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PSIM helps connect disparate security systems, agencies

While the private sector is often recognized for its high demand of high-performing physical security systems, the public sector also needs these tools. In fact, many government agencies use advanced surveillance cameras, intercom systems and other solutions to not only deter crime, but provide decision-makers with unique insight into the inner makings of the organization as a whole.

Because agencies use all of these tools separately, however, the expenses associated with maintaining these systems can be costly. The public sector should consider using integrated security systems and physical security information management (PSIM) software to enhance capabilities, according to a report by Government Security News. By using a PSIM platform, executives can capture and analyze information generated from surveillance, fire and access control systems, enabling the organization to improve internal and external operations.

"A PSIM platform, if properly utilized, could align all of the necessary security assets," PSIM expert Michael Jackson told Government Security News. "It could reach out to the whole multiplicity of actors."

Jackson said PSIM can be especially effective when multiple agencies collaborate and share the system. In airports and other public transportation facilities, for example, integrated solutions can alert local law enforcement and healthcare organizations if a bomb threat is discovered or a crash happened, the news source reported.

Integration is the key for successful PSIM systems, Jackson asserted, as surveillance, access control and general alarms need to work together efficiently to provide any real results.

"There is a broad recognition within the PSIM market that interoperability is valuable," Jackson said.

The main inhibitor to adopting PSIM platforms and integrated security systems is a lack of awareness, according to a separate report by IMS Research. Although the industry is estimated to have doubled in size between 2009 and 2011, the overall market generated less than $100 million in revenue in 2011.

IMS Research analysts said the forecast for the market remains relatively low because many decision-makers are unsure what an integrated system is and how it can improve operations, reduce costs and enhance physical security. Furthermore, a lack of new service providers has also made it more difficult for vendors to approach prospective customers.

Nevertheless, the overwhelming advantages of deploying an integrated security system will eventually help the market restore is prior growth assessments.

"By 2014, the market is predicted to be back on track with previous forecasts," said Niall Jenkins, manager at IMS Research and author of the report. "Customer referrals will continue to be a strong sales generator with vendors specialising in specific vertical markets by accident as much as by design. A number of vendors have also identified healthcare and high-end commercial as emerging markets for the platform, offering new opportunities for well-placed vendors in the future."

As the private and public sectors continue to demand high-quality physical security solutions, the demand for PSIM platforms will grow, driving the market forward and encouraging ongoing innovation.

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