Even with the ongoing buzz surrounding the migration to IP-based network systems, most organizations are still operating security and access control systems on analog technology or are in the process of transferring to an IP-based system. In many enterprises, security and access control departments have been separate entities for so long that some security professionals find it a challenge to move from an analog-based system to an IP-based one that integrates with multiple departments and systems within an organization. Network administrators also struggle to find ways to deal with yet another system on their network. Controversies arise over which department has control and jurisdiction over the system—IT or security? Who manages and maintains the system? Which system is given highest priority?
Systems integrators and dealers must educate the end-users on how their system interacts with other systems on the network. They must also identify internal and external stakeholders and connect them with the decision makers in security and IT departments, all while helping end-users balance cost and future-proofing. Identifying these elements and pushing them to work together can provide the end-user with a security system that will truly meet their immediate and future needs.
Evaluate the end-users technology readiness level
Part of communicating the big picture to end-users is helping them evaluate their organizational readiness level for new security technology. Organizations that are ready for the latest technology understand the role an infrastructure system plays in the support of today's security technology. This is especially critical for enterprises that want to implement mobile technology to manage their security system.
In the past few years, network systems became more complex and organizations had to adjust their perception of the function and capabilities of their infrastructure to keep pace. If not properly designed and installed, an end-user's infrastructure can cause widespread disruptions affecting the daily operations of an organization. End-users who view their infrastructure system as a legitimate building system will provide the resources necessary to support the infrastructure. For instance, has the organization created proper pathways and allocated ample space to house the infrastructure system? Are the cables capable of handling a growing amount of data transfers? Without these resources, all systems on the network will be impaired, including the security system.
Once end-users understand how the security system operates on the network, it is important to examine how the system interacts and affects other systems on the same network. This is critical because security and access control systems are not the only technologies utilizing the network infrastructure. In today's buildings, nearly all systems—from ventilation, lighting, power systems, fire systems to communication and data technologies—depend on a single network infrastructure. Although the building systems operate independently, the overall impact of each system on the network is significant. For instance, predicting network bandwidth can be tricky without in-depth knowledge of each system running on the network. Bandwidth measures are based on burst traffic, which is defined as a continuous transfer of data without interruption from one device to another, not average daily use, which is significantly less. Even though the network may be able to handle bursts in data transmission, the system is not designed to support such high levels of data transmission on a regular basis. If video and data from the security department consistently push these limits, the IT department will likely see this as a threat to the network and may discontinue their access to the network.
Identify the stakeholders