Integrating the enterprise

April 2010 Integrated Solutions

Hi-Tech Security Solutions asked Honeywell’s James Somerville-Smith about security in the enterprise.

1. Is security in the enterprise impacting traditionally non-security functions, such as HR, IT or finance? What effect is it having on these designations?

* Security systems are increasingly linking to a company’s business systems to maximise security at all times.

* Access control systems can also be extended to include time and attendance functionality, and also link to payroll systems. In this respect, security can have an effect on compliance with working time regulations and other HR related activities.

* In retail, traditionally non-security related functions, such as merchandising, are taking advantage of security systems in their use of video analytics and people counting for customer monitoring.

* Systems like these take out a lot of human error, especially in repetitive processes where mistakes are more likely. As a result, a company’s security is increased substantially covering both assets and confidential information.

2. Have security managers realised their need to serve the business?

* Security should be aligned with organisational goals, adding value to business processes, as opposed to being viewed as a cost in just protecting against loss.

* As with all disciplines, there are security managers with a full range of skill levels and capabilities.

* However, it is true to say that the best security managers see themselves positioned at the heart of the business and understand the commercial needs that are to be satisfied.

* Many managers think of security investment in business terms and will include return on investment (ROI) calculations as part of their business cases.

3. Where are the drivers of change in the security function coming from in business?

* The economy, highlighting the focus on cost management.

* The constant drive in all businesses to maximise productivity.

* The increasing focus in all companies to think of all investment in commercial terms – almost all business investment these days needs to show ROI.

* Increasing legislation that requires companies to ensure the safety of all employees at all times.

4. Has the security function migrated, or is it in the process of migrating to board level?

* Those organisations that form a security strategy that is aligned with company objectives tend to be the ones where the function has evolved beyond the traditional role of security.

* The situation depends greatly on the sector or even the individual company. For sectors where security is key to the operation of the business (eg, banking and finance, retail), security is already at board level. Other sectors and companies will follow as it becomes an increasing priority in their enterprises.

5. What about the alternative? Are other functions, such as risk management evolving to integrate security functions, leaving traditional security officers with shrinking empires?

* This very much depends on the attitude of security officers. The word ‘traditional’ is very important in this question as yes, ‘traditional’ security officers will be left behind as other functions carry the burden of ensuring security. However, there are many examples of security functions that have flourished as a result of security officers thinking commercially and using technology to enhance their capabilities and reliability. It is about the attitude of security officers and their ability to adapt to the evolving needs of the company.

6. What should security managers and personnel do to ensure they are an integral part of their corporations going forward?

* Security managers should demonstrate how the strategy supports and contributes to company processes and goals.

* They should also emphasise how security can tackle the risks which may prevent the achievement of those goals and ensure that they think in commercial terms at all times, and in terms of ROI.

7. How should the security function expand to become an integral function of the enterprise instead of a shrinking department?

* The security strategy should have the buy in from all levels within an organisation and should demonstrate how it adds value and contributes to business processes.

* Embrace technology as an enabler and not as a threat.

* Technology should be regarded as a tool that helps to increase levels of security cost effectively, and to reduce shrinkage.

For more information contact Honeywell Systems Group, +44 1928 754023, [email protected], www.honeywell.com





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