Security technology integration is exciting. Things like touchless access control, temperature-sensitive video surveillance, and drone patrols are making headlines every day, and they are undoubtedly on the rise in terms of popularity.
New security technology can set your company up to land more contracts and meet the needs of current clients and you absolutely should consider integrating these technologies into your security company.
The key is doing it right.
Many security companies get their heads stuck in the clouds thinking about how cool having a new technology would be without thinking about what is practical for their business. This article will look at the following three tips that are critical to making the most out of your security technology integration:
These three tips should help you carefully consider the best way for your company to integrate security technology that will set you up for success. If you want more information on this topic, be sure to check out this Thinkcurity Virtual Summit session where two highly successful guard companies gave their insight on technology and manned guarding.
1. Ask the Right Questions
There are two questions worth asking yourself when considering a new security technology integration at your company:
1. What technologies will improve my operation?
2. What technologies will serve my clients better?
These questions look at two completely different aspects of your company - one internally focused and the other externally focused. The answers to these questions may likely be two very different types of technology.
The first question makes you think about what internal processes could be more efficient. This gives you a realistic perspective on what kind of technology you should be looking to integrate. It’s likely that most of the technologies you will think about in response to this question aren’t necessarily security specific.
You might see a need for more efficient payroll systems, time-saving time and labor management processes, or even your security recruitment methods. These internal operations can be improved with technology that’s new to your business, even if it’s not a groundbreaking, headline-making piece of technology that seems cutting-edge and futuristic.
Think about what technology your security company actually needs, not what sounds cool. Going after the newest, shiniest thing might stir some excitement in you or your guards, but it could be costly to your business in the long run.
Now let’s look at the second question - “What technologies will serve my clients better?”
As a security service provider, your primary objective is to serve the needs of the client. The answer to this question could include technologies that affect your internal operations. But this will also definitely bring up tech that will improve your security service offerings.
The primary focus is to remember that, at the end of the day, you are in business because you meet your clients’ needs, not because you have fancy, groundbreaking technology. Both of those things can be true at once, just remember to always have the client in mind first.
So how do you decide what security technology you should integrate in response to this question? Start by talking to your clients. The more conversations you have with them, the better idea you will have of what needs they are looking for you to meet. Plus, showing clients that you value them by taking time to hear their concerns is a great way to build trust and longevity.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that every single technology they suggest is one that you should look to integrate right away. That’s why you’re the security expert and they are paying for your services. Your job is to hear their requests, see their needs, and come up with appropriate solutions that will better both of your businesses. But more on that later.
2. Think Reinforce, Not Replace
As soon as the topic of security technology integration is brought up, the natural response is “How many jobs will be eliminated by this technology?”
Many times - when talking about emerging technology in the security industry - people only think about this question. And security technologies could replace some security guard job functions in the future. But it’s safe to assume that, at least in the next 5 years, manned guarding will still be absolutely necessary to protect people and property.
Instead, the first question when thinking about security technology integration in your company should be “How can this technology reinforce my guards and improve the quality of my services?” Let’s look at a few examples.
Say you’re considering using drones as part of your service offering. Instead of thinking about how many hours you could cut from your current security teams, look at how a guard in the field could use a drone to stay out of a potentially high-risk area, access a hard-to-reach space, or scan potential threats on a property faster.
Maybe you want to install an AI-integrated security camera system. The true value that technology brings is to give your security teams better information so they can make more informed decisions and respond to security events more effectively.
The bottom line is: Don’t look at security technology integration as a way to cut down on costs and replace guards. Reduced headcount might happen from tech integration, but it shouldn’t be the focus. Instead, think about how new technology can add value to your services and reinforce your security teams.
Both could potentially result in higher margins, but the reinforcement mindset puts you on a path towards constant improvement, instead of cutting corners.
3. Make Realistic, Informed Decisions
The last component to gaining success with your security technology integration is to take a realistic look at what your company can actually take on and what your clients need.
There might be a dozen new security technologies that you want to integrate into your operation tomorrow because they will undoubtedly make you more efficient, more effective, and drive a ton of new business.
In theory, you might be right. But if you’re not careful, you could end up biting off more than you can chew - crippling your operation instead of advancing it.
It’s absolutely critical that, once you’ve picked out a few new technologies to learn more about, you only implement the ones that you can implement well. For example, a drone isn’t going to make much difference in your security patrols if you don’t have a guard with a drone pilot license.
This is where client conversations become very important again (notice a trend?). Sure, a client might think a new video management system complete with AI software sounds amazing. But a few quick considerations could tell them it’s not the right fit.
For starters, there’s the cost issue. Maybe they’re willing to increase your bill rate if you can provide an advanced video management system, but maybe not. Again, this is where your expertise as a security professional comes in.
Before you jump the gun on new security technology, consider the needs and wants of your clients as well as your ability to implement new technology. Then look at the technology solutions that are out there that meet both of those requirements.
By using this process, your clients will be happy because their needs are being met. You will be happy because you won’t be spread paper-thin trying to manage a bunch of cool, cutting-edge technology that isn’t actually realistic for what you offer as a security company.
One great tip to making better decisions: use the information you are already collecting to your advantage. Analyizing reporting trends from your guard management software is a great first step to figuring out what type of technology solutions you should be on the lookout for.
BONUS tip: Check out this Thinkcurity blog on the top 19 security technology resources to stay informed on the latest trends.
Thinking about security technology integration can be exciting, overwhelming, or even monotonous at times. At the end of the day, your focus should be on what will drive your business and your client’s success forward - not what sounds good on paper.
Here’s a recap of the 3 concepts covered towards more successful security technology integration:
- Making the Right Considerations
- Thinking Empower, not Eliminate
- Start Slow/Be Realistic
By keeping these 3 concepts in mind, you’ll set yourself up for success while looking like a rockstar to your clients. For more helpful information on gaining and keeping success in the security industry, make sure to subscribe to Thinkcurity today.