Reimagining Systems Integrations: The digital transformation facilitates greater insights for security

Shutterstock / Vik Kay
Shutterstock / Vik Kay
Published On
Nov 15, 2021

The digital innovation that proliferates in business, operation, automation and physical security will continue to grow in practical application, now moving to smarter technologies as the physical and digital worlds continue to collide and connect throughout the world’s infrastructure.

According to IBM, the digital transformation is the process of evolving the business to embrace digital, infusing intelligence across functions to reduce costs and speed time to market. Salesforce.com further defines the digital transformation as “the process of using digital technologies to create new—or modify existing—business processes, culture and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements.”

Early on, the digital transformation focused on four technology areas: social, mobile, analytics and the cloud. Now, the internet of things, big data, virtual reality and artificial intelligence (A.I.) are integral parts of this changeover. Digital transformation makes convergence happen more readily—and traditional approaches of integrating disparate technology will become increasingly less feasible and even unwieldy.

Embracing the benefits of convergence and learning new disciplines in an increasingly digital environment is the best way forward for the systems integration industry.

At the 2021 U.S. Open, the grand performance of tennis turned to digital technologies—A.I. and the cloud—to bring fans closer. Some of the resulting extras from technology included real-time power rankings and match insights, likelihood-to-win values and other data designed to draw spectators and viewers closer to the action—and all controlled with the U.S. Open app.

So exactly what effect can the digital transformation have on the systems integration process? For one, it allows users to add intelligence to physical security integrations—expanding beyond video surveillance into operations, distribution and even marketing with A.I. You can add access control, mobile credentials, biometrics such as facial recognition, smart turnstiles and other security that includes historical and real-time data to better manage the facility. During the pandemic, TSA put social distancing and other safety measures into place at airport checkpoints with video cameras.

With hosted video, access control and other services, customers can manage all their integrations through a centralized interface. Systems integrators can also easily add new services through cloud hosting and network connectivity. The digital transformation may be used to assist with updating legacy devices and putting bridge processes to work until a full digital plan can be budgeted for and executed. It also lends an opportunity to earn recurring monthly revenue from these services—an integral part of any profitable business today.

Leveraging data

The digital transformation means more data and insights among many points within a facility and the opportunity for end-users to control a wide range of systems easily. When your systems are smarter, they gather important new data that can be leveraged for an additional purpose tailored to the customer. Integrators need to understand how to apply greater intelligence to the systems they install to enhance the customer experience.

Here’s how to leverage the digital transformation to benefit your business and increase your value in customers’ eyes:

  • Embrace the cloud. Develop a strategy for cloud-hosting video surveillance, intrusion, access control, energy management, lighting, environmental monitoring and other services. Customers will gravitate toward integrators who can offer them the cloud and the efficiencies it offers in management and control, lower total cost of ownership, and other information critical to operations, such as workplace distancing and COVID-19 compliance.

  • Learn how to leverage IP cameras and analytics for more than security, including safety and logistics.

  • Consider mobile credentials and internet/app-accessible services to provide the easy system management from a smartphone that customers desire—that all-important “experience.”

  • Think total solutions. Consult with the client to address problems and challenges with the most appropriate technology solution. For surveillance cameras, extend the solution to temperature-sensing at entrances, social distancing with motion detectors or robotics to greet visitors and explain COVID-19 procedures.

The digital transformation will continue to have a phenomenal effect on the physical security industry, delivering new possibilities for intelligent data in a connected environment and fostering deep insights to assist the customer beyond security.

The implications are far reaching and dramatic for systems integrators. When you embrace digital and smart technologies, you create a more valuable business proposition and present solutions to customer challenges that will keep them coming back for more.

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