Why Cloud-Based Probation Technology?

December 23, 2020 by Larry Stanton

Why Cloud-Based Probation Technology?

When it comes to your probation department’s case management system, where does your solution live? Is it sitting on a server in your (or a neighboring) building? Or is it in the cloud? (If you’re a Tyler Supervision client, you already know the answer to this one).

If your solution isn’t in the cloud, you should consider changing its address and making a move. Having cloud-based supervision technology can help you reduce the risks of any kind of business interruption – think natural disasters, cybersecurity threats, or a pandemic – and mitigate the budget and resource impact of those interruptions.

Those are pretty significant benefits, but they aren’t the only ones that make having a cloud-based supervision solution advantageous for any-sized probation department in the country. Here are five more reasons to take into consideration why your supervision department’s system should be cloud-based.

1. Increased Flexibility and Security

Normally, there aren’t lots of IT resources allocated to a probation department, which could be due to underfunding or just not having available staff to dedicate specifically on IT. This lack of resources keeps probation departments operating on older technology, which prevents them from being flexible in times of crisis such as enabling remote work during the pandemic.

When your system is cloud-based, like our Tyler Supervision solution, you can easily scale to meet your current and future needs. Hosted environments in the cloud provide virtually unlimited hardware to handle growth with a pay-as-you-go model that allows departments to scale instantly based on available resources. For an on-premises solution, you would have to have someone manually add machines to your environment in order to scale.

Probation departments can also benefit from investments made in cloud solutions to ensure robust security is built-in and maintained at all times. That includes making sure to meet CJIS and Amazon GovCloud requirements (and adapt as those requirements change) to make sure your data remains viable and secure no matter where you work. It takes a team of resources to ensure systems are continuously staying ahead of security threats and incorporating the latest laws and regulations for criminal justice.

2. Work in the Field

With the increased flexibility comes the ability for probation department staff to work at home, in court, or in the field. Officers, supervisors, and other staff can access system data and work remotely with ease, so they can submit any case notes they have received on an offender, evaluate check-in data, and see an offender’s location via an electronic monitoring device all while away from their desks. Departments can also lock down the cloud-based solution and set permissions so some users can only access the system from specific secure locations. Having a mobile-friendly solution is critical in field supervision success.

3. High System Uptimes

Having a reliable system that’s always available is critical for probation departments, especially for officers that continually track offenders via electronic monitoring (ankle bracelets). Cloud-based probation case management solutions run on more than a dozen machines with redundancy across multiple data centers to ensure the software is always up and running. Disaster recovery is built into the infrastructure design, so if a disaster happens at one location, everything continues to run. Most on-premises solutions run on just one or two machines in just one location.

What happens if a fire, flood, or some other kind of disaster strikes and the department’s physical location goes down? The cloud-based redundancy ensures the supervision application will continue to run without any downtime so your work can continue.

4. Faster Implementation

With cloud-based supervision technology, you can bypass the process of setting up your own infrastructure and implementing your own on-premises system, saving significant time and costs. You could go from contract signing to new system configuration in hours or days, not months. Some of our Tyler Supervision clients had the ability to share code and setup configurations from other probation departments to experience an accelerated implementation timeline.

5. Frequent Updates With No Downtime

Software updates can be a hassle, especially if they interrupt your workday. But with a cloud-based supervision solution, updates are pushed more frequently and can occur without impeding your ability to work. With our solution here at Tyler, we push updates weekly – at no extra cost – and those updates deliver new features, solution enhancements, and bug fixes. This has significant advantages over an annual release schedule (where a lot gets dumped at one time), and weekly updates make it much easier to consume and implement new features.

As you can see, there are several advantages for having your supervision solution in the cloud. It can deliver much more adaptability to handle a department’s needs now and into the future so you can worry less about your data and systems and focus more on more important matters – supervising your offenders and managing your cases.

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