monitoring (63% ), collision reporting (59% ) and situational awareness (59% ).

Mobile device adoption will see rapid growth over the next three years as rugged tablets without keyboards will be implemented by 95% of respondents’ agencies, rugged 2-in-1 tablets by 90% , rugged smartphones by 95% , and mobile printers by 91% of them. Like other institutions and businesses whose critical work takes place primarily in the field, public safety decision makers rate ruggedness of mobile devices in their fleet as a key differentiator, with 96% saying they will implement rugged devices by 2025. Among those currently using these devices, rugged tablets with attachable keyboards (52% ) and rugged smartphones (51% ) are the top devices for emergency response use cases.

Other Zebra products that cater to the growing demand in this sector includes; the L10 rugged tablet sets a new standard in office, vehicle and field-based computing; TC77 touch computer that offers a smartphone experience for maximum simplicity with rugged construction; TC57 touch computer that delivers the ultimate in enterprise-class touch computing; and ZQ500 series mobile printer that offers a lightweight, compact printing solution that can withstand repeated drops to concrete from up to 6.6 feet.

Key Takeaways

  • Zebra’s study indicates that seven in ten public safety agencies see an urgent need to invest more quickly in mobile solutions to keep up with technological advancements and to serve their communities better.
  • Mobile devices offer public safety agencies a strong performance edge to boost productivity, save lives, reduce cost, and better engage their communities over the next five years, the study found.
  • Adoption of mobile devices will increase quickly over the next three years, as 95 percent of agencies will deploy rugged tablets without keyboards, 90 percent will use rugged 2-in-1 tablets, 95 percent will invest in rugged smartphones, and 91 percent will have mobile printers on the field.
  • Ruggedness of mobile devices scores highly with public safety leaders, as 96 percent of them will choose to deploy rugged devices by 2025.

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