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News

Further trends in PSIM use for security

Qognify : 25 January, 2016  (Technical Article)
Erez Goldstein of Qognify looks at the ways in which PSIM and situation management software will be used in the security industry in 2016
Further trends in PSIM use for security

The overarching challenge, and also trend, facing security departments worldwide is the need to be recognised as relevant so they can do more. Nobody denies that what security departments do is important. And the overall consensus is that they do a great job with the limited budget and resources that they have. But for many organisations security is perceived as a necessary cost of doing business, similar to what car insurance is to driving.

If security is perceived as a commodity service that doesn’t directly improve the top or bottom line, then how can it be perceived as relevant to the business? And as a result, it is inevitable that security budgets will shrink, which is the exact trend we are witnessing. In order to achieve relevance, security departments will need adopt the following trends:

Visibility in the C-Suite

The C-suite makes the decisions and controls budgets. If they have limited, or delayed visibility into what is happening within security, then making the case to invest in it becomes more difficult. Instead of receiving a post-incident report, they should be able to get a snapshot of current incidents, trends and patterns. They need information that they can relate to, such as how incidents impact the KPIs they are measured by. If the C-Suite knew and understood the impact of incidents, then they would realise how incredibly relevant safety and security is. This would raise their inclination to invest more. As a result, we’re seeing a growing trend of assembling, formatting and delivering real-time information and insight to the C-Suite that is driven by technology.

Business Continuity and security relationship

It is one thing to make your organisation a safer more secure place. But from a financial perspective, the real value of those actions can only be quantified when placed in the context of impact. In other words, how do they affect business continuity? To improve the perception of relevance, it is absolutely critical to quantify the financial impact of those incidents on your organisation. Recognising the need to develop an ROI using various tools, such as pre-packaged use cases are increasingly becoming more prevalent and useful.

Streamlining operations with existing platforms

A security department might substantially benefit from acquiring a tool, such as a PSIM or Situation Management system. If that same investment can be used by other departments in the organisation, then the ROI will be even greater, especially when it streamlines operations. This is important because the benefits involved are real, tangible and very high. Security departments that collaborate with unrelated departments and functions, can develop plans to use the investment elsewhere, potentially improving profit margins by millions annually.

Dependability of security operations

Relevance and dependability are closely linked – the former cannot survive without the latter. To be dependable, security needs to be lean and streamline operations. As fewer people are expected to do more work, efficiency and process automation become more important. In some organisations guard service attrition may be relatively high, making onboarding and training costs considerable. From an effectiveness perspective, new hires may not be as effective as more experienced staff. An ongoing trend is to level the playing field with automated processes and workflows, allowing people with mixed abilities to perform many tasks quickly and accurately.

Compliance

Some industries have the additional challenge of maintaining compliance and being able to prove that they have. This has led to the trend of enforcing consistent digitalised procedures across the enterprise, with the addition of integrated systems for combined logging and reporting.

Getting more people involved

One way to become more relevant is to increase visibility. If more people are using or benefiting from a system, then it becomes more useful, and by default more relevant. Complementing existing conventional sensors such as cameras and perimeter fence shake detectors, by arming individuals with mobile applications on phones and tablets. The command centre can easily receive input from people as they notice out of the ordinary events, validate them and prioritise the responses carefully. The people providing inputs could be staff, trusted members of the public, or even open up input from the public.

As in any business, results have an impact on relevance. The more visible influence and ROI your security department has on the organisation, the more relevant it will become during budget discussions – 2016 trends are supporting this effort.

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