3 min read

A Guide to Physical Security Lifecycle Planning

As physical security breaches become an increasing problem for businesses of all sizes and scopes, physical security equipment, software, and solutions have become a major priority for business owners looking to protect their employees, assets, and property.

Physical security solutions, which include access control, managed security systems, surveillance systems, fire alarms, and intrusion alarms, are the first line of defense against threats from outside or inside the business. These solutions protect from unwanted intruders and help keep employees safe from emergencies of all kinds.

When a business owner decides to implement a new physical security solution or upgrade their existing solutions, there are many important factors to consider. These include having a plan for assessing the business’s needs, designing a solution that works for the business, installing the solution properly, and monitoring the success of the solution.

However, when business owners consider the management of their security systems and other physical security, often one of the most crucial steps is overlooked—lifecycle planning.

Lifecycle Planning

Lifecycle planning refers to the assessment of a physical security product’s or solution’s lifespan and planning the steps that should be taken when it’s time to retire the solution and/or its products. In addition, lifecycle planning includes preparing for how replace or update managed security systems without interruption or negative effects to businesses’ day-to-day operations.

The process of lifecycle planning is complex and can be challenging to manage, but business owners can make the process easier by understanding what they can do to maximize their product and solution lifespans and by partnering with a quality provider of maintenance services.

Product and Solution Lifespans

When it comes to an industry as unified with technology as physical security, it can often be confusing for business owners to know whether they have a true need for updated managed security systems or if they’re just being sold on the “latest and greatest.”

While the idea that newer, better, faster, stronger products and solutions are always the best choice for businesses is a popular one, it’s not necessarily true. Although purchasing new equipment, products, and solutions will inevitably result in updated features, investing consistently in new systems can be harmful to a business’s bottom line if its current physical security solution is still working for them.

So how long do physical security products and solutions actually last? The exact answer will vary depending on a variety of factors, such as the solution’s components, the quality of the manufacturer, provider, and installation as well as whether or not the business stays on top of maintenance upkeep.

Different components of comprehensive security and life safety solutions have different lifespans. For example:

  • Quality Structured Cabling - Can be certified with a lifetime warranty.
  • IP Video Surveillance Cameras - 4 to 6 years (varying based on camera quality, mechanical components, and exposure to extreme temperatures and sunlight)
  • Video & Access Control Servers, Recorders, & Appliances - 5 years

In addition, the lifespan of managed security systems is heavily dependent on whether a business’s current hardware is flexible enough to evolve with new software. Many newer open-protocol solutions allow business owners the opportunity to expand and evolve without replacing the hardware itself.

When to Replace

Businesses should consider replacing their physical security solutions if there have been major changes that negatively affect the efficacy of the business’s current managed security systems, such as any of the following.

  • Your facility is now being used for a different purpose that your current solution doesn’t work for.
  • Your organization has changed vastly and your current solution is no longer effective.
  • The threat environment of your business has changed, requiring higher levels of security.
  • Your current equipment does not allow for evolution to technologies that your business would like to implement.
  • Major hardware components are failing or too costly to maintain

It’s important for businesses to understand the importance of replacing aged equipment. By delaying the replacement of out of date equipment, the safety of an organization’s people and property could be compromised. In addition, aged equipment can create IT network vulnerabilities.

Replacement Process

If you’ve decided it is time to replace your physical security solutions, connect with a managed security systems provider who can guide you through the process.

In addition to determining what new features your system should have based on your business’s unique needs, a reputable security specialist can help determine the best equipment and software for your solution and ensure it’s scalable and able to evolve with growing technologies. A professional managed services provider can also help streamline the replacement process so that your business is never under threat or affected by downtime.

A quality security partner can also help you maintain your life safety and security solutions with preventative maintenance, ensuring that your solutions’ lifespans are maximized.

DSC has 30 years of experience in providing customized security solutions, including physical security solutions, to businesses of all kinds. Contact us today to learn how DSC can help protect your people, assets, and property with updated managed security solutions.

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