You would think that twenty years in the security industry would mean that you have pretty much seen it all. This could not be further from the truth. Like so many industries that rely heavily on technology, the advent of the Internet and the Digital Age has changed a sector which we thought we knew so well. Now we are seeing technological innovation that many did not believe to be possible, meaning that while this is an exciting time for the security industry, it is also one of the most challenging. And it will continue to be so.
Key business decisions need to be made, with an eye very much on the future. Failure to do so could mean falling behind on your competitors. This mind-set is vital in an industry that is constantly changing. Not having the agility to adapt and to change to the fluid environment of the sector will mean that chances of longevity and success are going to be reduced.
Living in an offline world
Believe it or not there was a time when online processes were not the norm. The first “access control” cards on the market were shadow cards, which were hole-punched and when magnetic cards came in, they would be programmed with a hairdryer. The industry has certainly come a long way since then.
Twenty years ago, everything was offline. Doors were programmed independently, meaning that in large premises there could be a thousand plus doors meaning a thousand plus controllers to go with them. It was not the most efficient way of working, nor the most economical and even when the transition was made from offline to online, it did not revolutionise the way the industry worked overnight. There were bumps in the road, a steep learning process and technologies that did not quite work to the high standard that was required.
Of course, this is completely unheard of now. Thanks to innovative technology, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), everything is now linked up and has a central point of control. Though we are already seeing the IoT making a considerable impact in the consumer space (you will have heard of smart fridges and smart homes), IoT will continue to influence how we secure premises going forward. This is where a demand for integrated systems will become more and more commonplace as there will be a desire for everything to be linked. This means that the providers who can offer these fully integrated and linked systems will rise to the top and will have a significant advantage over competitors.
These integrated systems will not necessarily be entirely security focused. The rise of workforce management has been hugely influential across all sectors, with the manufacturing industry embracing the technologies and software that are now available. Industry 4.0 has meant that manufacturers now have huge swathes of data which can aid them when making those crucial business decisions.
Read the full article in the February 2018 edition of PSI magazine