The PSIM industry will eventually migrate to a hybrid system because a large percentage of PSIM operation is common (and therefore unchanging) across all industries-things like database management and other behind-the-scenes administrative functions. So it would be more economical to move that code to the browser. Those aspects of user operation that need to reflect individual preferences will reside in an installed client where the code can be more easily and less expensively modified.
A fresh approach will also become critical when adding new subsystems to the PSIM. Right now, when you install new cameras or sensor types or other new devices, the PSIM needs to undergo extensive regression testing to ensure that the new device types haven't negatively impacted the core system. Going forward, however, I see subsystem connectors removed from the core PSIM software. Instead, a whole new industry of add-on connectivity tools will emerge to simplify and bullet-proof PSIM expansion. These third-party libraries will eventually cover just about any manufacturer's system you'd care to integrate under the PSIM umbrella.
Fostering greater collaboration
When an alarm goes off, everyone sees the event. But someone has to take ownership of the incident or else chaos will ensue. I see PSIM companies making a concerted effort in the future to foster more sophisticated collaboration among security operators. Right now, once an operator takes the lead and starts to resolve the incident, all the other operators are automatically notified so that they can turn their attention elsewhere. But when a question arises, or a fresh perspective would be welcome, future PSIMs will support more complex social collaboration. Lead operators will be able to broadcast queries to their peers and append video clips, verbal and written notes and other media asking for other opinions that might expedite resolution.
Driving the PSIM roadmap
PSIM has moved from the early adopter phase to more widespread acceptance in the security community. Initially, feature development was dictated by the whims of the manufacturers. Now it's being driven by customer demand.
PSIM started as a multi-layered security management system. But incorporating building management into the PSIM environment is definitely on the horizon. And it makes perfect sense when you think about the commonality of data that feeds these systems. Issues like building occupancy, elevator operation, even environment controls for power, lighting and HVAC consumption can all have a direct impact on the security of a building.
While practicality will ultimately triumph over the fanciful, separating the far-fetched from the truly visionary will definitely be an interesting journey.
Paul Galburt has 15 years of experience developing information management systems for the physical security industry and more than two decades providing system consulting for emerging technologies. He is currently vice president of Advanced Development for New York-based IPVideo Corp.