Why the hype?
"If you aren't using automation, you're working too hard."
In past blog posts, we've discussed some of the big questions around automation and autonomous security. In the past decade, billions of dollars have been invested in security automation; from video analytics and robots to smart buildings. Scholars and engineers have said automation marks the beginning of the fourth industrial revolution.
So, the question remains: why is there so much hype around security automation? It could be argued that security doesn't need any more innovation, as cameras and monitoring systems already allow for eyes and ears to be extended to the farthest reaches of any facility.
Let's dig into this question, and address the key benefits that have security and software companies spending countless hours and dollars on advancing autonomous security efforts.
The elephant in the room: it saves a ton of money
According to KPMG, intelligent automation can account for up to 75% cost savings and the payback ranging from a few months to several years - dependent on the industry and degree of implementation.
There are three general levels of automation:
- Basic automation: this entry-level automation is typically assigned to high-volume tasks that are susceptible to human error (think: mass data entry or automatic out-of-office email responses). These technologies are relatively easy and inexpensive to implement.
- Enhanced automation: basic automation is taken a step further. You can expect this level to be more sophisticated and robust, with the ability to complete complex tasks. This level is common for the IT, finance, and accounting sectors.
- Cognitive automation: here is where things get interesting. These types of technology integrate AI and computer vision to be able to solve problems similarly to humans. At this level, AI software can teach itself along the way, so the results gets faster and smarter with time. Although this robust automation can be costly and time-intensive to implement, it often has the highest ROI.
At any level, these types of automation can save hours and dollars for any business. Here are cost-savings relating the security automation:
- Overhead and liability costs
- Labor costs
- Reduced patrol downtime (especially during holidays and overnight shifts)
- Fewer hours spent organizing and managing video footage
- Higher customer/user satisfaction
Invest in your team
What happens when costs are cut by 40-75 percent?
Aside from the manager doing a victory dance, companies have the flexibility to spend money on what matters: their team. This means training programs, team building, and better employee benefits. Not only does this attract high quality team members and reduce turnover, but it also encourages teams to grow with their respective companies.
Despite the (potentially) hefty upfront investment that automation demands, it saves companies time, money, and headaches in the long run.
Big data to predict and prepare
You probably remember the Law of Large Numbers from statistics class, which states that as the number of data points in a given set increases, the average of all data points gets closer to their theoretical mean.
In simple terms, the more data that's available, the better shot we have at predicting future events and preparing accordingly.
Utilizing automation, especially in conjunction with IoT devices, allows for capturing valuable data and compiling hundreds of thousands of data points over time. These data sets are the perfect tools for tracking trends and events, monitoring response times, implementing best practices, and predicting future occurrences.
Access to this data empowers decision-makers to reach data-driven conclusions. For instance, imagine a shopping center preparing for Black Friday. With intelligent video analytics, the flow and mood of foot traffic can be quantified and measured. Specific events - such as medical emergencies, unsafe traffic flow, or acts of violence - can be tracked and analyzed to identify pre-event indicators. Managers that are equipped with this information are able to better train and prepare their staff to catch problems before they happen and respond effectively.
Big data begets risk management by using past data to predict future events.
Say goodbye to monotony
"Congratulate yourself if you have done something strange, extravagant, and broken the monotony." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Picture this: it's 11:00 p.m. on a Saturday night and you have just arrived for your shift. You spend 1 hour staring at 7 computer screens with live video feeds, the next hour is spent standing in an empty lobby area, then another hour of walking a pre-determined route, and the cycle repeats itself. You're scheduled to work until 7:00 a.m., but your post relief is running late, so you end up working until 8:30.
This is a typical work day for a security officer. Long hours, overnight shifts, monotonous tasks, and plenty of time on your feet.
Now picture this: it's 11:00 p.m. on a Saturday night, and you have just arrived for your shift. You sit down at your desk with a cup of coffee and open your laptop. On your Video Management System, you check recent events and monitor current reports and dispatches. You offer remote support to your colleagues responding to live alerts, and handle the administrative tasks for each incident.
This is a typical routine for a security officer working in tandem with automation tools. Active responses to real-time alerts without the monotonous patrols or mundane video monitoring. Without these obligations, security officers can spend their time working on strategic and administrative duties for their organization, and respond to events that are detected by video analytics or autonomous robots.
All in all, automation isn't here to take away jobs or sabotage our way of life. Automation handles monotonous and time-intensive tasks and allows for us to do what we do best: be human.
Curious about how security automation would work?
Read our FAQs on Nimbo.