SaaS: Time for Physical Security to Get Onboard

With the migration to digital cameras and IP-based networks, physical security has been making up ground in device and operations management.

Virtually every corner of business has adopted SaaS (software as a service) in one form or another. SaaS has changed the way organizations think about their day-to-day operations, and has had a transformational impact on IT. Physical security, however, has yet to fully take advantage of SaaS solutions.

Here are a few key reasons why SaaS has seen broad adoption across the enterprise:

  • It’s simple to deploy. You can get up and running quickly, which provides quick time-to-value.
  • It’s seamless to maintain. Ongoing maintenance, such as server management, is generally handled by the software provider.
  • It’s easy to scale. You can test, experiment, and prove it works — with minimal effort. If it works well in your environment and you want to scale up, great, that can be done quickly.
  • It’s cost-effective. You can pay as you go, for what you use. You won’t need to host servers or software on your premises. You won’t need implementation teams to come in and spend weeks getting your application set up. There are no heavy upfront costs.

Over the years, IT has realized outsized gains from adopting SaaS. Many recurring tasks that were once performed manually, like onboarding and offboarding employees, are now automated using low-code or no-code SaaS-based tools. IT has embraced SaaS, enabling other departments to manage and secure applications and the data within them.

Through a Physical Security Prism

SaaS-based solutions can also dramatically ease the management of physical security devices, lower costs, and improve cybersecurity for physical security departments. Let’s examine the universal benefits again, but this time, through the lens of a physical security team.

  • Simple to deploy. Most physical security software projects take at least six months, or much longer. Imagine you have plans to deploy an analytics system that taps into your fleet of surveillance cameras. Without SaaS, you would be responsible for hosting the new system, which means you’d have to order physical servers and set them up at your location. After that, you would need to install and configure the software itself. Many months may elapse between your decision to adopt a particular system and its full integration into your operations. A SaaS solution obviates the need for any of this because infrastructure setup and most configurations are handled by the provider. That cuts deployment time down to just days or even hours.
  • Simple to maintain. Back to the on-premises example. Let’s say you have your analytics system up and running. You experience a common but urgent scenario like an outage or a malfunction, and experience system downtime. You and only you are responsible for bringing the system back online. Even with expertise in-house, this could take days or even weeks. With SaaS, the provider is responsible for taking care of all those issues.
  • Easy to scale. Continuing the example, you want to deploy the analytics system, but doesn’t want to make a huge investment up front. SaaS solutions allow you to pilot the software at a specific site or with a limited set of devices, quickly and effectively. If the project is a success, you can scale to multiple sites, across as many devices as you need. If the project doesn’t yield the intended results, it’s simple to pull the plug and move on.
  • Cost effective. SaaS can provide the cost savings and flexibility your physical security team is looking for as you finalize budgets for 2023. There are no heavy upfront costs. You pay only a subscription fee, allowing you to also tap into your OpEx budget and avoid a major, multiyear commitment.

A Key Phase in the Evolution

So why hasn’t physical security truly embraced SaaS? I don’t think there is a single answer. One theory is a historical disconnect with IT, which fully embraced SaaS years ago. Over time, limited collaboration meant less information sharing, and this may have created knowledge gaps.

For many in physical security, their experience with SaaS is largely with video surveillance as a service (VSaaS), which presents its own challenges (such as bandwidth and networking considerations), and still hasn’t been widely adopted.

Physical security was historically a leader in adopting technology, with expertise in devices. Originally, it worked mostly with analog devices, and with the migration to digital cameras and IP-based networks, physical security has been making up ground in device and operations management. Moving from legacy software and manual methods to SaaS-based solutions is a key phase in this evolution.

Roy Dagan is CEO of SecuriThings.

If you enjoyed this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

Security Is Our Business, Too

For professionals who recommend, buy and install all types of electronic security equipment, a free subscription to Commercial Integrator + Security Sales & Integration is like having a consultant on call. You’ll find an ideal balance of technology and business coverage, with installation tips and techniques for products and updates on how to add to your bottom line.

A FREE subscription to the top resource for security and integration industry will prove to be invaluable.

Subscribe Today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Our Newsletters