Cloud Technology and Access Control: The Market Drivers

Dean Kernot: Business Development Manager for Volo at Norbain

Dean Kernot: Business Development Manager for Volo at Norbain

In the next blog of this exclusive series for Risk UK, Dean Kernot offers a thorough overview of the market drivers enhancing the need for cloud technology within the security space.

Every system integrator business is looking to achieve the maximum productivity and effectiveness from its workforce. By embracing cloud technology within an access control portfolio, there’s the opportunity to assess and prioritise how engineering resources might be deployed more effectively.

Remote connectivity allows security professionals to work on sites where personnel would usually need to be present. Should any issues arise, they can respond without having to remove an engineer from another job and lose time travelling to the site in question.

This, in turn, means that response times are greatly improved as all diagnostics may be carried out immediately from wherever the member of staff might be. There’s no need to wait for clients to log a call with the office and then spend time calling and assigning an engineer. Instead, chosen engineers/teams can be assigned to support sites and have the alerts sent straight to them. This takes the stress away from admin resource, empowers the engineers and heightens the response levels offered to the end user customer base.

As a result, support to the customer turns from being reactive to a proactive service as the service provider is aware of system issues before the client. This ensures that the former is delivering and exceeding the levels of customer satisfaction its clients wish to see from their suppliers. The other benefit is that more customer needs may be addressed during the working day as travel time is greatly reduced (if not removed altogether).

With the ability to diagnose and fix the majority of system issues remotely the solution provider also ensures that, if they do travel, they’re already equipped with all of the necessary information needed to address the problem(s). This ensures that they’re prepared with the necessary resources, thus removing the risk of return visits following the initial diagnostic appraisal on site.

Intelligent deployment

Every business has a finite number of skilled employees available to it, but cloud offers a new way of approaching how to match the right person with the most relevant job for their skill set. This intelligent deployment ensures that issues are addressed and rectified in the most prompt and efficient manner, the end result being that end user clients are receiving the highest level of customer service and project satisfaction. A win-win situation, then.

Cloud technology allows for maintenance contracts to be redesigned to reflect these improvements in response times. In addition, thanks to immediate access to all system information at the touch of a few buttons, it’s to identify and communicate any operational matters that must be addressed prior to issues actually arising.

Cloud-based solutions also remove any concerns around data storage, maintenance and safety. The cloud storage provider offers their expertise to address these areas in detail, without the need for any investment in additional resources or otherwise looking for different skill sets among the workforce.

Making the business case

The business case for a cloud solution is a very weighty one when you consider the key factors:
*Reduced product investment: The need for dedicated hardware such as PC stations and servers is redundant. Costs such as recurring PC maintenance outlays and anti-virus software are removed. Importantly, the requirement for a dedicated network infrastructure is also eradicated from the hardware cost process
*Reduced installation times: There’s less hardware to install, along with less integration with other components and other departments such as IT teams. The need for network permissions is also removed
*Reduced travel times: Once the solution is installed there’s a solid position from which to service, maintain and manage the solution from the preferred location. This reduces engineers’ needs to travel to site in order to undertake maintenance or management changes for the solution. The time savings alone are significant
*Reduced maintenance and staffing costs: Maintenance can be undertaken by a dedicated team with the correct skill sets from any preferred location. As cloud-based solutions are more geared towards PC literate staff than engineering-based personnel, office-based workers can assist with maintenance, reducing the need for more engineering resources

Increased service levels

We all want to increase the service levels we offer our clients. ‘The Cloud’ genuinely allows the solutions provider to excel in this area.

Given the time it would traditionally take to be advised of an issue, travel to site, determine the source of the problem and schedule the required work, it can be many hours or days before everything’s resolved.

With ‘The Cloud’, engineers receive event notifications in real-time and can immediately rectify the issue(s) from off-site. This, of course, means that the matter at hand can be addressed in minutes, allowing the client to move from a next working day expectation to, potentially, resolution within an hour.

In terms of increasing the size of opportunities solution businesses can handle, ‘The Cloud’ offers the capability to manage far greater numbers of sites from a single, remote location. Since there’s no need to physically visit each site, huge amounts of time can be saved and re-invested within the business.

Given all of the above advantages that cloud technology brings with it, we believe that organisations are now able to offer new and improved types of maintenance contract that will help secure additional business as well as enhance terms with current end users.

The need for tendering to renew a maintenance contract every year is costly and time-consuming, but if an enhanced service contract can be offered, could this term not become three years as opposed to just one?

Dean Kernot is Business Development Manager for Volo at Norbain

*For the next blog in this exclusive series on www.risk-uk.com, Dean examines in greater depth the security levels surrounding cloud data, and how the implementation of Data Centres such as Amazon Web Services has boosted consumer confidence levels when it comes to overall levels of data security

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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