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Long-term impacts of COVID-19 on transportation security

Long-term impacts of COVID-19 on transportation security
New technologies and systems could become more common.
Experts across the industry agree that the current pandemic will have lasting impacts on the sector. This could mainly be in response to the challenges that COVID-19 has brought about. Jermaine Santoya, Industry Marketing Manager at Genetec, pointed out that the main change is going to be increased health-related awareness in operations management.

“There is going to be new tools that are necessary as the health-related concerns receive priority,” Santyo added. “There would also be a new system to audit for such tools that enter the market.”

Speaking on similar lines, Stuart Rawling, VP of Technology and Customer Engagement at Pelco said that COVID-19 had demonstrated a need for all organizations to modernize their overall operations, as well as place a significant amount of focus on business continuity plans, which are paramount

“Enabling technology to execute these plans becomes the backbone for success,” Rawling said. “On a more personal note, what has stood out to me is the fighting spirit within the organizations we work with, as well as the community that has emerged based on shared experiences. This adversity has enabled more creativity and collaboration across the security industry and has reiterated how close we all are as a community.”

Glenn Farrant, CEO of CriticalArc, further added that the challenges require customers as well as vendors to adapt.

“We are working with our active user community to deliver key services remotely, including bringing new users to come on board,” Farrant noted. “As a smaller, agile company that specializes in software solutions, we have been able to move quickly, for example, introducing our new SafeZone Secure service.”

Systems integration business

Lee Copland, Managing Director for EMEA,
Maxxess Systems

The current situation is going to affect systems integrators as well. According to Lee Copland MD for EMEA at Maxxess Systems, it’s going to affect different sectors to different degrees. But for some, particularly those that are projects-focused, it’s going to be harsh, with customers cutting back on new investments and maintaining existing security systems by using minimal support contracts. 

“But integrators have the opportunity to switch to new cloud and digitized solutions to support their customers,” Copland said. “In the transport sector, there will be new processes to manage and adapt to, such as social distancing, the need for improving the remote management and control of security and safety teams, and better, more trusted and effective ways to communicate with dispersed staff.”
Farrant added that business models for systems integrators have always been built on relationship selling, and that won’t change, but the way integrators maintain relationships may need to evolve. During this current pandemic, customers may get used to dealing with vendors directly and to access services and solutions remotely. Integrators will have to adapt to that and treat it as an opportunity.

Uncertainty remains

Priorities in the transportation sector may be permanently changed, with more considerable attention paid in the future to queue management, social distancing, and the ability of staff to coordinate resources more efficiently.

It may be several years before we discover what the new normal is. Still, we can hope there will be many lasting positives to come from this pandemic, including more efficient ways of working that deliver reduced carbon footprints and reduced costs for customers.
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