Security Guard Industry Technology Evolution
Author: Gurpreet Banwait, Product Manager
The security guard industry is rapidly changing due to technological innovation. The shift to new technology is leading to changes at the workforce level as well as on customer’s expectations. This blog will look at some of the technological changes that are taking place and the impact on a company’s workforce and its customers.
Security guard technology has evolved to include mobile devices, cloud software, drones, cameras, integrated biometric access control systems, and continues to evolve with the first versions of robot-guards. By far the biggest change has been the impact of smartphones. Whereas they were once looked upon as phone first or as a distraction device, this impression has fast been replaced by smartphones being used to perform key job related tasks. In the security guard industry tasks such as scheduling, clocking in and out of shifts, and being alerted to and finding replacements for staff who fail to show up are just some of the things being performed on mobile devices. Add to that, smartphones are also being used to assist in operational tasks such as creating reports, verifying patrol points (guard tours), viewing site information, capturing site evidence and so much more. All of these tasks are being performed in real-time driving the need for this information to also be available to supervisors so they can manage employees as well as stay up to date on what is happening at customer sites.
Technology has driven significant change in the required makeup of the workforce within a security guard company. Guard companies now need to ensure that the staff they hire are tech savvy and comfortable with change. Companies are moving away from manual processes such as calling out when having to find staff for shifts, using pen and paper to perform guard tours or for reporting that a customer site is secure. Security guards now carry their own smartphones. Some guards are also provided with a company phone to perform specific, on the job tasks. The company’s workforce has to be comfortable using technological devices to perform their tasks and need to be trained properly to manage all the new types of technology that is available to them.
Whereas in the past, the skills and qualifications required to be a guard were lower or non-existent this is no longer the case. Security guards and other staff within guarding companies are now required to be trained and maintain their qualifications leading to a new caliber of worker.
From a security guard perspective, the expectation is that technology will be available to make their job easier and more efficient. Without it, security guard companies risk losing their existing staff to those that are using technology and may find it more difficult to recruit staff. This in turn leads to increased risk for the existing contracts that the company has and makes it more difficult to acquire new customers. Read on for more details of what your clients are now expecting.
Customer expectations are changing and again it is being driven by new technology. Customers are becoming more sophisticated and they are demanding more from their security guard company provider. They want real-time solutions to their security needs. That includes ensuring that they can see the status of their sites at any time of day, knowing that a security guard is onsite at the required time and doing their scheduled job and also finding out about key issues in real-time. These are just the bare minimum requirements for most customers. Without them, guard companies risk losing their customers and will find it more challenging to build their customer list especially if their competitors are implementing some of these new processes.