Bob Forsyth, Chief Executive Officer at Kings Security, discusses the adoption of technology within the private security industry. Bob writes: “Having been involved in the Security and FM sector for over 20 years I am always amazed at the pace of change around business. There is no doubt the pace of this current change climate is going to increase and become even more amazing, driving innovation to a new untapped level in many sectors.
“I have always been a strong advocate of our sector being at the forefront of new technologies and the implementation of them to the client base. Is it me, however, or does it always feel that our sector is late to the party, and when it gets there it wants to go home early after a coke?
“My view is we must be far bolder in reviewing technology and its impacts on what we do and make the time to spend on examining its benefits and limitations. The early adopter advantage is the place to be and for that we – the professionals in our sector – need to be far more adventurous.
“An example of new technologies that have been adopted by other sectors such as drones, robotics and biometrics are far more advanced than in our sector, that’s a failing that we must own. This is not just the fault of the middle ground of the supply chain tasked with innovation for clients and leading the thought process, but also the client interface where the pace of the requirements is ahead of the need to review. Interestingly the restriction of budget spend from clients in my view is actually a driver for innovation forcing all involved to make those really tough calls on risk and reward.
“Our industry cannot sit back and wait to innovate, we should adopt an approach of excitement and practical implementation, trialling the new equipment in real environments to understand the need that may be required, making the technology stick in our world.
“The businesses that will be successful in our sector are those that get the balance right in adoption trial and implementation, knowing that it may not always be successful but showing a clear resolve of new thinking.
“Because we plug into industry and multiple sectors the challenge is of course to ensure there is a balance between the technology and fit, for example a high security CNI location may require more security than a small office complex (obvious of course) and therefore have different requirements and needs for its locations. So we need to tailor our approach to the clients thinking, but we should still strive to offer innovation.
“So why is our sector always so slow on the uptake? Clients will often state the need for innovation but sit on the status quo, it’s sometimes too easy to sit behind the risk cushion or ‘it won’t work’ mantra without even really trying.
“We owe it to ourselves to be far more on the front foot and bullish about change and the opportunities that technology offers us as an industry, so let’s get a positive mind-set and ‘can do’ attitude to try the new, those who don’t are always running to catch up”.