From analogue to digital, from stand-alone to interlinked, building systems are in a state of transition. Moreover, the rate of change shows no sign of slowing, which can make it difficult to keep up to date with all the latest developments.
If asked to pinpoint the single biggest driver of this revolution, one could point out the growing clamour for platform convergence. A security guard in a building doesn’t want to use different systems to check video cameras, fire alarms or if someone has entered a restricted area: – it simply isn’t efficient.
For similar reasons, a building manager wants a single interface to control heating and lighting to match fluctuating occupancy levels, particularly in a hybrid working model.
Applying the digital glue
The demand from end-users for system convergence is growing, but to achieve full interoperability you still need to apply some ‘digital glue’ and that requires expertise. Yet bringing together disparate systems from different manufacturers can be problematic. Just as you get things to work, someone upgrades their solution and your carefully implemented convergence can start to come unstuck.
Managing an implementation can quickly become more complicated, today’s quick-fix can become tomorrow’s headache
This is one of the principal issues with all types of new technology; not everyone will choose the same path to reach the desired goal – it’s the old VHS/Betamax argument updated for building management and security systems.
Managing and maintaining an implementation can quickly become more complicated than it first appears and without proper oversight, today’s quick-fix can become tomorrow’s technical headache.
Effective support for a hybrid workforce
Today’s hybrid workforce is a response to the pandemic that looks set to become an established part of working life for many companies across the world. Security systems have a massive role to play in facilitating this transformation that goes beyond simple intrusion detection, access control, and video monitoring. They can identify the most densely populated areas in a building to comply with social distancing guidelines and provide efficient use of space.
The insights gathered from a security system can also be used to identify patterns of behaviour, which can then be used for planning and directing the use of building space to help create the best possible working environment while also minimising heating, lighting, and air conditioning expenditures.
Identity credentials can help manage compliance with industry regulations by limiting access to certain areas
Similarly, identity credentials – either biometric or mobile-based – can help manage compliance to industry regulations by limiting access to certain areas only to approved employees. Creating and maintaining the appropriate level of functionality requires a combination of innovative solutions and industry experience.
The complete security package
It’s not just physical security that’s important – cybersecurity is a major focus, too. Bringing together both the physical security and cybersecurity realms is increasingly becoming a ‘must have’ capability.
What is evident is that the pace of technological change is faster than ever. Today’s functionality simply wouldn’t have been possible just a few years ago, while today’s leading-edge developments may seem commonplace in five years.