Physical security information management (PSIM) software seems set to become all the rage. Theoretically, this will allow more security technology to be controlled by the same software, by the same people, even from the same control room. For example, this could assist in highlighting areas of intrusion, drawing operators' attention to alarms no matter which particular security device raises an alert.
While most of the focus of management software today seems to be on intelligent analytics available for CCTV solutions, there are already applications incorporating other technologies on the market. However, now that PSIM is being given particular attention I think we will see some interesting developments in the near future.
What I find interesting is that it is not only the usual suspects in the security industry promoting PSIM, but traditionally non-security companies like Cisco are also diving headlong into the PSIM game. The benefit of this particular company’s offering is that it can leverage off its dominant position in corporate networking and incorporate the security function into the IT infrastructure of the company and manage the whole caboodle all at once.
So what does this mean for security vendors? Are they ready to compete with streamlined and cash flush operations that are used to winning? More importantly, are they able to compete with the company that is almost certainly present, trusted and has skilled people in most large enterprises?
Skills – the growing crisis
Never mind the threat from other companies and industries, how can the security industry deal with the potential threat from its own government? If the current proposed labour legislation is passed, not only will the skills crisis escalate, but we will probably see worsening service levels as companies do everything they can to avoid hiring more people. Which company can afford to hire a political appointee who thinks they cannot be fired instead of someone capable of doing the job?
On the positive side, the growth in unemployment that will result if the new legislation is passed will create even more opportunities for people in the security industry. Some of those opportunities may even be in South Africa.
Andrew Seldon, editor
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