Justin Hawkesford, Operations Director, Comelit–PAC looks at the significant need for app adoption in the security industry.
When the IOS App store launched in 2008, it featured 500 apps. Today, there are over seven million apps available across iOS and Android platforms, extending to every app and industry, genre and niche.
Back in 2019, our R&D Director, Sergio Nicoli, simply said: “If you don’t have an app for a new product, you are missing a piece of functionality that people want.”
To put this into perspective, users download about 28 billion apps from the Google Play Store and about 7.9 million from the App Store. Every smartphone user has installed an average of 35 or more apps on their devices, meeting their everyday needs and requirements, especially in the blurring of personal and work lives.
In the security landscape, it is becoming increasingly challenging and complex for our customers; apps can offer essential services to offer support, especially in our post-pandemic environment. Also as the requirements for integration and smart technology increase.
Integration is key
Key to app success, especially for security managers in the new workplace, is the need for cloud solutions and better integration between security and other systems, including fire safety. All of which need to be managed and monitored remotely, even off-site.
The move to cloud-based services isn’t new, with more security devices being connected over the internet, making them part of the IoT world. In our homes, we have been fast adopting facial recognition together with Alexa and Google Home integration, including into Comelit-PAC’s own door entry functionality, to conveniently manage our day-to-day lives.
Comelit-PAC also works hard to ensure its IP-based solutions can integrate into many systems, including within the Comelit-PAC range, such as video surveillance, intruder alarms and even fire safety solutions. And, in many cases, these systems can be installed on a single network to provide ultimate safety and efficient security services.
So, it’s unsurprising that outdated approaches to day to-day business security interactions are no longer acceptable for the average employer or, indeed, employee. Likewise, in the past, organisations may have fared well managing disparate systems with different platforms and interfaces.
The pandemic-induced need for speed swept away many perceived obstacles. What was once an “interesting but risky concept was – all of a sudden – the only way.” And, today’s security challenges require a robust, integrated programme backed by a holistic strategy.
This is where an app, carefully designed to support users looking to remotely manage security and fire safety systems from a single cloud platform will prove most useful.
One system visibility
There is another key factor that blends with the fast-paced adaption of integrated security systems – and this is the advances in one system management capability to offer greater efficiencies.
Again, it is something we have become accustomed to in our home security, where, taking a mobile-first app approach, such as Comelit-PAC’s popular home security app that is free to download, provides users with one simple and effective place to go to control their home.
From a business perspective, this expectation is no different than offering a seamless security solution that is easily controllable from a single management platform, accessible by authorised personnel with 24-hour coverage, without compromising on innovation or compliance to latest legislation.
Total app control
Taking all of this into account, it is no wonder that security managers who control so much of their home from single apps now require the same for their business operations.
This is even more critical when we consider how surveys show the workplace will never go back to how it was prior to the pandemic. The new normal for many involves some form of hybrid working conditions, with offices introducing expectations on when and how teams return to offices on different days.
This makes seemingly simple questions such as ‘how many people are in the building today’ more complex to answer and places an emphasis on the need for more advanced access control.
Equally, it is understandable that some colleagues after the uncertainties of the pandemic, may be nervous to return to the office. And we must balance enabling an efficient movement of people and effective security measures, enabling social distancing if still a requirement by offices, with processes that help colleagues to feel comfortable and safe.
The same may also be said for maintenance teams. Prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, these teams would always have been present in the building. Now, they might also be working remotely or according to a hybrid structure.
Remote services such as an app are critical tools used to manage this shift and the introduction of new processes. Increased monitoring for both fire and security is needed to ensure awareness of access across a building which is essential to managing complex processes such as an evacuation, safety test or even just the usual flow of people.
With you always
The app development market is growing because app users are eager to reap the benefits of a mobile-centric lifestyle. Apps must meet the needs of mobile users’ routine requirements to be successful.
In security, the use of smart technology and devices with user control at its core, enabling compatibility with mobile apps, is in demand. The industry must acknowledge the fast pace we need to develop this integration. Comelit has recently launched a new image-led, fully responsive app to ensure users can check their status across Comelit’s extensive product portfolio on a remote basis, making sure they are connected and fully operational at all times.
MyComelit allows users to manage systems, including Comelit’s renowned Simplebus and VIP, by installation site or project, with easy consultation and geographical visualisation available in an interactive map. For each site, it is possible to define an address and coordinates and have real time information on the status of installed devices.
The app also offers the possibility to share management of the sites with other users, with different roles and profile possibilities and different functions available.
What this app shows is how we have listened to our customers and understood their requirements, both in the current environment and looking to the future. We have tried to incorporate as much as possible to create a stand out tool for our customers, incorporating dedicated sales and technical support.
But, most importantly, MyComelit is an evolving app as our lives continue to change at a rapid rate. Incorporating new ways of working into our daily lives would normally have taken years, instead it happened in just a few months – and, we have adapted so well that there is no going back.
We as a collective industry must respond with the right smart technology to enable our customers to respond to the new world of work (and life) without compromising on the ability to offer essential peace of mind on a continuous and remote basis.
The MyComelit app is now available to download from the App Store and Google Play Store. For more details, please visit: mycomelit.comelitgroup.com
This article was originally published in the June 2022 edition of Security Journal UK. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.