Safe cities present a great opportunity for security systems integrators. But do you have what it takes to succeed in this field?
Safe City initiatives are among the best ways to build an efficient, proactive security posture to enhance safety and propel increased collaboration between city officials, security leaders, law enforcement, and first responders.
Cooperation, including public-private alliances, allow cities to identify current threats while learning and analyzing data points to address future risks. Safe City initiatives help cities achieve accurate situational awareness by aggregating a large amount of data and turning it into valuable information, enabling officials to identify threats, manage emergencies and investigate incidents.
Security systems integrators are an integral part of making a city safe. This article examines the critical role they play, what it takes to become an integrator for safe cities, and the current trends to know.
What does a system integrator do?
Nearly every city, small or large, goes through steps to determine how to best secure its environment. This process often starts with identifying the organization’s top priorities. The systems integrator plays a key role in helping them identify what matters most and how to build a strategy that mitigates risks today and into the future.
“Systems integrators that understand the complexity and challenges of Safe City environments are ideally positioned to help local governments and city leaders protect their valued assets, people, and infrastructure,” explains Alan Stoddard, President, Cognyte North America, Situational Intelligence Solutions. “Those who frequently work in this market know that it is critical to break down the walls between disparate data inputs and build a security technology roadmap that helps stakeholders realize unprecedented visibility and actionable insights.”
Stoddard added that the systems integrators his company works with are looking to unify security data from cameras, IoT sensors, access controls, and other systems into a centralized environment to increase awareness and help their customers establish more proactive security postures.
Do you meet the requirements?
As an integrator in this market, you must help cities protect citizens, customers, visitors, and employees. Now, in the wake of COVID-19, you might also be charged with helping develop the technology that supports a health safety program.
“To solve this challenge, integrators need to provide their customers with a layered, flexible security and IoT solution that can expand and grow over time,” Stoddard continued. “Systems integrators are in a unique position. They play a pivotal role in helping create a safe space while ensuring a focus on health and safety, and they have the knowledge of the technologies that can help cities meet their long-term goals.”
Also read: Top VMS for safe cities
Trends you should know
As cities grow, officials require more effective and efficient intelligence-gathering processes. Advanced, intelligent systems and sensors can capture a wide array of information. Data obtained from IoT devices, social media, the Web, and security systems help ensure safety and optimize operations.
But Stoddard points out that the amount of data collected today can be overwhelming. Cities need methods to transform raw data into valuable insight — only then can they reach more informed, intelligent decisions.
“A holistic approach to security and centralized security operations help operators make sense of a wide variety of information sources to proactively detect risk and activate an efficient response,” Stoddard said.
Another trend we are seeing is an increase in mobile applications to drive citizen engagement. With the rise of smartphones across the globe, users can capture high-definition photos and videos.
In an emergency, data from citizens proves to be valuable in gathering pieces of the puzzle, to aid officials in providing an effective response. Operators in a centralized SOC can correlate data from shared reports, photos, videos, and other data to enhance evidence collection and accelerate investigations.
Making cities safe is a priority for authorities and this presents a great business opportunity for security systems integrators. But to ensure successful safe city projects, integrators should know their role well and what they can do. With the right skills and a good knowledge of the trends, integrators can surely excel in this area.