The key takeaway here is that integrators, consultants, and in-house security professionals should focus on three factors – requirements, solutions, and long-term needs.
Often end users are not well-positioned to come up with the best budget for their businesses without the help of in-house security professionals or third-party integrators/consultants. Security integrators and consultants know that proper infrastructure planning and budgeting are powerful tools for maintaining a robust physical security posture.
According to Eric Olson, Product Marketing Manager at Arcules, security leaders often need effective cost optimization strategies to help them prepare for infrastructure planning and budgeting, and their vendor partners are well-positioned to serve in this consultative role.
“As a trusted advisor, integrators and consultants can help guide budget decisions by identifying organizational challenges, guiding technology solutions, and providing actionable feedback,” Olson said. “The result will be a better relationship and access to higher-level discussions.”
But integrators and consultants must know what to prioritize, especially as we expect 2023 to pose significant economic challenges.
Focus on the needs
Glenn Adair, A&E Development Manager at i-PRO Americas, explains that whether you’re an integrator or in-house security professional, your own best practices will stem from what you’re trying to achieve.
“Before you look at any technology, understand what risk it mitigates, the organization’s tolerance for that risk, and what the impact of the loss would be,” Adair said, listing the following best practices:
- Develop a plan consistent with the organizational structure
- Deploy only technologies that fit with the organizational workflow
- Make sure the cost of the security solution is proportional to the asset you’re protecting
- When recommending technologies, develop specifications that state not only what solutions do and how they are designed but how they will be used to reduce identified risks or solve identified problems and what the expectations are.
Indeed, a critical step integrators and consultants can take to help clients make the most of their security budgets is to develop their understanding of the risks that are presented with each of their options.
“Which options offer the most benefit for a reasonable cost?” said Justin Wilmas, President of Netwatch North America.
“Do the services scale on a case-by-case basis? Managed services can help provide the most value for the customer as they get technology, inclusive support and maintenance, and the monitoring service in a single solution.”
These are a few options that consultants and integrators should consider when vetting security technologies. With a basic understanding of the risks and benefits associated with a client’s needs, consultants and installers will be able to better understand what solutions are ideally positioned to meet budget and risk requirements.
Know the solutions
When it comes to helping clients plan their budgets, the best thing that consultants and integrators can do is have an in-depth understanding of what solutions might best benefit their clients, even if the client isn’t familiar with the latest solutions on the market.
“For some business owners, it’s easier to stick to the security solutions that they are familiar with, which is understandable,” Jeff Ross, Director of Marketing, ACRE. “The problem is, however, that these solutions are not often the most cost-effective options available, and the business can lose money as a result. By developing their understanding of the latest and greatest technologies introduced to the security industry, consultants can more effectively assist clients in planning their budget while utilizing efficient solutions.”
Alan Stoddard, CEO of Intellicene,
pointed out that with economic uncertainty ahead of us, businesses are applying a higher level of scrutiny to spending—even for business-critical costs like security.
“As budgets continue to tighten, security teams should anticipate tough discussions with executive leaders and start proactively preparing a business case to ensure funding for upcoming projects,” Stoddard said. “Integrators and consultants can play an essential role in helping prepare clients for this process by arming them with data that proves the value of an integrated, intelligent security approach.”
A compelling business case for security needs to be grounded in what matters most to a business. Integrators and consultants can help security leaders ensure management understands all the positive impacts potential projects will make on the organization — now and in the future.
Look at the bigger picture
David Chauvin, Director of Professional Services at Genetec
, explained that it’s important to properly budget for long-term services and expertise, whether provided by a consultant, an integrator, directly from the manufacturer or any combination of the three.
“As our industry was traditionally focused on hardware and “one-time expenses,” we tend to forget about long-term value realization of the technology that is provided, and properly plan years ahead for upgrades, changes, expansion, changes in staffing, etc.,” Chauvin added.
Similar points were put forward by Robert Wall, CTO of Edge360, as he pointed out that
consultants and integrators should be making an extended plan for their clients, and that includes planning for potential growth.
“Whether it be adding more cameras to a video management system or more storage as requirements change, consultants and integrators should calculate the possible cost of the system today as well as how the system may look in the future,” Wall said. “Even just ten more cameras can throw a budget off entirely.”
The key takeaway here is that integrators, consultants, and in-house security professionals should focus on three factors – requirements, solutions, and long-term needs. While this may sound relatively straightforward, it’s the details that make a difference.
For instance, clarity on requirements is crucial but often not easily understood. At times even basic decisions on where to place cameras and the number of cameras become difficult for customers as they are unsure of their requirements. Surveillance cameras are no longer just about security. Their placement and purchase can also make a difference to a business’s operations.
Similar problems persist in deciding the solutions as well, especially because of rapidly advancing technology that offers newer features and benefits. Finally, factoring in the long-term goals of an organization is necessary to ensure that the customer does not end up investing in devices that become obsolete or inadequate quickly.