It’s well known that security – and everything that comes along with it (the human resources, the technology) can be pretty costly. But can it actually save money?
The prevailing perception is that you can never know what security “saved” your organization. Why?
Because it’s difficult to know what couldhave happened had you not made those very same security investments. It’s tough to put a number on the unknown.
But as security organizations make the move to IP networks, and apply security technology in new ways to solve new problems, it’s becoming easier to realize and quantify the savings.
For example, let’s say your company has (or is planning to add) twenty-four remote sites. Granted, they’re relatively small offices…not a lot of traffic in and out…but you still need security. In the days before IP networks, the monitoring of security cameras and other security systems would have been done locally at a manned reception desk at each site. That’s the cost-equivalent of one full-time employee x 24 sites.
Fast forward to today’s “virtual reception desk” where IP networks make it possible to remotely manage this security function for any number of sites from a centralized location. Video, help phones, access control systems, alarm systems, fire alarms…any IP-based system or tool can now be monitored remotely. You can easily do the math and calculate the savings.
There are other examples where organizations are using IP networks to transform every-day operations and save money and time. For example, one company I know of leverages its IP network and strategically placed video surveillance cameras in its remote plants to get a bird’s eye view of visual information relating to gauges and valves. In the past, managers would have had to physically make the rounds to different plant locations to manually check the gauges and log this information. Now it can all be tracked remotely – a huge time saver.
Another way security operations can leverage investments, streamline operations and save money is to usesituation management technology to analyze and correlate data from different security systems, identifying those situations that require human intervention. Such incidents can then be escalated and “channeled” to the appropriate personnel for response. The technology helps to fuse all the information together, distill it, and alert when certain conditions warrant a potential situation or threat. Then, human common sense and intellect kicks in. We’ve found that by employing this technology, security operations can reduce incident handling time by 75%, and in turn expand their reach without adding more security personnel. What better way to make the most of your existing security systems and personnel!
How about you? Do you think “”security savings”” is an oxymoron? Or alternatively, has your security technology saved you money? We’d love to hear your ideas and stories.