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John Buchanan

Rising to face challenges of any crisis can create change and opportunity for companies and for society, if it is done right.

Covid-19 has changed how we do things on an integral level. The switch from our previous world to a new, digitally-driven one happened overnight and we have been called as a society to reimagine our relationship to digital. That comes with a host of new benefits, but also critical new focus areas – such as digital security.

As annuity services, we are accustomed to delivering software licensing, services, products and support that solve our clients’ problems. Of course, the widespread impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that our clients’ problems, and their requirements for support, have changed. For example, in the higher education sector most students are studying remotely. This changes how education is delivered digitally and how programmes are planned. With students – and their associated physical education and residence fees – displaced, there are also new financial factors that need to be planned for. Social media analytics come into play as a measurement tool for students as univerisities guage how they are adapting to and engaging with new class formats.

Times of great change bring up new pain points, but within that pain there are also opportunities. The enforced behavioural changes right across our society have also changed the shape of crime. With reductions in theft and burglary: More people at home = less burglary. Less people in public places = less robbery and street crime. However, many other crime categories are rising (especially cyber and on-line) and from an annuity services perspective, this brings opportunities for the police to refine digital tools that help solve and prevent crime.

Digital policing is not just confined to forensics. Ultimately, the police’s job is to solve and prevent crime in the most efficient way possible. Annuity services assist in managing the performance and costs of a large group of people and resources. Good, well-maintained data sets become central to cities as they illustrate the crime and safety of certain areas in real time. In Manchester, for example, Capita rolled out a connected solution to illustrate a range of data per area, officer, shifts and other relevant fields. Through the intelligent analysis of this level of clean data comes a whole new detail of crime data sets. This makes it easier to detect, analyse and address crime hotspots. The level of detail can also be used at a practical level, determining the number of cars on the road or in repairs in relation to response times, or the ethnic mix and diversity of officers and how it relates to the areas they are policing in. Strategic use of social media tools, too, can have a significant impact on crime solving.

Looking to the future, our sudden shift to digital tools brings with it opportunities to explore new ways of living digitally. Remote learning need not be a comprised form of studying for students, but rather a way to empower them as they take their learning journey in their own hands.

We also find ourselves at an important crossroads. Covid-19 may have rushed the update of certain digital innovations and tools, and now is the perfect moment to continue that forward trajectory with real strategic intent.  A core part of this is being mindful of the security risks that come with any new platform, and the terms with which we share our data. Cyber security is a huge growth opportunity right now – especially tools around end point security. Everybody is remotely connected when using the same ecosystem, so each party on a network becomes an end point risk. If, for example, an education network isn’t set up or managed correctly, every student presents an opportunity for hackers to enter the network. This is an important time in our history, defined by monumental shifts. If we focus on making these changes securely and strategically, we can create better outcomes across our organisations, and our lives.

Written by


John Buchanan

Annuity Services Leader, Capita

John has over 20 years’ experience in client engagement and solution delivery, and leads Annuity Services for Capita Consulting. Previously, he was Managing Director for Barrachd, the data and analytics specialists, who are now part of Capita Consulting. He is a problem solver, a team builder and a people manager, and is always focused on ensuring the business not only delivers against its plans but delights its clients too.

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