PSIM: Coming in from the Dark – The ISM-Risk UK End User Survey

Intergrated Security Manufacturing and Risk UK are teaming up in an industry first – an independent survey designed to reveal what’s really happening in the world of Physical Security Information Management. Brian Sims reports.

Within a risk environment that’s now increasingly multi-site and multinational, it’s not entirely surprising that the ability to manage large numbers of disparate systems via a single platform should find favour with those given a security responsibility (and notably so when critical infrastructure’s part of the equation).

With this in mind, new technologies and new ways of thinking have emerged that challenge the ‘norm’ and bring truly integrated solutions to the fore for tackling some of the most challenging and complex security scenarios.

First among these new solutions available to risk-focused professionals is Physical Security Information Management (PSIM).

Standard operating policies

PSIM technology is capable of managing large numbers of systems (and not just video) from a single platform across multiple sites. This allows end users to manage incidents (and not just alarms) according to standard operating policies set by the customer or based upon best business practice, duly confronting risks to security, life and assets accordingly.

PSIM has come a long way in a comparatively short space of time, but such rapid evolution has perhaps been part of the problem. Some bad habits have been allowed to form and myths established. Customers have possibly been misled, both in regard to what the technology is capable of and how much they should be prepared to pay for the privilege.

Benefits of PSIM

Businesses need to be clear on what they’re buying, and how their PSIM system will perform. They need to know what software support is available, and whether the cost of upgrades is included in the initial contract price. They must consider maintenance, and again whether the cost of such maintenance is included and budgeted for within the project.

If we’re really to understand the benefits that PSIM can deliver, and what the developers of PISM solutions might learn, our business sector needs to sit up and listen.

It’s for this very reason that Intergrated Security Manufacturing has joined forces with Risk UK on a genuine industry ‘first’ – the first-ever independent survey of PSIM, its use and benefits for host businesses.

The comprehensive survey is designed to explore how companies currently view the risk compared to what it was five years ago, and to what extent their investment has reduced, increased or stayed roughly the same based on their experiences to date.

Having ‘set the scene’, the survey then examines current knowledge, understanding the use of PSIM through a series of prompted multiple choice questions. This will enable us to understand more about how PSIM is currently viewed, and whether its benefits have been properly communicated.

Understanding the costs

As well as the ‘broad’ understanding of PSIM, the survey will help us to better understand and address key issues such as cost, particularly for initial software licenses, as a percentage of the initial capital outlay. The survey also looks at how often that software needs to be upgraded.

Of particular interest will be whether PSIM is considered a ‘security’ or an ‘IT’ product and who, therefore, should take responsibility for its implementation and ultimately, perhaps, its performance. Also of interest will be the role of the systems integrators/installers, and how confident businesses are that installers have the appropriate levels of knowledge and ability to hand in order to recommend, supply, install and maintain the technology now available.

PSIM is the system of tomorrow that’s already being used to great effect today, but not always to the extent that it should, or by the businesses that could benefit the most.

True industry view

The anonymity of everyone taking part in the survey will be protected, and the questions are designed such that we can determine a true industry view without any confidential information being disclosed.

The survey results will be published exclusively within the pages of Risk UK.

*Please do take part. The survey is easy to complete. Simply visit https://www.risk-uk.com/survey-end-user-knowledge-and-understanding-of-psim/ and help Intergrated Security Manufacturing and Risk UK to positively shape the future of PSIM

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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