What Can We Learn From The NYPD About Choosing Platforms

A number of outlets are reporting that the New York Police Department is having to shift direction in its technology strategy. Last year, Jessica Tisch, the department’s deputy commissioner for information technology, deployed 36,000 Windows Phone devices. But with the platform being dumped by Microsoft, they will be switching hardware. What are the lessons from this?

The NYPD says they chose Windows Mobile because Tisch “insisted on Microsoft-based phones in part because the NYPD was already using Microsoft software to run the video surveillance program at its Lower Manhattan Security Initiative Command Center.”

This highlights one of the critical things IT managers need to get their heads around.

We need to deliver applications that are not dependent on any specific end-point platform. The word “disruption” gets thrown around a lot but what we are really seeing is rapid change. Companies have always invested in developing platforms but it seems, to me at least, they are more likely that ever before to bail out on an unsuccessful strategy faster than ever before.

The NYPD is reportedly going to take back all those smartphones, which have been responsible for a 12% improvement in response rates, and replace them with iPhones.

The lessons:

  1. A single platform/vendor stack is not always the best way to go
  2. Make sure your applications are not dependent on a single operating system or platform

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