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While a business might have all the security hardware (sensors, surveillance cameras, etc.) and personnel, these can come to naught if the business lacks the right software to manage their security services. Physical security software serves as a centralized platform to pull data from disparate security hardware, allowing businesses to optimize their security operations by monitoring incidents and identifying trends.
With that said, there are several physical security tools on the market, and finding the right fit is not easy. Businesses can speed up their software research by reading this buyers guide that defines what physical security software is and the basic things to look out for when exploring the market.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What is physical security software?
- Common features of physical security software
- What type of buyer are you?
- Benefits of physical security software
- Key considerations when selecting physical security software
- Market trend to understand
What is physical security software?
Physical security software is a tool that helps companies put security measures in place for managing the secure operations of their premises and equipment. The software comes with features such as access control, incident and investigation management, which help companies prevent accidents, attacks, theft, etc.
Common features of physical security software
Finding the right physical security software is faster when you know what features you need. Below are the most common features of these solutions.
|Access control||Control entry into spaces by granting or revoking users physical access to entire premises or certain areas.|
|Policy management||Create a centralized repository of security and safety policies and share these with employees and other stakeholders.|
|Incident management||Obtain incident reports through online surveys/forms and conduct analysis to determine causes and identify trends on an analytics dashboard.|
|Security personnel tracking||Assign duties and track the attendance of security staff and analyze their performance reports.|
|Investigation management||Track details such as the investigation status (closed, open, pending, ongoing, etc.), assigned investigators, time taken, costs, and summary and evidence documents. Maintain investigation case files for compliance and other legal requirements.|
|Notifications||Set up automatic alerts (email, text message, etc.) to notify preferred users about incidents or changes to any investigation status.|
What type of buyer are you?
A key step when evaluating physical security software is identifying the buyer category you belong to. Listed below are the two most common buyer groups and their chief concerns.
- Small and midsize businesses: These are the buyers with up to 999 employees. Typically, they have a low IT budget, and therefore their chief concern is finding a software tool that is affordable. A suitable option for these buyers is cloud-based security solutions that don’t require large investment for acquiring and maintaining the infrastructure necessary for sustaining the tools.
- Large enterprises: These are the buyers with over 1,000 employees. Compared to small and midsize businesses, these organizations have a larger number of assets. As a result, their visitor management and security needs (guards, security camera, etc.) are massive. Their key concerns are managing an extensive security staff and the integrability of the software with other tools, such as human resources software, for seamless data transfer.
Benefits of physical security software
Preventing incidents and optimizing the performance of security staff are the two most prominent benefits of a physical security system.
- Prevent incidents by identifying risks: By analyzing past incidents to identify the precipitating causes, businesses can spot risk patterns that could highlight details such as suspicious movements, unauthorized accesses, or abnormal equipment functioning. These insights can offer invaluable opportunities to rectify shortcomings in their security practices or prepare future contingencies.
- Optimize security staff performance: The software offers task management dashboards through which users can assign tasks to security staff and monitor their job and performance. While this helps to optimally distribute responsibilities among the available manpower, it also allows optimizing the workforce to avoid under or overstaffing.
Key considerations when selecting physical security software
Below are two considerations that businesses should have in mind while buying physical security software.
- Mobile app availability: Mobile apps are becoming increasingly crucial as they allow users to receive instant notifications, report developments, and view and share documents while on the go.
- Customer support: When looking through the support details, businesses should not only consider different channels such as email, phone, and live chat but also include onboarding and training. While email support is typically free, phone support might incur additional charges. Likewise, training users on the software might cost extra.
Market trend to understand
Here’s a recent trend in the physical security software market that you should be aware of.
- Growing usage of the internet of things (IoT) in physical security: Physical security solutions are increasingly offering the capability to pull real-time data from IoT devices. This allows businesses to constantly monitor their assets and quickly identify potential threats to prevent them from escalating into major security incidents.
Note: The application selected in this article is an example to show a feature in context and isn’t intended as an endorsement or a recommendation. It has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.