Many property owners and landlords have focused on transforming buildings and workspaces into multi-purpose, digitally equipped and attractive places to work. Forward-looking property managers and developers have focused on technology as a way to attract and retain new tenants – and ensure that workspaces provide the flexibility, agility, and collaborative environment that many businesses now seek.
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It is important to note that parallel investment into building security is just as important. Interestingly, many of the emerging security technologies mirror the trends that are impacting businesses and consumers – such as the use of big data, automation and machine learning/AI. Let’s unpack that a little more.
Adoption of AI and video analytics
Lauded as one of the most powerful technologies set to impact every facet of life and work, progress in AI varies from industry to industry. Presently, in the physical security and property sectors, AI is not commonplace – although machine/deep learning technology is being increasingly embraced as a way to deploy smart video analytics tools.
Over the past several years, the cost of high-performance servers, hardware and software has dropped radically – meaning that video analytics is becoming both affordable and accessible for more businesses and property managers. Coupled with the increasing capabilities of machine learning and data analytics tools, the security use cases – and demand for – video analytics is expected to grow exponentially. The use cases for building and security teams will be broad and does cover aspects such as facial recognition, licence plate reading, motion detection and people counting.
Mobile access controls
With smartphone penetration increasing across South Africa and Africa, security innovators are already capitalising on it and integrating the smartphone into home and building security systems. A simple example would be tenants using their smartphone to gain entry to their office building, using technology that is both hands-free and keyless. The mobile-first access control strategy also provides opportunities for personalisation.
Derek Lategan, managing director at Excellerate Services
Intuitive security systems
Security technology is evolving to provide a more intuitive, user-friendly and visually engaging experience. As young, tech-savvy professionals join the security industry, they bring with them an expectation of seamless, innovative and engaging solutions that mirror their personal devices and platforms.
Over the next while, many experts predict that access control systems will no longer stand in isolation from other critical information sources – including security and non-security systems. With this in mind, networked systems will instead provide insights and intelligence in the form of data. Such data can be harnessed to develop a security approach using predictive analytics: enabling teams to evolve from reactive to proactive security. Also, with the rise of networked systems, managers and owners can use a single, unified control platform to evaluate the state of a building or space. This unified control platform can bring together and analyse data from key, real-time feeds including visitor management, photo-imaging, video surveillance, time and attendance, building control, etc.
Looking ahead, landlords and property managers will need to make sure they have the enabling infrastructure in place to support this shift, such as robust and reliable internet connectivity, data privacy and cyber security policies and platforms, and skilled, digitally savvy teams.