The modern approach to security provision has evolved to such a degree that, as David Ward states, even when security has not been built-in to an estate and is applied retrospectively, specialist companies can still help their clients to better plan and ensure that assets are used to their maximum effect.
In all things, an holistic approach is the correct one to adopt when addressing a challenge or project. Having a complete view on a situation and making planning decisions accordingly will ensure the final outcome is ‘fit for purpose’ and future-proofed. There’s another big benefit to an holistic approach – value. Only through a complete view of a situation or challenge can you truly plan for efficiencies and extract the maximum value from your investments and assets.
This way of thinking applies as much to security as it does to anything else. The historic shortfall of security is that it has traditionally been applied in a ‘piecemeal’ fashion. For too long it has been a ‘bolt-on’, employed where and when necessary and often fitting around the premises, organisation or situation.
The exact same can be said of other areas such as energy efficiency, whereby energy efficient measures have been retrospectively applied. In all honesty it’s not a failure of security, but more a failure of previous generations to understand the importance of future-proofing and holistic planning.
Modern buildings and estates are being designed and built to incorporate key functions such as energy efficiency, IT, communications and security. Today, architects are designing structures with these functions in mind, so while the necessary infrastructure is discreet, it’s also easy to access and effective.
For instance, wiring is where it needs to be while communal areas are designed with clear lines of sight for monitoring – and all the while without impacting negatively on aesthetics or other functions. For older buildings and estates, though, bolt-on will remain an inconvenient necessity.
Using assets to maximum effect The security offer itself has broadened to encompass additional tasks and services. Through a more comprehensive and technologically advanced service, security has become holistic in nature.
Technology itself has been a key enabler in this security evolution. The latest security measures have become so advanced that they can overcome many, if not most of the obstacles presented by older and more complex estates. Again, planning is the key to effectiveness. The correct technologies need to be applied in the correct way and with a global view towards the overall security stance.
People and service complete the picture. Today’s security companies deliver more than merely security. They become an integral part of the organisation and offer more than site monitoring or reaction to unforeseen situations.
The modern security service exhibits more of a managerial approach to the discipline whereby security staff act as ambassadors for the client company, welcoming visitors and trades and helping to ensure that they know where they’re going and are subtly ‘managed’ during their visit. Here, security has a better view of who’s going where and this, of course, helps to ensure fewer unexpected incidents.
Owners of property portfolios should be thinking of security as more of a broad service offer instead of simply security. The days of a man in a peaked cap and uniform standing at a Gate House are gone. Today’s security professional is more of a complete package and, importantly, an asset to the business or premises he or she is attending.
Similarly, clients should be thinking about how security integrates in a fuller sense to the property or business. The aesthetic of a building, as well as the culture, is vitally important, especially when that building is client-facing. Security is no longer an unwelcome addition. It’s now the first thing that visitors experience. That being so, it needs to be welcoming, accommodating and helpful.
Meanwhile, the physical assets of security technology need to integrate and not spoil the lines or interrupt the aesthetic. By careful planning and the correct application of technologies this can be achieved with ease.
As published in Risk UK www.risk-uk.com