Matthieu Le Taillandier, General Manager of France, UK, Ireland, and Benelux, STANLEY Security
The shift in working patterns over the last two years has initiateda surge in organisations embracing cloud-enabled solutions – including cloud-based security technologies. The STANLEY Security 2022 Industry Trends Report shows that almost half (48%) of businesses that have implemented cloud security solutions, such as cloud video surveillance and cloud access control, state that they did so as a result of the pandemic.
Businesses that have been delaying the migration of their on-site security to the cloud are quickly realising its necessity, not only to protect their people, premises, and assets, but as a key source of business intelligence. In addition to providing organisations with “eyes and ears” 24/7, both on-site andwhile they’re off-premises, the data generated by these solutions can provide invaluable insights into facility operations – an increasingly appealing benefit with the rise of hybrid working.
Our research also found that, while the majority of businesses are currently using cloud security systems for the primary purpose of securing their facilities and operations, 44% of business leaders whose organisations have already implemented these systems say they’re interested in learning how else they can be used. As they deliberate the future of their business in a post-pandemic world, leaders are asking how they can leverage security technologies to unlock powerful business insights and outputs.
Historically, there have been concerns among business leaders that moving their physical security systems to the cloud will open their company up to higher risk of virtual attacks. However, with flexible and hybrid working dramatically altering the way people use work sites, it has become increasingly important for remote security teams to have a real-time view of their premises, enabling them to respond quickly in an emergency.
When a business’ site is connected to the cloud, not only does the system monitor activity on the premises – such as people on-site, flow of vehicles, and more – but it also alerts security teams when the systems need to be maintained. This remote troubleshooting, along with the ability to perform corrective measures in near real-time, enables companies to minimise surveillance downtime.
With cloud-hosted solutions, security technology no longer has a “service life”. Organisations can quickly and easily upgrade their device firmware to meet evolving business needs. This allows them to extend the longevity and reliability of their security, achieve significant cost savings and manage their security estate in new and highly efficient ways.
Security technology is constantly capturing complex data, and with the rapid development of artificial intelligence and machine learning within the cloud environment, businesses are now in the position to decode these insights and use them to drive business decisions. Our research shows that currently only 29% of organisations have implemented integrated analytics driven by AI and machine learning, but that 78% would consider using these technologies to optimise their operations, helping their business operate more effectively and efficiently.
With smarter technology, comes deeper data insights. By setting up systems to gather specific metrics, organisations can identify trends and patterns, giving them a clearer idea of what is happening in their business. Whether it is the working patterns of their people (e.g., how many people are typically on-site, how often, when, and where they traverse), or the status of their assets, this constant analysis can enhance business’ safety and security efforts, and lead to stronger decision-making in the future.
For businesses that have not yet implemented this type of technology, this can be quite daunting. Fortunately, this is not an “all or nothing” proposition; organisations can tailor each element of their security ecosystem to meet their requirements. Cloud technology allows for software as a service (SaaS) and varying levels of technology on-demand, helping businesses to scale it up or down as required.
Advancing the era of automation
Virtually no business has endured the pandemic unaffected and, for those that have had to operate with increasingly limited resources, the pressure is on to do more with less. Automation will be a key enabler of continued growth as businesses recover, and cloud security solutions can help to drive this.
Automation is not just about implementing robotics; it includes using AI and machine learning to optimize routine tasks, so your workforce is free to focus on the most high-value, high-impact activities. Incorporated effectively, automation empowers your human workforce to work at the top of their abilities, whether that’s a nurse having more time with patients or a facilities manager able to focus on the business’ key opportunities for growth.
Cloud-powered security ecosystems can power time and cost savings by streamlining building operations. For example, security monitoring systems can determine when the last person has left a building and send messages to other systems to automatically turn off lights, cycle down heating or cooling, and lock doors. This is extremely valuable at a time when fuelling sustainability initiatives is at the forefront of many business leaders’ minds.
Security will always be about protecting a business’ people and assets, but companies are quickly realising that they must leverage these solutions as a competitive advantage if they are going to thrive in an increasingly complex world. Cloud-based security, integrated with artificial intelligence and machine learning, will be key to implementing the innovative, data-driven solutions that will help organisations to rebuild for the future.