EXCLUSIVE: Revolutionizing alarms and intruder detection

Gallagher app - alarms and intruder detection

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Lisa Tubb, Senior Product Manager – SMB at Gallagher Security reveals how cloud-based systems can allow the management of alarms and intruder detection systems from smartphones.

The importance of mobiles

In 2022, the average American spent nearly five hours on their mobile phone each day, a nearly 7% increase from 2021.

More importantly, a staggering 93% of that time was spent on mobile apps, though it doesn’t take a statistician to note our increasing reliance on mobile technologies.

Take a walk through any public space and whether people are sitting down for a meal, catching a flight or running errands, their phones are always nearby.

Yet, in an industry that prides itself on technological advancement and innovative solutions, not all providers take advantage of the widespread availability of smartphones and mobile technology among users.

Some are rolling out cloud-based extensions of their enterprise solutions, but other subsets within the industry lag behind, relying on traditional approaches to protect people, assets and sites.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in alarms and intruder detection.

Traditional systems can be effective at protecting sites, but often face limitations in terms of response times, system updates and accessibility – problems that are easily rectified with a cloud-based solution.

With a phone in every pocket, users are now ready to make the leap forwards to digital transformation.

Rapid responses and updates

Beyond the widespread use of smartphones, the most immediate advantage cloud-based systems have over traditional alarm management is speed.

Controlling intruder detection from a mobile application removes barriers like location, time of day and distance, enabling users to respond to events on site and alarms instantly.

For businesses particularly vulnerable to intrusion, saving time when it counts can mean the difference between thriving and closing, especially as increased insurance premiums, operational disruptions and loss of customer trust threaten long-term consequences.

Take a pharmacy for example. With controlled drugs on site and state and federal compliances to uphold, maintaining an effective intruder detection solution is critical to ensuring not only staff safety, but the health and wellbeing of the surrounding community.

If there’s an intrusion attempt in the middle of the night, a cloud-based solution can alert the pharmacy manager instantly, enabling them to monitor the alarm, make a decision and take action rapidly without having to leave their bed.

While rapid responsiveness is the most discernable benefit of app-based solutions, it’s not the only advantage saving users’ time.

Automatic software updates, enhancements and improvements deployed from the cloud keep these systems up to date effortlessly, removing the burden of system maintenance and freeing up businesses to focus on other important tasks.

As new technologies become available, cloud-based alarm and intruder detection applications can expand their capabilities to create interoperable, holistic security controls over a site that includes access control, guard management and more.

Flexible and simplified security

Cloud-based solutions have two other innate characteristics that will drive the way users manage security going forwards: simplicity and flexibility.

Traditional alarm and intruder detection systems can be complex to install, configure and operate, often requiring specialized technical knowledge.

Cloud-based solutions, however, emphasize user-friendly interfaces and intuitive controls, making them accessible to a wider range of users.

They can also be designed to deliver personalized experiences that reduce the cognitive clutter of non-applicable features, further enhancing simplicity of use.

As apps can be continually updated, incorporating user feedback into functionality and design can happen on a continual basis, allowing alarm and intruder management to evolve alongside the needs of users.

Furthermore, adapting security to match the pace of changing workplace norms will become a business necessity in the years to come.

Few could have predicted the sharp increase in remote and hybrid work arrangements brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, but in a short time it’s become a standard request from staff capable of working off-site.

Such unforeseen changes – like the move toward smart cities and the need for wider recruitment nets – amplify the need for flexible alarm and intruder detection controls and security vendors who hesitate to deliver mobile solutions risk losing out as demand increases.

Democratizing security

Above all else, perhaps the most significant way cloud-based solutions are revolutionizing alarm and intruder detection is by removing the barriers that have historically limited access to advanced security systems.

Kicking down these doors puts the power of security squarely in the hands of businesses and the people who make them great.

For one, traditional solutions often come with high upfront costs for hardware and installation in addition to substantial ongoing personnel and maintenance expenses.

Cloud-based solutions rely on wireless devices and centralized cloud servers for data storage and processing, eliminating many traditional costs of alarm and intruder detection systems and making them a far more affordable solution.

More importantly, the intuitive controls inherent to cloud-based solutions don’t require technical expertise.

This simplicity of use levels the playing field for non-technical users by removing the complexities that come with traditional alarm and intruder detection systems, enabling the self-management of sites through the device people are most familiar with – their phone.

That means robust security for everyone, regardless of experience, expertise and budget.

Simplicity of use also means less dependence on integrators to help solve problems when they arise, saving time and money in the process.

Then when it’s time for a business to grow, cloud-based solutions are easier to scale; new users can be added and removed quickly, expansion is more cost-effective and multi-site management can continue to be controlled by one app.

By removing the barriers posed by complex interfaces, cloud-based solutions democratize security.

Enabling people to manage robust alarm and intruder detection from their phone is as revolutionary an idea as any and ushers in a new era of security solutions that will change the way businesses operate.

About the author

Lisa Tubb is the Senior Product Manager for Gallagher Security’s Security Made Better (SMB) division.

Prior to joining Gallagher Security, Lisa was Product Strategy Manager at location-based business intelligence and mobility software company Smartrak and before that spent nine years working for Visa Europe as Operations Analyst and Management Information Performance Business Partner. 

This article was originally published in the September edition of Security Journal Americas. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.

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