The Difference Between Unified and Integrated Physical Security Solutions
In today’s technological world, a reliable security system should possess various capabilities, from facial recognition programs to alarms and access control. These systems have become much more complex over time, as IT departments and consulting companies have grown exponentially. Because these are complex systems, the decision to implement and maintain them is often made by a group of C-suite executives.
Due to the complexity of upgrading a security system, many companies are choosing to move to a unified system, rather than integrating various parts that could cause unprecedented problems down the line.
Below, we’ll discuss what it means to have a unified and integrated security, and what challenges and solutions can come with each.
What’s the difference between unified and integrated security systems?
An integrated security system means there are separate hardware and software components pulled together from varying sources, and is connected via a third-party plug-in. If the system only allows you to have a view of the different components, it’s labeled as a connected system. A true integrated system has the capability to use the third-party plug-in to create change in system components. A unified system is different, because it represents one platform that includes all surveillance and access control functionality.
While it can be beneficial to purchase separate components from various sources to optimize each functionality, integration problems can often outweigh the benefits. If one piece of the system has been updated but others haven’t, problems can arise quickly. And oftentimes, these problems aren’t noticed until it’s too late. The issues that can arise from integrated systems can also depend on the size of your organization and expertise, knowledge base, and number of systems.
What are some common challenges associated with integrated security systems?
- Too many steps and costly software. It can be difficult to set these systems up because they all need to communicate with each other properly. This requires higher labor costs, and could also leave room for human error. In turn, this can affect ROI.
- Difficulty in recruitment and retention. If it’s evident that these systems require a lot of upkeep and are convuluting tasks that should be simple, employees will be quick to walk away, or not come on board at all.
- It leaves room for vulnerabilities and down time. If one part of the system crashes, the entire system itself could crash. This could result in a lot of downtime, and increase the risk of exposure to potential threats.
How can a unified security system help?
A unified security system has all the functionality of an integrated system, but the connections between components are designed into the system with intention. Every component will run on the same operating system in the same server, so you won’t lose time or effort trying to make up for any errors. The single point of contact will help save you time and money, and updates will be smoother, quicker, and more reliable. Your employees will feel more confident and trusting, and any system add-ons will be way easier and less complicated to implement. And most importantly, you’ll reduce the risk of exposure.
Does your small or medium sized business need help implementing and maintaining your security system? Thinline Technologies can help! Visit our services page for more information, and contact us today.