Police Scotland has outlined plans to invest £298m in its computer systems over the next nine years.
The force said many of its IT systems were out of date and could not be made to work in an integrated way.
The investment proposal will be presented to the Scottish Police Authority board later this week.
A paper prepared for board members said officers were still using paper notebooks and then typing the information into different systems.
It is claimed that every £1 invested will generate £1.29 of savings.
Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said police were facing a growing threat from sophisticated criminals who ruthlessly exploited technological advances.
Ms Taylor said: “Taylor said: “There has been significant under-investment in technology in policing since well before 2013 and we’ve not been able to make use of some of the investment that has been available.
“Despite this, our officers and staff have continued to deliver to the best of their ability by making huge personal commitments to get the job done.
“But the present situation is unsustainable. The pressure on our officers and staff to work around the failings in our technology and meet the new threats will move beyond their ability to cope.
She added: “At a time when the pressure on public services is immense, we are operating an economically inefficient police service.”