The Key to Future-Proofing Your Business

*Originally published on*

Answer these important questions when evaluating your portfolio and growth plans for the future of your business to ensure long-term success.

As security providers look to expand their products/services portfolio, they’ll need to be able to address three key areas: Big Data, cybersecurity and Cloud technology. This article offers insights into each area as well as important questions to consider when evaluating your portfolio and growth plans for the future of your business.

Are you providing your customers with ways to manage their operations more effectively by leveraging their security systems, device and business data in more meaningful ways?

Data is your path to differentiate your services in a competitive market and provide your customers with true operational efficiencies to map out a strong ROI play like never before. Data analytics solutions are available in many forms across verticals.

This is a huge area of growth that spans existing technology platforms as well as newer technologies that can be leveraged to provide greater intelligence and actionable management of people, property and assets.

In the past, data analytics was targeted more toward the retail vertical to mine point of sale data and video analytics within their environment. This is still very valuable information; however, customers in nearly every vertical can now do more than ever before with different types of data from their security systems and more.

There are various dashboard visualization, automation and reporting tools available to do the following:

  • Leverage video analytics metadata to proactively push notifications or actions based on specific event types, allowing businesses to more efficiently and effectively extract value from their security solutions.
  • Create risk profiles with various data sources that help to expose anomalies that may otherwise go unnoticed by the customer. Some data sources include extended access control (EAC), intrusion, fire, HR data, crime statistics, financial spend data or IT logical data events.
  • Design and build customer KPIs by doing weighted scales per exception, and stack rank the data to expose the greatest losses or impacts to their business operations.
  • Provide data insights through near real-time visualization of a business in the following ways:
    • Insider threats: Unique behavioral change — both physical and logical
    • Building risk scoring: Analysis of multiple sources around access, events, crime stats and more
    • Alarm ranking by buildings: Analysis of types of alarms and frequency
    • Sensitive area access risk scoring: Employee and frequency
    • Anomalous access times: Outside of normal behaviors
    • Unique staff by building: Contractors and visitors
    • Compliance: Badge deactivations, door forces, out-of-band access and more

What are you doing to provide your customers with security and peace of mind with the physical security solutions you deploy for them?

Cybersecurity is one of the biggest trends in the security industry, as customers are concerned about the risks related to unmanaged IP-connected edge devices, data-rich traffic, encryption levels, cyber vulnerabilities, cyber hygiene and best practices associated with deployment of security solutions.

These are areas that need to be embraced (and programs built around) to truly live up to our responsibilities as security solutions consultants and integration providers. As we seek to solve this for our customers and the markets that we serve, we need to look beyond many of our traditional technology providers and into new sources.

Many EAC and video management software (VMS) systems have some level of health and event status; however, most of these platforms do not directly address the predictive operational performance or the cyber vulnerabilities.

As it relates to best practices, there are a number of manufacturers that have built out cyber standards for dealers and integrators to follow in their solution designs and technology partnership programs.

There are even more IT tools available today for adoption into physical security programs and some that are tailored more to specific issues within the physical security domain.

We will continue to see growth in these solutions as well as programs built around them to manage customer security deployments more effectively.

It is more important now than ever before to know what is deployed throughout your customers’ security environment. Having deeper insight into the systems, devices and their real-time operations is invaluable to the integrity and security of their business.

How are you taking your business to more efficiency-based models beyond traditional security solutions by utilizing the Cloud infrastructure?

Along with cybersecurity, we’re seeing heightened interest in software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for video surveillance, access control, intrusion and more.

There are several benefits — for both customers and service providers — in designing solution models around SaaS technologies as it relates to Cloud-managed hardware and software:

  • Redundancy and failover of solution
  • Real-time updates to the Cloud for patches to address bugs and vulnerabilities
  • Real-time availability of new feature enhancements
  • Rapid activation of new services
  • Easy management of users, roles and permissions
  • Remote monitoring, off-hours management and centralized administration from anywhere
  • Clientless model that leverages an open standard browser interface anywhere and anytime

Additionally, some dealers and integrators have successfully designed program models around a “parts and smarts” deployment that is centrally managed.

This allows for rapid local deployment of your installed technology, while ensuring that your domain specialist can be leveraged remotely to allow for efficiencies in the configuration and integration of the deployed solution.

When it comes to growing your business, it’s critical to consider these key areas. If you’re not addressing them already, now is the time to do so. Don’t wait around for the market to pass you by based on a lack of knowledge, comfort level or waiting around for someone else to take the lead. Step out and deliver greater value to your customers and your business today.