Poor security integration results in compromised security and ineffective protection of assets. Many property owners believe that more security systems automatically equates to improved security, which in principle is what a layered security system is, however, all of this is futile (including spending all that money) if these different security elements are not effectively integrated.
In most instances communal property schemes such as commercial and residential estates are equipped with a range of different security elements, or layers, as it is known in the security industry. These layers can include parameter security, access control systems, internal and external patrols, guarding compliments, vehicle patrols, emergency and armed response systems, and, general security and safety management.
The reasoning behind a layered system is that, in combination, each of the different layers contribute towards the overall improvement of the security management effort. But this is where things can get complicated. Each of these sub-systems function with their own equipment specifications, electrical supply requirements, and operating instructions. Getting all these different working parts to function within a master operating system is what effective integration is all about.
While it is clear that effective integration leads to an improved security system, the opposite is also true. Failed or poor integration leads to compromised security and creates opportunity for acts of crime. Besides improved security, effective integration is of cardinal importance to security service providers, estate managers, project managers, research and development or new product development project teams to manage resources, equipment, and personnel.
Security system Integration aims to address the following critical standards and outcomes:
DATA INTEGRITY AND PROTECTION
It is critical, and in line with governing legislation, that during the integration process, private user information and sensitive operating data is protected at all costs.
BACK-UP IN CASE OF FAILURES
In a country such as South Africa, where we constantly experience disruption in critical community services (such water, sanitation, electrical supply, local municipal maintenance), a well-integrated security solution must provide local and cloud-based back-up services for extended periods.
IMPROVED USER EXPERIENCE
Another important goal of effective integration is that it has to aim to improve the end-user (operator) experience. Whoever needs to work with the final product needs to experience the system as convenient, practical, and easy to use, this includes technical support services, especially after hours.
IMPROVED OVERALL SECURITY
One key characteristic of integration done right, is that the overall security management is improved and more effective. It is important to identify and define goals and outcomes before embarking on any kind of integration projects. Expectations have to be clearly defined and tested afterwards to assess the effectiveness of the project.
SCALABILITY AND ADD-ONS
Integration does not only involve the current security system and equipment, it should also make provision for future property development and additional security add-ons such as camera systems, strobe-lights, movement-detection beams, guard patrol systems and so forth.
QUALITY STANDARDS AND PROTOCOLS
As security systems make use of operator equipment (many of which is not manufactured locally) and software licencing agreements with universal technical specifications, it is critical to ensure that any integration efforts adhere to internationally accepted and approved protocols and quality standards. Check this before any integration activities commence.
CLOUDBASED AND SITE-SPECIFIC INTEGRATION
During the planning phase, estate property owners need to decide if they require a cloud-based or site-specific integration solution. While this question is mainly determined by the status of the existing estate installation (networks, switches, equipment, energisers etc), estates do have the option of moving to a cloud-based system, which will require a more detailed process of integration. Sometimes integration can only take place once a new network or cloud-based solution has been installed.
REVIEWS, AUDITS AND MAINTENANCE
Integration is only as good as the quality of the continuity of the new system. To ensure integration is successful it is of great importance to make sure the new system is regularly reviewed and that quality audits are performed as it goes live into full operation. Over time, irrespective of how well the integration process has been, the system will require maintenance and technical support. An after-installation maintenance agreement is a good idea to ensure the longevity of the new integrated system.
Effective and correct integration of hardware, equipment, and software systems lead to more secure sites and the optimised use of all the different security management components. The improved use and maximisation of all security equipment’s capacity eases the task of security management on all personnel involved.
A well-integrated and multi-layered site leads to a safer and more attractive property investment, which in turn, leads to increasing property prices and growth. To ensure that all components are integrated is truly to act responsibly.
Improved management of maintenance and repair costs, due to effective integration, means this expense really pays for itself. The question of integration is not a case of why but when and will serve all property owner’s financial interests in the long run.
Devtron specialises in tailored on-site security monitoring and control systems, which utilises high-end software in conjunction with existing hardware components and affords estates the opportunity to take charge of the improvements, maintenance, safety and security of their sites.
Visit www.devtron.co.za or call +27 82 604 5213