Guest post by Gregory Gray
It was not too long ago that Security Solutions were all about catching the bad guys and often compared to patrol guards, barbed wire fences and loss prevention. These systems were proprietary in nature with surveillance and access control requiring separate infrastructure, support and decision makers. However, over the past 5 years, a seismic shift in the technology has occurred , which has had far reaching consequences about how and why solutions are deployed.
Due to the IT centric nature of today’s IP Security Solutions, systems are on pace to not only be the dominant solution sold as well as the dominant overall solution. This is partly because older analogue systems are being upgraded and replaced.
There are three main reasons for this trend:
1. One Throat To Choke – in today’s business world technical solutions are being adopted and deployed across the IT infrastructure at an increasing rate. With this change, responsibility for support and maintenance now falls on IT managers or third party managed services companies. It makes sense for them to focus on leveraging economies of scale, ease of integration, and streamlining maintenance. These additional measures help avoid a circle of blame game and finger pointing, which can often occur in organizations.
2. IP based solutions are increasingly streamlined and are more integrated with other IT centric solutions. This provides ease of deployment, control and manageability. They also drive value for scalability, based on future needs. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is reduced due to its IT centric nature and ROI is higher because it can grandfather previous investments in analogue technology.
3. IP systems are software driven. This allows them to be deployed for applications beyond the traditional “catch the bad guy” role of old analogue systems. New software features allow security solutions to make a positive contribution to a company’s bottom line in two ways, namely marketing and operations:
3a) Marketing – Analytics and volumes of data include counting and demographics such as gender, age, ethnicity, location and so on. Heat mapping also shows customer traffic patterns. For example, it is now possible to track a store’s advertising performance based a particular demographic, layout and merchandising against its Point of Sales (POS).
3b) Operations – Today, the ability exists to provide high definition images up close and across a wide field of views. Solutions are able to drive value in production efficiency, disaster recovery, remote monitoring and health and safety. Cameras do not need ‘coffee breaks’ the way people do. They can monitor situations that are deemed unsafe and or inconvenient for humans.
In an information age where application usage is more open and flexible, today we have an ability to have a greater impact beyond the traditional idea of Loss Prevention. The idea of considering more sophisticated IP Security Solutions that can help you achieve your business objectives has never been more apparent than it is today.
Gregory Gray is the Category Development Manager (Physical Security & Access Control) for Synnex Canada.