Leap, lest you join the dinosaur club.
Technology enabled Integrated security is dismantling traditional practices. Welcome to the new era of securing people, premises and assets.
Like it or not, Physical Security professionals will become “antiquated" faster than Virat Kohli completes a century of centuries if they don’t adapt. I am sharing a concerning story of a Chief Security Officer. He expressed his insecurity about his future. As per him, his new management demanded to cut cost and enhance the quality of Security. To make matters difficult for the CSO, management introduced digitization roadmap to be integrated with Security. This situation for the first time forced an existential crisis for him in his more than two decades career. What do you think would have been his morale in the given situation? Welcome to the new world of the Chief Security Officer.
Can the CSO afford to ignore and continue managing Security through obsolete practices, when the world has moved on?
The old-fashioned way of security management has never been challenged by the stakeholders as much as it is today. The old way is isolated, fragmented, incoherent and expensive. A question every CSO needs to ask is how long can they avoid shareholder’s expectations?
Technology like IOT, analytics, drones, intelligent cameras, Big data is enforcing these phenomena faster. They are transforming the way physical assets, people and premises are guarded, governed and reported.
Commonly known as Unified Security or Integrated Security worldwide, this futuristic practice of combining the capability of physical Security and sensors (visual, pressure, heat, vibration, camera, laser, etc.) is going to destroy old way of managing Security. Welcome to the new era of Security. Proof of the emerging trends in Security is in insights below.
1. 80% of the top management believe that depending on pure physical Security is an expensive and obsolete way to manage Security with minimum wage rising every year.
2.70% of organizations are exploring integrated Security to be deployed within the next 6-18 months.
3. Large and medium enterprises who have already started this journey are enjoying up to 40% lower incidences, up to 25% cost savings and 85% improvement in reliability and predictability.
Like all transformational journeys, even this journey of deploying integrated Security has its own share of challenges.
Three most common challenges as per our experience:
- 1. Apprehension
- 2. Knowledge to decide the right solution
- 3. Implementation
1. Fear of the unknown – This fear exists as one can’t anticipate the outcome. One is not willing to bet their credibility online without knowing the answer to all questions. It demands a lot of visualization and scenario planning, which is a complex exercise.
2. Fear of Performance – Since many CSO has been traditionally measured on their performance by parameters like “theft, attendance, training, turn out, loyalty. Etc" suddenly this will bring about a new set of service deliverables and accountability. The real-time flow of intelligence will force transparency. That doesn’t leave much time for the security officer to do their investigation hence putting pressure of crunched timelines. The management knowing about a crisis at the same time as the Security Officers puts additional pressure to perform better and faster.
3. Fear of Redundancy – Survey states that 40% Security managers believe that their role will become obsolete, irrelevant or as management can get information at the click of a button instead of depending on their “gigantic manual registers". In reality, it is not technology Vs. humans but technology and humans working together. Technology will give business owners more control over who has access to their company’s assets and premises, and it will also allow them to monitor the way employees and clients navigate a space or facility.
4. Fear of justifying the cost – 49% of executives feel a significant challenge in establishing value with a proper business case. The management wants ROI for such investment. To justify the ROI, the security managers are found at times; a bit lost as they aren’t supported by a financial resource and adequate knowledge who can help them build a case.
Knowledge to decide the right solution
1. 40% to 60% of the total value is extracted during the consideration cycle. Total roadmap and cost of ownership are recommended to be considered over a 3 to 5 year time frame rather than 1-year. The numerous managed service providers, integrators, OEMs, vendors only add to the confusion and paralysis.
2. Our survey shows 70% of decision-makers struggling at connectivity, compatibility and interoperability. Different ecosystems like hardware, software, platforms, storage, connectivity, back-ups, protocols, sensors, analytics, etc. make considering and selecting the right solution a task more cumbersome than open heart surgery. The situation is like the ancient parable – the six blind men and the elephant.
3. Intelligent Analytics – 44% of stakeholders face difficulty in capturing data and 30% confirm that their analytics capabilities are not strong and flexible.
1. Traditionally security processes have been a bit informal and individual dependent. Challenge with the employee moral rises when management attempts to implement process-driven security protocol rather than individual skill dependent. Integrated Security enforces new standard operating procedures which demand a change in mindset, behavior and accountability. Seniors might want it, but they face stiff assistance from their subordinates.
2. Who owns implementation? Organizations are often found confused with the role of the IT and Security in this journey. Both have to be seen as co-owners with interlocked outcomes rather than in isolation. This tug of war creates uncertainty.
3. Once rules of engagement are decided comes the big job of orchestrating the integration between asset-to-asset, asset-to-platform, asset to the physical workforce, physical workforce to command centres. All this integration is followed by handover and takeover protocols. This task can be daunting if there are multiple partners/ suppliers involved. The task is best handled with a managed service provider with demonstrated success behind them.
When is the right time to consider IoT enabled Integrated Security?
- 1. If Security and breaches are becoming a huge issue to monitor and manage proactively. Implementing IoT based security solutions becomes the need of the hour when the company is facing unauthorized intrusion or manipulation of devices or physical defects, which may result in serious damages if not dealt with soon.
- 2. Scaling stage: When a company is planning to grow the scale of business and there will be a significant increase in the number of machines, assets and people then the cost attributed to it can be a non-linear model. There is an abundance of opportunity to manage many operational aspects through a command center enabled services.
- 3. IT infrastructure consolidation stage: When an organization wants to consolidate the platforms, technology, workforce and outcomes. For instance, if one chose the right Integrated Security platform, then the same platform can execute multiple operational tasks besides security management. One needn’t invest in separate Energy management, fleet management, Gate management, etc. software or platforms.
Eventually, big or small, organizations, will consider adopting Integrated Security, automation, analytics and IoT enabled security solutions to overcome rising physical security cost and unreliability. It’s a matter of time. Either bite the bullet or get shot. Reality is coming home.