If your law enforcement agency uses software at all to manage your records, you probably feel like you’re ahead of the game. Or you’re at least ahead of those agencies that still use pen and paper, spreadsheets and manual reminders to keep their records in order. It’s a software program, so it must be modern, right?
But technology changes so quickly that you might be using seriously outdated software without even realizing it. And having that software available as SaaS can open up even more options for the way your police department manages its records. So, if you sometimes feel like your software needs a walker and dentures, take a look at these pros and cons that come with a more modern software system.
Pros of Modern Record Management Software
Are you accustomed to a RMS that is housed on a dedicated computer, or only available on certain computers in your network? If the software was installed long enough ago, you probably remember a lot of hassle, downtime and testing while the new system was installed and deployed.
Well, if you’ve been resisting change because it was difficult to implement a new system several years ago, take heart: Things have changed.
New RMS systems, such as eFORCE Records Management Software, are easily implemented and can be installed locally on your server or hosted by the software provider. To make things even better, eFORCE RMS is web-based, which means it can be accessed virtually anytime and anywhere there’s an Internet connection.
And if you’re worried this software won’t play nicely with the CAD, Court, Jail or other systems you need to access, rest assured: many RMS programs are now designed to interface with the databases and programs used by multiple different agencies.
Cons of a Modern RMS
Some people might see it as a drawback that some RMS options are available as software as a service (SaaS). This might seem a little too nebulous and “iffy” -- unlike something that resides onsite on a huge server and can be backed up physically.
But once you take a look at the benefits of modern records management options, there really isn’t a drawback. Having your RMS hosted by a provider frees you from having to deal with hardware and software upgrades. Not to mention, when the company that hosts the software also provides the security and customer support that addresses your problems promptly, you get to enjoy more peace of mind.
Another factor often associated with SaaS systems is the common option of a subscription payment plan rather than a one-time cost. With locally installed record management programs (like that one that’s older than you), you have to keep up with hardware maintenance and internal IT personnel expenses. Conversely, SaaS is a predictable expense, and you’re always assured of having the latest and greatest version when the software provider is hosting it for you!
Deciding which kind of record management software is right for your agency really depends upon several factors, including your budget, your needs and whether or not you have someone on your staff who is adept in IT. But it’s good to know that when the time comes to finally replace that elderly RMS system, there are plenty of options.