By Matthieu Le Taillandier, General Manager of France, UK, Ireland, and Benelux for STANLEY Security
Security is an essential responsibility for any business. Whether you manage a coffee shop, a factory, or an office space, you will always need to make provisions to keep your employees and customers safe. However, the digital revolution in security technology has not only made this function easier, but it’s also expanded the role these solutions can play into one that both improves efficiency and generates insights about how businesses can optimise their operations.
Beyond helping to keep people and assets safe, security tools – when powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) – can also help improve efficiency and proactively solve challenges. The core job of security systems will always be to maintain safety, but there’s now the potential to also use these tools to lay the foundation for a business to thrive now and in the future.
People in the industry talk about a “security ecosystem” – but what is a security ecosystem?
While a new technology solution can be hugely effective on its own, it can achieve much more through integration. Each of the tools and solutions a company installs helps contribute to a more holistic business operation. Like a real ecosystem, they grow and develop as data is accrued over time, and then interpreted by machine learning and AI to provide more sophisticated insights.
For example, a security camera can enable a security professional to see what’s happening in real time. But, if you were to combine this with access control and visitor management data, you could effectively draw a heat-map of the entire office, and see which rooms and corridors are under-utilised, or where there might be bottlenecks. With proper analysis, these insights can be turned into practical improvement suggestions.
Protect your people in the post-pandemic environment
Let’s start with one of the most basic goals of a security program – that is, ensuring only people you wish to be in the building can gain access. This is a task that has been made more difficult since the pandemic began, with the rise in popularity of shared workspaces and greater flexibility in work schedules. Since a greater number of employees have started working from home or in a hybrid model, employers no longer need as much capacity in their workspace, meaning overheads can be recouped by downsizing or sharing the office with another business.
This opens up the possibility of greater security risks if you’re not in control or aware of exactly who is in your building at any given time. However, problems raised by technology can often be solved with technology. In this case, remote monitoring, video surveillance, access control, and visitor management systems can all help keep track of exactly who is where, at all times. Software and mobile apps from security providers can help businesses remotely manage their security operations, giving them more visibility into their sites.
Protect your profit margins now and in the future
While these integrated solutions became invaluable during the pandemic when workplaces needed to adhere to strict rules to operate, they have an essential use in the post-pandemic environment: improving business efficiency.
Visitor management systems, when integrated with access control, can be used to verify and pre-register visitors to workplaces, saving time wasted filling out forms on-site. Or, in the new hybrid model of working, offices can more easily monitor who is and who isn’t coming into the office on any given day and help keep those who do safe and secure even if they’re working alone – an increasing reality, post-pandemic.
However, the most exciting application of this solution is the insight generated by the security ecosystem – the way these different tools and solutions interact to allow a workplace manager to see a bird’s eye view of their operational productivity and efficiency, then swoop in to solve the issues identified by the tech.
All the information gathered from cameras, sensors, doors, and more creates a pool of data, which can be analysed with artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify how space is used, occupancy trends, density levels, and more. As we’re all currently unsure what a typical office will look like going forward, this information can be invaluable in developing an efficient workplace in the future.
What’s clear, from all of this, is that the role of security technology has expanded so much that it now includes business efficiency and even improving process performance.
The job of the office and workplace manager has become far more difficult in the post-COVID landscape, but it’s something that can be made much easier with the support of a security ecosystem.