Mobility is Now an Essential Tool for Security Operations
The ability to control and manage operations from a mobile platform has become fundamental to security professionals. Personnel across all industries are increasingly on the go, and we have become accustomed to being able to be in touch and aware of what is happening 24/7 – wherever we are. The increased efficiency and quick response that comes from mobile communications and information is something we have all come to depend on and to expect; businesses that accept and embrace this truth will have a sustainable business advantage in the future.
Bringing this efficiency and functionality into the security arena is a natural development that builds organically on the rapidly accelerating migration to an IP platform which has taken place over the last few years. It makes perfect sense from a practical usability standpoint, and providers are swiftly jumping on board with mobile apps that integrate or parallel their solutions.
Still, in the rush to get mobile apps to market, it is important to be sure that they are designed to follow best practices to ensure simplicity, feedback and automation of physical security operations, so that they truly enable users to perform needed functions. To this end, a number of basic considerations are vital to the success of a mobility platform for security.
Adopting a customer-centric approach in planning, building and deploying mobile apps for security helps security departments connect with their users and ensures that the final product offers optimal usability, convenience and a superior experience for employees and others. Customer feedback is a key component of every physical security request or transaction, and integration of a mechanism to allow user feedback will provide the necessary data for management to make ongoing improvements to the app.
Many of the individuals using the app will be doing so on their own mobile devices. Apps should be developed with support for all of the leading mobile platforms including iOS, Android and Windows to make certain that the organization will be able to benefit from every employee’s participation. A responsive design will guarantee support for smart devices of differing sizes and resolutions.
The customer-centric approach will also improve adoption rates among users. Adoption is vital to the success of the mobility platform; the program becomes more robust as more users participate. A number of productivity gains will begin to become apparent, as well.
For example, security processes will take less time to complete as users are able to capitalize on travel time and other non-productive time which would otherwise be lost. By minimizing approval and other delays, the process becomes more efficient. Additionally, eliminating the need for multiple peripherals reduces program costs. The mobile app also minimizes installation and IT support costs, helping users to lower their TCO. Most significantly, first responders receive emergency notifications more quickly, reducing response time and enhancing overall safety.
Visitor management personnel who utilize a mobile app to manage the check-in and check-out of visitors will benefit from fast, efficient and less time-consuming processes. A robust app will enable them to perform a wide range of functions from wherever they happen to be. Convenient options may include:
- Scanning the ID;
- Creating unscheduled visits;
- Group check-in; and
- Searching the information pertaining to a visitor or visit.
Ideally, the app should come pre-integrated with all of the necessary peripheral devices such as barcode scanner, badge printer, ID scanner, etc.
A visitor management app for mobile devices can empower users to review, approve and/or deny access requests from inside a facility or remotely, and allow visitor self-service check-in and check-out or front-desk administered check-in and check-out via smartphone or tablet. Reports related to visitors’ activities, hosts’ activities, access requests, etc. can be generated at the click of a button. A well-designed app with an intuitive UI will be able to manage requests for changes to physical security access as well as requests for assets such as temporary badges and metal keys. It will also provide an interface for area owners, where they can review and approve or deny these requests anytime while on the move.
Utilizing an intuitive, easy-to-use app for mobile devices enables users to be more responsive and flexible to requests pertaining to the physical security of an organization. Security practitioners can now have a graphical dashboard view and detailed reporting of their overall global physical security infrastructure anytime, anywhere on the screen of their mobile device.
Getting the right information to the right person at the right time is critical to the security of an organization. With the exponential growth of mobile devices, access to critical information in real time and the resolution of business issues while on the go have become competitive advantages and game changing assets for security practitioners. It is now simple for organizations to extend the reach of all of their physical security solutions. In a world of increasing mobility, security will reap the benefits.
Ajay Jain is president and CEO of Quantum Secure.