As anyone who has the job of justifying budgeting for physical security solutions can attest, it is difficult to communicate the importance of protecting against risks that have not happened yet. Many CEOs, COOs and CFOs simply regard security systems as little more than a costly expense that doesn’t generate revenue on its own.
Using simple ROI, the only way to demonstrate return on investment (ROI) for a physical security system is to try to quantify losses that haven’t yet occurred. However, physical security risks including vandalism, theft, and workplace violence cannot easily be put in terms of dollars and cents. Trying to convey the ROI in this way may not be compelling enough for executive teams to act.
This is where security professionals can look to their peers in the cyber and financial sectors for the more useful term: ROSI – Return on Security Investment. As a concept, ROSI goes much further than the usual discussion of protection that physical security professionals rely on to make the internal sale to management. While the financial investment may be in security products and solutions, the benefits from that investment can now extend to every business operations unit across the enterprise.
This is, in part, due to the increasing number of smart physical security devices being added to an organization’s IoT ecosystem. These devices provide massive amounts of useable data that would be otherwise impossible to gather manually at the same speed, efficiency and accuracy offered by networked devices. Now, granular data from video cameras, access control readers, and visitor management logs are valuable organizational assets which can be used to deliver returns in the form of business intelligence. Such data, paired with advanced AI-based analytics, has the power to provide insights and information that can be utilized to optimize operations in many areas of the business.
Compared to cybersecurity, the complete value proposition of a physical security system may initially be less obvious. For cybersecurity professionals, ROSI highlights the overall impact a potential data breach has on business operations, efficiency, and the organization’s bottom line. Security professionals can use ROSI to explain how physical security systems provide a return in terms of both risk mitigation and other business value. This can help decision makers better make the case to their executive teams as to why their organization should invest in a security system.
Video analytics is a great example of ROSI in action. On the surface, video surveillance systems primarily function as a preventive security measure or part of a risk reduction strategy. But integrated video analytics, such as people counting, hotspot detection and building occupancy analysis, can be used for purposes far beyond security. For example, the metadata gathered from these analytics can be used to help manage the remote/hybrid workforce, controlling access to ensure that personnel adhere to new schedules that limit building occupancy and crowd density to meet health and safety protocols.
Today’s enterprises can take this data gathering one step further and feed it via application programming interfaces (APIs) to other parts of their organization. For example, analytics from video surveillance systems can provide insights on usage of a kitchen or other non-work area to inform architectural blueprint software being used for planning construction of a new building. This is where returns on security investments really start to shine.
In terms of health and safety, there is also a clear return on early liability detection. Using AI and video analytics, event detection can identify when an employee is engaging in prohibited behavior (for example, when an employee has entered a restricted area or is operating machinery without proper protective gear).
Besides being a risk to personal safety, ignoring regulations can cost an organization hundreds of thousands of dollars in the case of a workplace injury or compliance infraction. Detecting these events automatically and remediating behavior produces cost savings in real dollars.
A snapshot of the value of physical security systems can also be derived from the reduction in manual tasks taken on by integrated solutions. A security guard that would typically cost an organization can be augmented or replaced by an automated visitor management system. Security personnel can track a potential threat across multiple disparate cameras across a facility in real time. Not only does this save time, it also increases operational efficiencies in terms of reducing manual errors and speeding up manual processes.
As our technologies become more connected than ever, it is time for physical security experts to start thinking like cybersecurity experts. The ability to effectively communicate ROSI beyond simple security use cases allows security leaders to make a better case for well-integrated physical security systems. Learning to frame the conversation around ROSI can help lead to a better industry understanding of security systems capabilities.
Vintra’s security solution makes your existing security cameras and video management system smarter. It ingests live streams or recorded clips from fixed or mobile security cameras and then uses purpose-built machine learning algorithms to detect objects and events that matter. It delivers accurate alerts and fast video search, and can be flexibly deployed on-premise or in the cloud.
Discover more about AI security solutions with Vintra HERE
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