This model story from UK demonstrated the transformational value of video conferencing for public services. Through a modernized video service, it has been possible to transform the UK Criminal Justice System by allowing the creation of strategic partnerships across Justice and the delivery of a brand-new service.
With over 400,000 users, 1000
operational processes and 100 IT systems, the UK criminal justice System
was afflicted by excessive complexity, high costs, slowness and chronic
lack of efficiency. Budget optimization considerations led the Office for
Criminal Justice Reform, the body in charge of supporting criminal justice
agencies in providing an improved service to the public, to conduct a survey in
order to formulate a proposal to the government on the possible measures to
take to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
The results of the survey
were quite surprising. At root of the problem there was a lack of connection
and coordination among the several offices and agencies that were involved in
the delivery of the criminal service. The state of disconnection and lack of
standardization of the existing video service network made the situation even
The solution was the
adoption and implementation of a single – and updated – video conferencing
system. This automatically led to a strong increase in connection and
thus communication among the several actors involved in criminal justice. The
final outcome was the formation of strategic partnerships across the Criminal
justice system that made it possible to deliver a less expensive and more
efficient service to the public.
Criminal Justice is just
one of the public sectors that can largely profit from video conferencing.
Healthcare, crisis management, national and local security, chambers of
commerce, education: these are just some few areas where video conferencing has
been applied with remarkable success in the last few years.
Despite the huge diversity
of the services we mentioned above, the reason of the success of video
conferencing is always the same, interconnection. Faster and cheaper
communication among public officials leads immediately to an increase in
efficiency and a decrease of costs. This is nothing surprising, if we reflect
on the nature of labor-intense industry of public bodies. Therefore, the
quality of human interactions and human communication is the real key-factor to
monitor in the public sector.
Another point to consider
is that today video conferencing has become safe, secure, easy-to-implement,
and inexpensive. A server of R-HUB`s suite TurboMeeting http://www.collaboration-technologies.co.uk/ for example, costs
less than 2000$ and allows conferences up to 3000 participants. Maintenance and
upgrading are managed remotely, so that a devoted IT team is not necessary any
In conclusion, video
conferencing will play a key-role in redesigning and remodeling public services
next years, owing to its capability to decrease costs while increasing
communication and coordination and, consequently, efficiency.