Integration is vital, not only for end users but for the wider security technology eco-system, writes Gordon Swallow, Gallagher Security Sales Manager, UK South.
As the security landscape continues to evolve along with the changing needs of organisations, both must look at ways to effectively fortify access and security operations to ensure a security solution that will navigate the future without compromise.
Integrations allow organisations to leverage their security solutions to include an extended suite of applications and functionality that not only serve to protect both people and assets, but also optimise business efficiency.
In the Gallagher Security Industry Trends Report 2024 released in December 2023, Gallagher Value Stream Lead, Scott Ridder highlighted the importance of integrations and how they can support data-informed business decision making.
“Modern access control systems have become so much more than stand-alone products securing doors; they’ve evolved into sophisticated ecosystems providing not only enhanced physical security, but the kind of operational insights critical for making better decisions – and all through a single user interface,” says Scott.
He adds, “At the centre of these connected systems are integrations, the importance of which can’t be overstated for businesses today. In fact, they’ve become so important that integrations with electronic access control systems are no longer optional – they’re a necessity.”
In today’s world, we want technology that is simple and easy to use, while also able to be customised to suit our needs. A security solution platform that integrates with other technology partners’ solutions can be complex, but this complexity is necessary to meet the diverse needs of different customers.
The platform must be able to work seamlessly with a variety of different technologies, protocols, and standards. To achieve this, it must be designed to support multiple technologies, integrate data from different sources, and work with a variety of different hardware and software platforms. Additionally, the platform must be designed to meet high standards of security, including encryption, secure data transfer, and secure storage.
Scalability is also crucial, as the platform must be able to grow with the company, from a small single-site deployment to a large multi-site deployment. Achieving these goals requires a high degree of technical expertise, which can make the platform complex but highly effective.
The key is to ensure that the overall security solution is complex where it needs to be under the hood, while also being simple to operate at the user interface.
A security solution platform that integrates with other technology partners’ solutions must be flexible, scalable, and secure, and able to meet the unique needs of each organisation, from a single door to thousands.
With an integrated security solution, customers can reduce the time and effort required to manage and monitor their security system through a single interface, making it easier to monitor, analyse and respond to security incidents. This increased efficiency leads to cost savings as it eliminates the need for separate security systems and reduces installation and maintenance costs,” says Gordon.
An integrated security solution can also improve situational awareness by providing real-time visibility into security events, enabling end users to respond quickly and effectively to potential threats. It consolidates and allows for the extraction of data from multiple sources, helping users identify patterns and trends that may indicate security risks. Furthermore, it offers scalability to meet changing security requirements, making it a flexible option for businesses of all sizes.
Integration also allows for simplified compliance, helping organisations adhere to industry regulations and standards. By consolidating security data and automating compliance reporting, an integrated solution simplifies the compliance process and reduces the risk of non-compliance.
The overall benefits that an integrated security solution provides to end users result in peace of mind and ensures the safety of assets, employees, and customers.
Built to protect some of the world’s most critical infrastructure, Command Centre which rolls out two feature update releases each year (v9 was released in November 2023), offers a future-proof solution designed to grow alongside an organisation.
We know that every business is unique, a one-size-fits-all solution no longer works for modern businesses and as technology continues to advance, so does the need for comprehensive security solutions. Integrations in security technology have become a crucial aspect of modern security systems, enabling organisations to better protect their assets and data from external and internal threats. Integrating security technology is a proactive approach that helps security professionals to better understand potential risks and mitigate them before they cause damage.
The Gallagher Security Industry Trends Report 2024 identified the most important system integrations as identified by survey participants. They included, by order of priority, video surveillance, identity management, incident management, and data analysis.
The report further highlighted that video integrations were repeatedly ranked as ‘very important’ with many respondents saying they are likely to invest in video surveillance (both expansion and implementation) in the year ahead.
“Integrated access control systems provide a rich set of data that organisations can tap into for better decision-making and operational improvements. For example, understanding peak arrival/departure times and pinpointing access bottlenecks can help businesses adjust staffing levels and coordinate smoother hours of operation. Occupancy and space utilisation can be monitored to help understand how buildings are being used and improve office configurations. Integrating with building automation systems can optimise energy usage by adjusting lighting, heating, and cooling based on occupancy data, reducing costs, and contributing to sustainability efforts. And so much more,” says Scott.
The right integrations can enhance the overall security solution for an organisation, improve efficiency, and drive cost-savings.
The increased peace of mind that comes from understanding your security solution is operating in accordance with best practice, enables the confidence to make better decisions when faced with potential risks and threats. With real-time data, security professionals can quickly assess potential risks and take immediate action to mitigate them. This can help to minimise damage and loss and maintain business continuity.
Gallagher continues its commitment to a customer-centric approach to innovation. By listening to the needs of the End Users and the feedback of Channel Partners, they can incorporate this into the development of their integrated security technology solutions. “We believe that this approach is crucial to keeping integration at the forefront of the evolution of our technology,” says Gordon.
“We know that customers want ease of deployment with a rich set of integration points. The commitment to building rich Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and integration points ensures that customers can extend the site management software ecosystem in ways that suit the way they work, and ensures Gallagher builds a comprehensive collection of partners to meet the complex needs that customers have,” adds Gordon.
“Businesses investing in electronic access control systems must prioritise integrations to grow with their organisation’s needs and equip themselves for navigating the complex security and workplace landscapes of the future. Because in the end, it’s not just about controlling access; it’s about making better decisions that keep people at the heart of everything you do,” says Scott.