Big changes are coming to the security industry in 2012. This coming year, Internet Protocol (IP) network infrastructures will play a front and center role when it comes to the performance of security and surveillance systems. This new year will also be a year of convergence for many security professionals; however, the convergence is not just limited to the integration of technologies within the security department. Security professionals are going to have to reach outside of their department and build alliances enterprise-wide to succeed. Wireless mobility, high-definition video and data center capacity will also play a significant role in shaping 2012.
Convergence in the security industry generally refers to integrating access control panels, video management systems, alarm sensors and the likes into a cohesive IP-based solution to achieve system-wide interoperability of IP security devices. However, the next wave of convergence involves a much larger view of integrating the entire IP-based security system with other IP-based systems from multiple departments.
Convergence shapes the infrastructure
In addition to supporting the security department’s technology, today’s network infrastructures also house additional building systems, including ventilation, lighting, power systems, communication and data technologies. In many enterprises, security and access control departments have operated as separate, independent entities; however, the shift toward IP-based security systems means the security department is becoming more reliant on the organization’s IP-based network infrastructure, blending the lines between security and IT.
Some security professionals are finding it challenging to move from an analog-based system to an IP-based one that integrates with multiple departments and systems within an organization. Network administrators are also struggling 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? As more organizations adopt IP-based security technologies, security professionals will naturally integrate with the IT department. Security professionals need to be prepared to integrate with other non-security departments within an organization, as well as build a solid partnership with the IT department. The reliability of their network may depend upon it.
Wireless mobility comes on strong
With the cost of wireless going down and the security and reliability of wireless going up, the security industry is experiencing a surge in the demand for wireless IP-based security solutions, and this trend will continue throughout 2012. The explosive daily use of smartphones and tablet devices is also contributing to increased confidence in the reliability and security of wireless networks. Even mission critical systems, such as healthcare technology patient monitoring devices are relying on wireless technologies, which subsequently continue to boost the overall reputation of wireless networks for other industries with mission critical technologies, including security.
Mobility will continue to be a driving force in the security industry in 2012 and beyond as more security professionals discover the benefits of connecting remotely to secure virtual private networks to monitor video, manage card access and control locks in real-time, as well as access archived information on-demand. However, more access means more data is being pulled from the data center. As a result, the proliferation of managing security systems from portable devices will change the way we build, manage and maintain network infrastructures and wireless systems. Today’s network infrastructures must be built with an eye toward the future to anticipate the ongoing quest for more bandwidth. Networks must be prepared for the imminent influx mobile-data traffic generated by mobile devices.