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24/07/2018

Physical Security in the Cloud and Software as a Service

Author: Francesca Meyrick

Physical Security in the Cloud and Software as a Service

If you had suggested the idea of physical security systems being hosted on a remote IT network a few years ago, you probably would have been laughed out of the building! Yet today, this is a very real possibility and one which offers many attractive advantages.

Equally, this approach is changing the way security manufacturers and suppliers engage with the market. Buying a complete security system and running it yourself, until you can afford a newer replacement, isn’t the only option anymore. Software as a Service (SaaS), where you lease a complete security solution that covers everything from installation to upgrades and maintenance, has become a highly credible and sensible option.

Head in the Clouds

Most of us happily complete the most secure of transactions online (such as banking), so why not physical security? In the past, many people believed physical security systems should only be hosted onsite to ensure nobody could hack them remotely. However, this silo mentality also means that remote security teams can’t take control in an emergency either.

“Cloud storage ensures systems can be upgraded to suit the needs of the organisation”

With high levels of online security now available, there is no reason to run a security network like a medieval castle under siege. It makes far more sense to use secure online access to your advantage and to act quickly, whenever it is needed.

Cloud storage ensures systems can easily be installed, monitored, upgraded, and changed to suit the needs of the organisation. New hardware components can be integrated into the security network via an IP connection and authorised people can access the system from anywhere, on virtually any Internet-enabled device. This level of integration also makes the price of purchasing and maintaining these systems far more attractive as well.

A Change of Attitude

Undoubtedly the collective acceptance of Cloud-based systems has been vital in the accelerated adoption of Cloud Security solutions, just as much as advancements in technology.

“Selling SaaS has become far more commonplace”

With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), selling SaaS has become far more commonplace. Even in the physical security world, the plethora of vital software systems involved have highlighted that they are a crucial part of the solution, rather than just an accessory.

Software is now recognised as the asset it truly is, which has been an important evolutionary step. If you can install and trust security software, it’s no wild leap to trust it as a Cloud-hosted system. This, in turn, makes it far easier to supply as a service, transforming the way the security provision is delivered and maintained. At TDSi, we sell our software solutions as a service very much focussed on potential deployment in a Cloud-type environment.

Developing the Cloud-Based SaaS Mode

SaaS works very well for an individual business – the security provider offers a Service Level Agreement (SLA) and the customer simply pays the periodic fee to procure this. It’s nice and simple, the customer knows their security is taken care of and the security provider simply gets on with providing that level of security!

“As the IT world changes and develops so does the physical security industry”

However, SaaS also provides other exciting opportunities. For instance, one security provider can offer solutions to hundreds of properties or, equally, too many different clients within a single building or site. This provides benefits in terms of cost and overall protection of the property.

Rather than installing separate systems for each business in a shared facility, the tenants in a large building gain the assurance that the building as a whole is secure. None of these businesses wants to install their own security systems or employ security on site, they are quite happy to have a good service contract in place to procure the service level they need.

Embracing SaaS

As well as a change of mindset for customers, the security industry also needs to understand and embrace the SaaS approach.

As a manufacturer, TDSi strives to ensure we offer the ability for systems to be deployed using this business model and environment. Even some five years ago that wasn’t the case, but now more and more people are talking about cloud-deployable systems and SaaS, rather than a client-server environment.

As the IT world changes and develops, so does the physical security industry too – we all have to evolve with it!

If you would like to know more about Cloud-based security and SaaS why not give us a call at +44 (0) 1202 723535

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