How to build a Business Case for Security System Unification
When most people discuss security system unification such as merging video surveillance and access control under one platform, it is inevitable that the main benefit comes up often: greater efficiency. They talk about how much easier it is for operators to manage many different systems from one platform. They reference not having to jump from one screen to another when handling an investigation or emergency. They even elaborate on the simplicity of configuration and maintenance, where universal tools work across many underlying systems. While all of these reasons pique the interest of security directors, it's rare when people take the time to quantify that efficiency.
In an interesting discussion with Paul Boucherle, Principal at Matterhorn Consulting, he unveils the importance of measuring the efficiency gains of unification to build a business case that: 1- appeals to executives when the topic of upgrades is discussed 2- showcases the value that the security department brings to the organization. Here are some important points from that conversation to consider.
How Much Time Does Unification Save You?
When it comes down to it, unification helps an organization streamline workflows and processes. There is significant business value in that efficiency, but it is one of the least measured returns on investment. At the same time, it is one of the most important measurements for the security director because it allows them to do more with existing resources. For example, if clients can streamline their security operations with the same amount of people in the department, they might see anywhere between 10-15% of available time freed up. That percentage might equate to 1 hour a day, and when this hour is multiplied by 15 operators, it translates into a significant amount of available time per year.
What Does Greater Efficiency Mean to Your Organization?
Once clients realize how much more time will be available, there is an opportunity to examine what other objectives or projects to which they can assign that time. Identifying the security programs or goals that require these extra resources to attain successful outcomes is quite exciting as it opens up possibilities. Whether that means putting programs in place to reduce crime, or conduct more investigations, lower / evaluate risk in the environment, maximize system usage, leverage security investments for other business applications, etc., the question of 'what else can we do?' becomes a prime focus. This conversation empowers security directors to reassess their objectives in order to bring more value to their department and their organization as a whole.
How Does This Increase the Value of Your Department from a Business Standpoint?
The culture of the organization really determines how security initiatives are perceived. Organizations with mission-critical applications innately understand the value of security, while organizations with more passive applications might see security as a necessary overhead. Regardless, investing in technology that provides measurable operational efficiencies, whether for live monitoring or investigations, allows the security department to bring concrete value to senior-level management. Every company wants to know how they are able to save money or do more with what they already have, security included. Being able to demonstrate to senior-level management that a security technology investment has freed up 10-15% of time across the entire department and then present how this time will be allocated to new initiatives to improve the security or operations of the organization, helps to reinforce or positively position the business value of a security department. Furthermore, it also helps to establish confidence in future requests for upgrades and secure the necessary budget to deploy an effective solution.
Tell Us: How Do Your Efficiencies Affect Your Bottom Line?
Investing in a unified platform to become more efficient and facilitate the jobs of operators is important. However, thinking about the impact of this efficiency on the bottom line of the company is required. Have you measured the efficiency of a unified approach? Do you think this ultimately helps security directors get buy-in from higher-ups as demands evolve in their security environment? We want to hear your thoughts.
Paul Boucherle CPP CSC, can be reached through his company website at: http://matterhornconsulting.com
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