Need strategies to protect your physical security investments? Keep reading for tips, criteria, and the right questions you should be asking.

Thinking of upgrading to a physical security as a service (PSaaS) solution through a cloud or hybrid-cloud deployment model? Luckily, making big changes doesn’t mean ripping out existing security devices or infrastructure and starting from scratch.

Investment longevity is a common concern. Like most organizations, you probably have large investments in existing security systems, edge devices, appliances, and IT infrastructure. And while modernization is appealing, your team might be weighing different deployment options and wondering:

  • Is there a way to use our existing video, access control, intrusion, and other security systems as we modernize our deployment?
  • If we move our physical security solutions to the cloud, will we need to leave our current systems behind?
  • How can we ensure that the investments we make today evolve with us in the future?

Find out how to best protect your investments as you upgrade your physical security system and move to the cloud.

Cloud, Hybrid, On-Prem, or at the Edge?

Finding a physical security solution that fits your requirements while also keeping upgrade costs to a minimum can be tricky.

Keeping existing security infrastructure and reducing upgrade costs depends entirely on how flexible, compatible, and scalable your chosen solution is. Having the freedom to keep devices or swap them out for newer ones, upgrade sites one at a time, and add new cloud capabilities, all without major hurdles or system disruptions, gives you complete control over your growth and spending.

And let’s face it—there’s a good chance that you’ll be making more changes again in the future. Your organization isn’t static. As your business evolves, so will your security strategy and needs.

Optimizing what you have and ensuring you can capitalize on your investments for years to come requires a forward-thinking mindset. Considering current needs in your buying journey is crucial, but so is having a vision for what’s possible in 5, 10, or 15 years from now.

As you weigh on-premises, cloud, or hybrid-cloud deployment options, think about how the solutions can adapt to each phase of your deployment lifecycle:

THE PAST: Protecting Existing Physical Security Investments

You’ve invested in solutions and devices. How can you protect these investments as you consider a security upgrade or move to the cloud?

What to ask:

  • Does the system have an open architecture so you can work with a variety of devices and vendors, ensuring flexibility and preventing vendor lock-in?
  • Can you keep existing devices and swap them out for new technology when you’re ready?
  • Does the solution integrate with existing infrastructure such as access control systems, video surveillance cameras, intrusion sensors, and intercom devices?
  • Is it possible to transition away from closed, proprietary systems and broaden cloud connectivity across sites using a hybrid-cloud deployment?
  • What kind of support and guidance do you expect during the deployment phase to ensure a successful upgrade or transition to the cloud?

THE PRESENT: Streamlining Your Tech Stack and Operations

You’re ready for cloud connectivity and smoother system management. How can you enhance what you already have to drive higher efficiency and cybersecurity?

What to ask:

  • Can you bring on-premises physical security systems or devices that are not cloud-ready into a centralized cloud platform with cloud-managed appliances?
  • Can you use web, mobile, and desktop applications to access video and data, monitor alarms, and manage incidents across all sites?
  • What cybersecurity tools and privacy measures are in place to ensure data is protected, both in transit and at rest?
  • How easily can the system be upgraded to incorporate new features or technologies without significant disruption?
  • Can you outsource system maintenance to your channel partners and let them track key metrics to identify opportunities for optimization and improvements?

THE FUTURE: Making Changes Without Limitations

You might have a 5- and 10-year roadmap, but a lot can still change. How can you stay open and adapt to evolving strategies, laws, and technological advancements?

What to ask:

  • Is the system you’re investing in built on an open architecture that will let you add devices from any vendor as new technology becomes available?
  • How well does the system support emerging technologies such as video analytics, machine learning, or IIoT devices?
  • Can you count on the vendor to stay informed about emerging threats, vulnerabilities, and cybersecurity best practices?
  • How stable and established is the vendor? Are there signs that they will continue to support and develop the solution long-term?
  • Is there an active user community or ecosystem around the solution that can contribute to its ongoing development?

Top 3 Criteria for Investment Longevity

Whether you’re considering cloud or not, asking all these forward-thinking questions is important. Because even if you don’t have plans to move to the cloud just yet, knowing it’s possible in the future enhances investment longevity.

If you want to know what type of physical security solution will offer the best long-term investment, it’s this: an open, unified, and hybrid-cloud solution with the option to add cloud-managed devices where they fit best. Here’s why:

1. Open Architecture

An open architecture solution gives you the flexibility to keep existing devices and systems. You can also choose to swap them out and select the vendors and devices that best suit your application and budget. Whether it’s access control readers, video cameras, intercoms, or intrusion sensors, you’re free to decide which brands and solutions work best for you.

An open architecture also ensures you can add new technologies and consider different system integrations. And the best part is that you can do it all at your own pace.

2. Hybrid-Cloud Deployment

Hybrid-cloud provides the ultimate deployment flexibility because you can decide exactly how you want to set up each system and site.

You can have sites that are fully on-premises, some sites that are fully cloud-hosted, and other sites that are connected to the cloud with edge devices or cloud-managed appliances. You can convert one site over to the cloud at a time or trial new cloud-based features and applications when opportunities arise.

Using cloud-managed appliances, you can easily transform existing devices into cloud-compatible technology. These appliances act as a bridge to the cloud and allow you to increase redundancy, storage, processing power, and cybersecurity.

Another huge perk about a hybrid infrastructure? Whether you have system components at the edge, on-premises, or in the cloud, you’ll be able to manage everything from a centralized security solution.

3. Unified PSaaS Solution

A flexible and unified physical security software as a service (PSaaS) solution means you can manage all security-related capabilities and tasks from a single intuitive system. Monitor video, manage access control, handle intrusion alarms, and receive intercom calls all from one place.

Unifying your security operations is something you can do over time. The benefits of a PSaaS solution are that you can start with video surveillance as a service (VSaaS) and access control as a service (ACaaS), and later bring in your intrusion or intercom systems. This interconnects security tasks and boosts operator confidence, creating a comprehensive view of what’s happening across your organization.

PSaaS also allows you to focus on your operations and business objectives instead of having to invest resources and overhead into maintaining your security system. Your provider can manage updates and maintenance, and there’s no more need for on-site video recorders. You only pay for exactly what you need, and nothing more. And as you evolve your security deployment, you can also adapt your SaaS subscription to accommodate your growth plans.

A Checklist for Longevity

Building investment longevity in your physical security deployment requires you to think about scalability, reliability, cybersecurity, maintenance, and so much more. To help, we put together a very thorough checklist you can download and share with your team so you can narrow in on what you need today and tomorrow.

Have questions? Let’s talk!