June 30, 2016

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Future of Security Debate: the Price-Risk Trade-Off, Rise of Mobile Access and Danger of Tech Overreliance

The obsession of end users with price could increase risk in the long run, experts have warned during a discussion panel on the future of security at IFSEC 2016.

Jim McHale the managing director of Memoori said the industry is facing increased bio-tech awareness and the rapid increase of new products which were all conspiring to produce price competitiveness.

He said: “End user companies are procurement professionals at the end of the day who are only looking at price. They are not often looking at value and quality.

“That obsession with price will in the long term increase risk. It’s a real challenge which we are trying to do something about. Giving suppliers a tool kit to challenge that price obsession will ultimately benefit the consumer.”

The distinguished panel which included David Clark, currently head of security for the Francis Crick Institute, was discussing current trends and the future of the security industry at the Security Management Theatre at IFSEC 2016.

Former military man Mr Clark who runs the scientific research centre in London added that there has been an increase in a wiser more informed end user who knows a lot more about the product than they used to.

He explained: “The end user has a market driven desire to get better value out of the equipment which we purchase and install. It’s not necessary a price crunch that is the issue – it is a desire to get more value.”

He also argued that there is an increased demand from organisations to have a much better educated and informed security director who can balance the IT and the physical elements. “That traditional ex-military, ex-police person that we used to see is not dying out but you need to be much more rounded.”

Panellist Paul Adams – Director of Technologies for the KABA group – shared his passion with the audience for access control through mobility. He commented: “That is about getting access control and rights towards some smartphone and linked to that is the internet of things so people can start sharing their data.

“Our customers want to get the benefits of access control on the move. This is taking off in the hotel sector where the hotel sends an access control key to a mobile phone. This has great benefit to us the manufacturer and the hotel itself.

“What they are trying to do is drive you to book via their website or via an app where they are not paying a booking fee. Customer benefit is when they turn up to the hotel they don’t have to join a big queue. You just go the app and get the room key downloaded. For that service, customers are prepared to pay a service fee.”

The panel voiced concerns that new technology could be to the detriment of the traditional security operatives.

Shaun Murphy – Head of Security at ClipfineGroup warned: “There is a belief that technology might replace the operatives but if you haven’t got the operatives working the systems when something goes wrong then it is totally worthless.

“I believe it is important that they both work in tandem. It’s understandable that the increase in technology make operatives less necessary but it does not eliminate them altogether. There is a trend that commercial forces think security officers will be replaced altogether but I think that is something that is going in the wrong direction.

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  • Views on open architecture and integration
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  • How important is sustainability to the industry?

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