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The Four Benefits of Simplicity When Designing a Physical Security System

Oct 30, 2017

Whether opening a new facility or building a security system for an existing one, there are many factors to consider. No two companies are alike, and their security needs will also differ. The key to success lies in understanding what types of design elements are needed for your facility, what level of security is appropriate where, and which products and systems will provide the best return on investment.

A facility that needs to protect technology, such as servers, intellectual property or customer data, will need higher security features like biometric scanning for access along with video surveillance. The focus of security efforts and spend in this instance should additionally include an element of cybersecurity. A facility that needs to protect physical inventory such as manufactured goods or warehousing, may not need biometric scanning and could instead opt for standard key cards and readers, along with video surveillance. No matter what your physical security system is protecting, keeping things simple brings several benefits.

Keep Your Budget on Track
Simplistic system design impacts budget positively. Determining tools or devices prior to installation is key to staying on, or in better cases, under budget. Knowing what locks, readers or cameras will work best in each environment based on the desired level of security saves money in the long run. For example, installing a biometric reader for a room that requires low security like a storage closet is not likely the most cost-effective option, and could end up as wasted spend.

Make Maintenance Uncomplicated
Simplified design can make long-term maintenance easier and more cost-effective. It’s no secret that the best designs are ones that can be maintained easily, and simplification is a great way to ensure that your facility’s system can do so easily. An experienced physical security design team can help foresee where problems might arise in the future, and help with product selection to ensure the highest quality products are used for the project.

Working with a design team that is fully trained on the chosen access control system is another way to ensure that there are less bumps. Knowledge of a system and hands-on, tried-and-true experience are what make simplification possible. Knowing the ins and outs of a system and what works better for a given situation, not just what is considered standard or state of the art, is what ensures the longevity and ease of maintenance over time.

Keep Your People Happy
An understandable but often overlooked benefit for simplified design is improved user experience. If a system is too complicated, everyday users may be unable to use the system which can impede work flow and productivity—and render the system useless and investment worthless.

The goal of a physical security system should be to keep employees safe, and not over complicate processes or devices so that they are unusable. As obvious as it may seem, the equipment is useless if it is not useable. Simplistic design, not for the sake of being simple but for the sake of being useable, is what can make the right difference for a system.

For example, installing biometric screening such as finger print readers on multiple low security doors can potentially make workflow unnecessarily complicated and cumbersome for employees to get around the area. This type of excess could also lead to unpleasant user experiences. It may be overkill, and frankly not always necessary depending on what the security requirements are in the area.

Your Future Self Will Thank You
Adding another door, camera or sensor will almost undoubtedly come up again in the future. One way to make sure that the installation is simple, is by planning for the future in the initial build and installation. For example, if there is a panel that can accommodate 16 doors and the install is calling for just using 14 of those doors, it is smart to look at the potential doors in the area and try to anticipate what may possibly be added in the future to that panel. This ensures that enough headroom is left for future installations. It is also worth considering adding additional equipment initially to save time and money in the future. An experienced security design team will foresee these issues, helping clients make the right decision at the right time that will best serve client needs.