Due to heightened awareness as well as compliance requirement around occupational health and safety issues, commercial business has had to include security as a critical component of its core operations. Business can no longer settle for less than standard security solutions as these have a potential to have a direct impact on their bottom line, be it from losses suffered due to theft because of a lapse in security measures or personal liability claims because of injuries suffered in the workplace, as well as many other events that are closely related to OHS issues that may affect the business negatively.
As it is the case with many other services and systems that commercial business requires to operate effectively, integrated security is no less important to this sector. Integrated security solution refers to a solution that bundles together different aspects of physical as well as electronic security to provide a holistic mechanism that contributes to the overall risk management strategy of the organisation. Components of this solution may include (but not limited to) CCTV surveillance systems, access control systems, alarm systems, fire detection and suppression systems, electric fence, entrance control systems, physical guarding and so on.
The extent as well as the scope to which each commercial entity may require these systems is determined by the risk profile of each of them as some will need more than others. The key factor at the end of the day is how these systems can be integrated to make the use thereof easily manageable, and how responsive the integrated solution is to the daily operational needs of the commercial client.
Key to successful integrated security solutions lies in the openness of each individual component system of the solution to work harmoniously with other systems. This is where open standard protocols for integration play a big role. Big strides towards this openness has largely been pioneered and achieved by the surveillance industry through measures like the ONVIF standard and others. Solution platform developers have had their work simplified by the advent of this standard as they only need to master a single method of integrating to a camera or to a DVR/NVR device and they can achieve integration with many different brands of surveillance products if they are ONVIF compliant.
Some advanced access control system developers have also adopted this innovation and are now providing an integration to surveillance products as a standard offering to their systems and thereby enhancing the chances for their products to be used as part of big PSIM platforms. Some will hold for all other systems that have come up with innovative mechanisms that simplify integration with others. Closed loop systems are no longer an option where integrated solutions are concerned.
Continuous business process analysis has become a critical component of commercial business these days. Large volumes of data are processed on an ongoing basis to ensure that business is still on track to meet its operational and more importantly its profit objectives. Intelligence is gathered throughout all aspects of the business, including from the integrated security solutions, to obtain minute by minute pulse of the organisation.
Integrated security solutions are called upon to no longer only provide pretty pictures through the lens of the camera device or lines of transactional data as well as stacks of printed paper reports from access control systems, but to also provide analytical intelligence that can be used to pre-empt and prevent occurrences, to adjust operational plans and arrangements, to quickly investigate and finalise findings on occurrences and so on. Systems that enhance remote access and monitoring functionality would be preferred over those that are rigid and confined to the control room environment, and so will be the case with systems that assist business to comply with regulatory requirements such as OHS and PoPI. Systems that can manage identity of personnel that log onto IT systems, gain access through an access control system, verify basic identity of personnel being employed and their employment history, and so on, will form an integral part of business process in the future.
For more information contact ZKTeco (SA), +27 (0) 12 259 1047, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.zkteco.co.za
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