There are those who would say that security systems, specifically PSIM solutions, don’t provide a true ROI, but are simply a cost of doing business. Personally, I believe that PSIM solutions provide a great vehicle to lift security management, while saving expenses and preventing unnecessary costs. In this two-part blog, I’ll explore the two main areas of ROI that PSIM systems deliver.
The first area, and the one most often heard in relation to PSIM, involves “doing more with less.” This area is all about immediate and frequent savings, usually associated with improving utilization, responding faster or using fewer resources for day-to-day operations.
The second area is the ROI achieved through improved security (more on that in my next blog). But let’s talk first about how PSIM can reduce expenses.
PSIM can make operations more effective and efficient in a number of ways, which in turn can result in substantial savings. Here are some of the ways:
Increasing the effectiveness of personnel
With PSIM, the organization no longer needs to rely solely on the experience, training or capabilities of individual operators. Instead, the PSIM guides whoever is seated in the control room and automates many of the tasks – ensuring that they are always done. As a result, organizations achieve:
- Faster incident response times
- Better collaboration between departments and stakeholders
- Shorter reporting time on the back end
Control Room Consolidation
PSIM can also integrate systems and sub-systems across any number of locations, so organizations can consolidate control rooms and handle response and security operations from a single location. This equates to less space, fewer people and lower costs.
Reducing False Alarms and Dispatches
The cost of false alarms and resulting unwarranted dispatches can be substantial for some organizations, not to mention the drain on internal resources. PSIM can reduce false alarms by correlating different data sources and by giving operators the ability to instantly verify the authenticity of an alarm prior to dispatching resources.
Eliminating Rip-and-Replace Costs
The need to keep up-to-date with security technology drives organizations to replace older systems with newer technology, typically standardizing on one vendor for a specific technology across all sites to simplify operations. With PSIM organizations can make smarter capital expenditure decisions. That’s because it’s no longer necessary to do a complete rip-and-replace. PSIM can unify myriad brands of technology seamlessly under a single user interface. The different underlying systems are invisible to the control room operator. Thus, they look and feel the same.
Reduced Training Costs
Additionally, relying on a single user interface shortens the training time to get your operators up-to-speed. You can also use the PSIM system to conduct drills and rehearsals for potential event scenarios. This would be much more difficult and time-consuming to carry out by interacting with each individual sub-system. Also through the tracking aspect of PSIM, you can capture each action taken in a test situation, analyze your response and make improvements before you're ever faced with a real situation.
Another ROI factor for PSIM that is equally important, although not related to improving utilization, is compliance with regulatory requirements. For some industries (electric utilities for example), penalties for non-compliance with certain regulations can be steep. Also some of these regulations frequently change. PSIM addresses regulatory compliance on two fronts – first by enforcing compliance through automated processes (and simplifying process changes when new versions of regulations come out); and secondly by automating the necessary reporting to prove your adherence to regulations.
In the next blog in this two-part series, I’ll share my take on how “better security” factors into ROI.