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Selecting an integrated security system

While leveraging multiple physical protection tools can keep companies safe from malicious insiders and outside criminals, overseeing multiple solutions can be a challenge. For this reason, among others, many organizations throughout the private sector are leveraging integrated security systems, which combine several tools and make management easier.

Implementing an integrated security system is becoming a popular trend, causing manufacturers to flood the market by developing their own products. This not only makes the market for integrated solutions more competitive, but also increases the difficulty of selecting a set of offerings. As a result, decision-makers need to keep several qualities in mind when choosing a system.

Interoperability and collaboration are essential
Compatibility is among the most important characteristics of any integrated security platform. After all, if the access control system cannot communicate with surveillance cameras or any other tools, the combined solutions will be virtually useless. Decision-makers need to ensure the varying components of the system use similar, if not the same, protocol so they can work together efficiently.

Executives also need to make sure the vendor has done all the heavy lifting and tested its solutions to ensure they can collaborate efficiently once they are all tied onto a single system. If a company simply installs various tools without checking if they can cooperate with one another, it will likely experience problems down the line.

Cost and technical support matter
No organization wants to take a service provider's word and install an integrated security system, only to experience technical difficulties after a few months. Manufacturers should back their products and offer companies assistance during installation and any issues that may come up. If a vendor does not provide these capabilities, decision-makers should take it as a sign that the tools are not going to be helpful.

Finally, companies need to take potential and hidden costs into account, especially during today's ongoing macroeconomic crisis. In many cases, surveillance and other security maintenance expenses can be reduced when higher quality solutions are leveraged. Decision-makers should keep this in mind and look out for licensing fees and other ulterior expenditures.

While leveraging an integrated security system can bring a company a number of benefits, executives need to be diligent and do some research to ensure they select the proper offerings, as jumping headfirst into the security market will only lead to issues down the road.

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