Looking to the Horizon for PSIM Trends

Let’s take a look at the future of physical security information management (PSIM) products.

During the next five years, there are several trends in the physical security information management (PSIM) market that will likely become game-changers as technology and user needs expand and evolve. Following is a glimpse at a few advances likely to have significant impacts on future PSIM product development and use.

The first is cloud computing. Having servers and databases deployed offsite decreases physical space needs, human resources requirements and maintenance and hardware costs. With services hosted on the Internet and accessed remotely, deployment becomes much easier, since there is no hardware to install and no need to configure an operating system. The cloud can accommodate varying storage space needs, too. We will likely see some of the current barriers to cloud computing, such as large file sizes, come down along with much broader adoption of cloud computing in the PSIM market.

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Already, mobile technology has changed the PSIM landscape. Some PSIMs now have their own mobile apps or can leverage the native apps of smart devices. For example, employees in a facility might capture a video/photo of an incident along with the location via GPS and report them both simultaneously.

This information can be sent as an alert for the PSIM operator. Mobile technology in PSIMs will likely become even more mainstream. Notifications of events will be sent not only to operators or responders (such as fire and rescue) in the field, but also to everyone in a community for the ultimate sharing of information.

Pervasive computing – also known as the Internet of Things (IoT) – will soon be more than just a concept. Users and operators already have a deluge of data available to them, literally at their fingertips. As technology advances at a rapid pace, the IoT concept no doubt will become a reality, with PSIMs able to collect all of the data that sensors report and translate the data to useful information.

We might see, for instance, a fitness bracelet that can detect a heart attack, send an alert to a hospital or to 911 and then trigger an emergency response – all through a PSIM.

Social media has turned the communication paradigm on its head, putting power in the hands of the consumer/user and giving the PSIM operator a new source of data. Social media data has already begun to be integrated into PSIMs and that trend will likely increase. Social media keyword prevalence, account management and hash tag monitoring can give the PSIM operator a direct connection with everyday people and what they’re talking about. In crowd control, for example, monitoring an event’s hash tag could provide the operator insight into crowd dynamics on a minute-by-minute basis, if needed, monitoring safety or the crowd’s movement.

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All four of these ideas have become so pervasive, infiltrating virtually every industry that the PSIM market can’t help but be affected by each. The challenge for PSIM developers is to incorporate these big ideas into products and to predict exactly how users will harness these tools in the years to come.

Michael Mesaros, CISSP, is Group Product Manager for Proximex, part of Tyco Security Products. He is responsible for product definition and delivery strategies for Surveillint, the company’s PSIM solution.

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