Evidence Management – On-Prem vs. The Cloud
Today, the majority of evidence management software providers only offer on-prem solutions – including most of the biggest brands in the industry. By contrast, Tracker Products’ SAFE Software is available as both an On-Prem and Cloud solution; to meet the individual needs of agencies at the local, state, and federal levels.
Our cloud solution brings agility, security, and scalability benefits to customers who face stringent regulatory and compliance requirements, such as FedRAMP, FISMA, DoD SRG, ITAR, and CJIS. Some common benefits of cloud providers are: Access to data from anywhere in the world, automated updates and backups, scalability, real-time information changes, geo-diverse/redundant data storage, and increased savings.
On-Prem solutions are dedicated to a single end-user or group, where the infrastructure typically runs on a server behind the user’s firewall. A handful of our clients generally request an on-premise solution for 3 very specific reasons:
- They don’t want data leaving the premises
- They have already invested in an on-prem server
- They have an existing IT Department
The main (perceived) benefit of having an on-premise server is greater control over data and security. However, most security breaches are caused by in-house human error.
Tracker Products’ SAFE Software can be accessed via an app on mobile and desktop devices or physically installed on individual computers for on-prem clients. But, just because we offer both solutions, that doesn’t mean they are created equal.
When we roll out new versions of the SAFE software, our cloud clients see them immediately. These updates are also monitored, reviewed, and measured in real-time. Our backups reside in multiple cloud geo-locations and are protected by the strictest security and compliance protocols available today.
Those real-time benefits are simply not available to on-prem clients. When Tracker rolls out updates – that have to be installed on individual on-prem devices – the integrity of the software can be compromised. Our development team has lost the ability to support the SAFE software in the same way that they can with cloud clients.
In short, when software updates – that are designed to adhere to strict regulations and protocols in the cloud – are sent into wildly diverse on-prem environments, we have no way of knowing whether the software was properly installed, functioning correctly, adequately protected, or backed up regularly. In the world of law enforcement – evidence management specifically – that can be a risky proposition.
Additional On-Prem Challenges
On-prem solutions, in the field of evidence management, come with a laundry list of other challenges…
- Users can only work at on-premise workstations, as opposed to cloud solutions that can be accessed on any device, from anywhere in the world.
- Upfront capital and ongoing costs associated with buying, managing, and maintaining an on-prem server are significantly higher than cloud solutions.
- An on-premise setup requires in-house server hardware, software licenses, integration capabilities, and IT employees on hand 24/7.
- It can take months to get up and running. Unlike a cloud solution, which only takes a couple of days.
- Updating on-prem servers is costly and very time-consuming. Whereas cloud solutions are constantly updating in real-time
- All software programs have to be updated manually updated on each device. Depending on how many software programs each device has, this can be a never-ending challenge.
- On-prem servers are vulnerable to natural disasters, and structural failures. One lightning strike, fire, or broken pipe can wipe out all of your data.
- On-premise servers have a limited amount of storage space, and upgrading can be expensive and time-consuming. By contrast, cloud storage solutions are scalable, affordable, and instant.
- On-prem backups increase liability, especially if off-site, redundant, and automated backups are not allowed.
- On-premise clients are responsible for the ongoing costs of the server hardware, maintenance, and malfunctions, plus power consumption, and space.
- The cost of an IT team can be exorbitant. A cloud-based evidence management solution has a team of professionals working behind the scenes to add new features, automate backups and updates, and optimize settings.
- Compliance rules and laws are constantly changing on a local, state, and national level. On-prem clients must have someone in a designated role to understand and implement these changes in order to ensure continuous compliance.
- Only devices directly in the network can access data, and if the hardware becomes damaged for some reason, the information could be lost forever.
Top 4 Advantages of the Cloud Over On-Prem
Hosting SAFE in the cloud allows you to forego the cost of purchasing servers and hardware for setting up your own data center. You also minimize the need for IT staff and reduce the utility bills that come with running a server.
Tracker’s cloud-based software and data are protected through encryption, backups, advanced login functions, and other multi-layered safeguards. Our cloud solution brings agility, security, and scalability benefits to customers who face stringent regulatory and compliance requirements, such as FedRAMP, FISMA, DoD SRG, ITAR, and CJIS.
In the digital age, law enforcement agencies and police departments collect more evidence than ever before. With a cloud-based system, agencies can easily increase remote storage capacity.
Officers can enter evidence on mobile devices while working crime scenes. Custodians can perform audits, inventories, and inspections without being tethered to their desks. And, all assigned chain-of-custody team members – from Lab Techs to the Police Chief – are updated in real-time no matter where they are.
Additional Benefits of Using the SAFE Cloud App on Mobile Devices
- Work from anywhere, on any internet-connected device
- Officers can submit evidence in real-time, thereby eliminating inaccuracies and distortions
- The built-in barcode functionality allows users to easily tag and scan evidence
- You can review cases, add new data, and get real-time updates anywhere in the world
- Automate upcoming review dates or tasks
- Document or receive alerts about evidence movement and transfer remotely
- Capture signatures or add attachments to the system while in the field
- Conduct accountability processes like audits and inventories
- Automate the disposal approval process
- Retrieve, view, and assess physical and digital data simultaneously
- Send and receive alerts surrounding significant developments in cases
- Create graphs for a visual representation of your data
- Use that data to ask for MUCH needed resources
- Save your organization time, money, and space
Today, the majority of evidence management software providers only offer on-prem solutions – including most of the well-known brands in the industry. In this day and age, cloud-based programs are the gold standard. They are built to grow with future innovations in technology.
Founded in 2001, Tracker Products was the first dedicated evidence management software provider to offer a cloud-based solution and we continue to be the leading experts in the field of evidence management technology.
Based on the needs of our clients nationwide, our team of developers is tirelessly committed to optimizing Tracker’s SAFE software evidence management solution. Our top-of-the-line security stack scales as our database grows and meets the strictest regulatory and compliance requirements, such as FedRAMP, FISMA, DoD SRG, ITAR, and CJIS.