What other types of industries would benefit from products like Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager? Why?
Systems Management Software Helps Fight Crime
The York regional police protect 1,800 square kilometers north of Toronto, Canada. Until recently, the force has been challenged trying to keep the rugged Panasonic laptops in its 200 cruisers, boats, and helicopters up-to-date, secure, and synchronized. Although the notebooks were wirelessly networked, the data, software, and systems were not necessarily well synchronized. To apply system updates and patches every few months, officers were required to check in at the main station where they had to wait for a few hours while the notebook was updated. With over 200 laptops on the force, this cost the department hundreds of working hours every few months. Not only were human resources wasted, but the internal IT department was pushed past its limit. Staff members sometimes unknowingly worked to solve the same problems. They spent too much time coordinating applications, running backups, and trying to keep up with new law enforcement applications.
Recently the York police installed system management software from Microsoft called System Center Configuration Manager 2007. The software allows system administrators at the main station to access notebooks remotely over the network for system upgrades, patch management, software distribution, and hardware and software inventory. No longer do officers need to spend hours waiting on their PC updates. PCs are updated as needed over the wireless network. New software and system changes are pushed out to all notebooks simultaneously so all officers have the same information and services at all times. The new systems software allows the department to come close to its paperless ideal. An e-ticketing system allows officers to swipe a driver’s license, run a background check, and issue a ticket in minutes. Officers receive daily briefings online and submit reports directly from their notebooks, which allows them to stay on the road rather than at a desk. The new system has freed up the IT staff to concentrate on delivering new and useful services rather than just maintaining the old services. The York regional police are looking forward to the next edition of System Center Configuration Manager, which promises to support streaming media. They would like to use it to stream video from the helicopter to cruisers on the road.
1. What unique challenges did the York regional police IT staff have to overcome?
2. How did Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager resolve the issues for the York regional police?
Critical Thinking Questions
1. What other types of industries would benefit from products like Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager? Why?
2. What general lesson regarding information system administration can you take from this case?
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