Budgeting for physical security is not easy for three main reasons.
Budgeting for physical security is not easy for three main reasons. First, most people outside a company's security department don’t really understand what it takes to protect their sites and assets around the clock.
Second, security is an expense for most companies, not contributing to their bottom lines. And finally, the bleak outlook of the global economy has prompted companies to cut costs, making any increase in budget difficult.
Of course, these reasons don’t factor in the challenges within the budgeting process itself. Technological advancements, labor concerns, and persistent inflation make it difficult for security professionals to come up with the right combination of solutions that would ensure maximum protection. We asked some of the top industry experts for their opinions on this issue.
AJ Frazer, Chief Revenue Officer, Irisity
When budgeting for security needs, it is important to consider how much manpower and expertise you need to run your security system. Some systems are easy to use and have proven to save time and cover more ground with fewer employees, while others require a large, highly skilled team to manage them. The system itself is not the only accrued cost of a security purchase.
Having a video analytics solution that allows you to automate certain functions gives you time back to your team to focus on more critical tasks. Overall, saving time and money and allowing your team to prioritize their workload and get better results. It's important that leadership teams make the most of both their employees' time and the systems they pay for.
Robert Wall, CTO, Edge360
Consider the longevity of the technologies you purchase and the potential for increased yearly costs. We have seen an increased interest in cloud products recently, but realistically, over time, those products cost more and more due to storage restraints.
Think about how your business will look in the future. The ability to scale up your security program or technology infrastructure on demand will be critical to helping you meet tomorrow's requirements. Finally, calculate TCO and ROI so you can determine whether the purchases or initiatives you put in place today will have an impact over the long term.
Justin Wilmas, President, Netwatch North America
One of the most important factors that most businesses should consider when planning their security budget is rising inflation. While inflation already plays a direct role in the cost of security services as it is, businesses often fail to see the indirect consequences of rising prices on the quality of security that they require.
Look at it this way: when inflation rises, the cost of living increases with it, and when the cost of living increases, bad actors may engage in criminal activity to make ends meet. Therefore, businesses in areas with rising inflation rates may want to set more of their budget aside for higher quality security solutions, as they may be at higher risk than they think.
With social and economic challenges in play, it is important to ensure your budget is in line with your risk management. Organizations are looking to get the most value out of their investments due to the fact that inflation has driven the cost of capital expenditures and the labor market challenges lead to an increase in the cost of on-site guard services. Proactive video monitoring is an operational expense that provides better protection and savings, allowing organizations to maximize their budget.
Jeff Ross, Director of Marketing, ACRE
One of the most important factors for business owners to take into consideration when planning a security budget is whether or not the solutions they are considering can be scaled to meet their precise needs.
Some traditional solutions on the market follow a “one-size fits all” approach to security, which is simply not always true. For smaller businesses especially, scalability can be a highly beneficial attribute to look for when vetting security solutions to fit into their budget, as the services can be adjusted to their needs by the service provider, thus saving business owners from overpaying for security in the long run.
Alan Stoddard, CEO, Intellicene
First, evaluate the current risk landscape surrounding your business operations. Are there areas in which you need to improve risk mitigation? Are there holes in your existing technology infrastructure? Are your existing systems working together and sharing information?
What security weaknesses have you experienced? These are the type of questions that you and your team must answer during your procurement and budgeting process. A well-considered strategy will help you identify what areas you need to protect and what matters most.
Data from sensors, smart devices, mobile phones, and other intelligent technologies are driving the security market's future. Capturing and leveraging it can lead to new opportunities to make real-time informed security decisions. However, the sheer magnitude of data being generated creates a cacophony of ‘data noise’ that is overwhelming security operators. Unlocking the value of your information requires tools and processes that capture, correlate, and analyze it to make it actionable.
Security stakeholders must find ways to rise above the noise by combining data from multiple systems, sensors, and devices into one operating picture to gain new levels of awareness. Deploying advanced software platforms, including situational awareness solutions, unified software, and artificial intelligence-based devices, are necessary to help organizations stay ahead of security risks. With a fully integrated approach, organizations can create an intelligent security operations approach that delivers long-term value for years to come.
Eric Olson, Product Marketing Manager, Arcules
There are many changes affecting organizations now thanks to various social, economic, and political issues. Fortunately, technology has continued to evolve to help security and business leaders overcome current obstacles, address varying risks, and optimize operations.
But with new options, applications, and software available almost daily, it’s increasingly difficult to make clear decisions around which types of solutions should be implemented, how much to budget to set aside for technology adoption and management, and which tools will provide the best ROI and impact.
When budgeting for technology in 2023, security leaders need to consider their organization’s risk profile. A school will have more concern for access control based on active shooter risks. At the same time, a property management firm may focus on deploying cloud services that enable tenants to monitor on-site activity remotely.
Once you’ve evaluated your risk, consider your security and business requirements. Are you looking to leverage AI to automate event detection? Are you interested in transitioning to the cloud? Whatever your path looks like, it must be specific to your business and provide long-term value.
Demand for security technologies will unquestionably increase over the next year, driven by innovations in video surveillance, cloud services, and mobile applications. Cybersecurity also will remain of central importance as more organization consolidate their physical and IT security requirements.
Once you’ve considered your risks and the technologies that can help your organization mitigate those concerns, another important consideration is how to fund those capabilities. Much like other industries, security-as-a-service options provide organizations with choices in how they financially acquire and maintain security solutions. Businesses can opt for traditional one-time capital expenditure or choose one of many security-as-a-service solutions, allowing them to gain this same functionality as a monthly operating expense. The decision to select a capital expense or operating expense security model can then be budgeted accordingly.