As the world begins to open back up post-COVID 19, our team has begun traveling and attending conferences throughout the US. Recently, I attended the Securitas Global Symposium here in Scottsdale while a group of our team went to the SIA Secure New Ground Conference. It was great to connect with so many in person, but, more importantly, it was invaluable to learn from some amazing industry experts and from our customers. The message at both events was resoundingly similar: violent incidents are increasing at an alarmingly fast rate and the security industry is rapidly evolving to maintain the safety of guards, clients, and the general public. Here are my three main takeaways from these recent events:
- Technology must be an ecosystem of connected solutions
Technology entered this industry in a fast and furious manner. However, most of this technology isn’t interconnected and exists in isolation. Ironically, the point of these tech integrations was to increase operational efficiencies, but the lack of connectivity is actually costing organizations time and energy. Finding a solutions provider that offers a complete ecosystem of connected products has become paramount for future success for multiple reasons with the two most important being staffing and budgets.
I repeatedly hear that hiring, training, and retaining guards has become the most time consuming and difficult tasks for security leaders. While technology can’t solve this specific hiring dilemma, it can help leaders provide tools to increase productivity of current staff and to decrease the constant churn of talent. Further, budget cuts are decreasing headcount opportunities, and the inflationary environment is forcing more spend to be dedicated to hard goods. With decreased monetary resources and a talent shortage, tech can help security teams outperform current headcount and keep guards focused on performing their duties.
- Guards are an extension of the brand
Perception risk and brand management are two topics I continue to hear from all levels of leadership. Every single customer-facing interaction provides an opportunity to bolster the brand. Conversely, these interactions carry a significant amount of risk as one negative experience can cause a PR nightmare. Guards are at the forefront of the highest-risk customer interactions, so they need to be viewed as an extension of the brand, not a separate entity. Training and tech are no longer optional but rather required for these brand ambassadors. Body-worn cameras have become the center of most conversations to promote better behavior from both customers and guards and to de-escalate potentially brand damaging interactions.
- Security leaders are turning to technology to offset rising people costs and labor shortages
As inflation persists and fears of an upcoming recession rise, security leaders are implementing technology solutions at a rapid rate to empower their current teams to outperform headcount. Staffing shortages will continue to be a problem, so leaders are more frequently turning to established security technology to solve this dilemma. With nearly 30 years of experience within law enforcement and a growing roster of private security partners, Axon has established itself as a market leader in providing the necessary training, hardware, and technology to operate in a lower budget environment. Our ecosystem can seamlessly integrate into current security operations to provide the technology solutions security teams need to keep their guards and the public safe.