The way organizations operate – including how and where employees work – has fundamentally changed. Inflationary pressures, labor shortages, and the global pandemic have all combined to create a new environment for businesses to navigate, where innovation will be key to long-term success.

Health and safety have risen to the forefront of business leaders’ priorities, and now we’re seeing a new priority emerge. Organizations are expanding their focus beyond solving immediate health and safety challenges and are looking to utilize security technology to also drive operational efficiencies, find cost savings, and optimize logistics. 

Unlocking the true potential of security technology

As we navigate a world with increasingly complex business challenges, organizations are looking to do more with less and drive efficiencies by leveraging existing technology to gain powerful insights and outputs.

Organizations have a huge opportunity to unlock the true potential of security technology. While security solutions provide essential safety functions, they also contain invaluable insights when it comes to optimizing operations. Stored within these systems are incredibly rich insights that, when unlocked, can help drive productivity and efficiencies, fuel business growth, and protect profit margins. 

According to the STANLEY Security 2022 Industry Trends Report, 78% of business leaders are considering using AI, machine learning, and advanced analytics to optimize operations. 

These technologies can all be used to gain actionable insights and improve processes across organizations. 

For example, in a retail setting, AI-based monitoring could anticipate when door equipment might need to be serviced or replaced, thus preventing a breakdown that could impact power consumption, customer satisfaction, and service costs. Or in healthcare, analytics of sensor data, enhanced by machine learning and AI, could be used to flag when a resident in a senior community requires a higher level of care.

Safety, security, innovation and the future of work

Over the past two years, we’ve seen the rapid adoption of hybrid working models across the world. These new ways of working have been essential for many during the pandemic and have created numerous benefits for organizations and employees. They have also introduced new complexities and concerns when it comes to managing on-site health, safety, and security.

Our research found that the chief concern among business leaders about hybrid working is the security of their organization’s assets, with 72% of businesses reporting this as their primary concern. This was followed by leaders’ concern about the health and safety of employees and customers (59%). 

Regardless of whether organizations continue operating a hybrid approach or plan to return to the office full time, asset protection and employee safety will remain an imperative for the foreseeable future. Innovation in the form of real-time management of inventory and assets will be key to safeguarding materials and staff in this new way of working.

The ability to see the status and location of key assets and inventory in real time allows organizations to use their human and capital resources more effectively. Whether it’s ensuring that vaccines in production are stored at proper temperatures or optimizing the flow of work-in-process (WIP) in a plant, real-time management systems can help organizations not only keep their assets safe, but they also provide critical insights for strategic space management and enhancements to the employee and customer experience.

Advancing the era of automation

Organizations today are feeling the pressure to achieve more with less. Businesses have increasingly limited resources, including time and labor, and as such, they are looking to innovate their processes to achieve their goals. 

As they recover from the pandemic, automation will be a key enabler for businesses to create more efficient environments, particularly for those industries that are currently facing labor shortages and loss of skills in the midst of the “Great Resignation.” 

The use of AI and machine learning can help businesses automate routine tasks, so their workforce is free to focus on the most high-value, high-impact activities. When incorporated effectively, automation empowers an organization’s human workforce to work at the top of their abilities, whether that’s a nurse having more time with patients or a facilities manager able to focus on key opportunities for growth.

Many business processes can benefit from automation. Organizations should look to security ecosystems – which leverage AI, machine learning, and automation – to help streamline building operations and power time and cost savings. For example, integrated security monitoring systems can determine when the last person has left a building and send alerts to other systems to automatically turn off lights, cycle down heating or cooling, and lock doors. 

When implemented properly, security ecosystems can help provide safer and more efficient environments for organizations operating across a wide range of industries.

There are many ways to use security technology to drive innovation within organizations, in keeping people and assets safe and in driving operational efficiencies. Businesses that flourish as we emerge from the pandemic will be those who are agile and can make proper use of the technology available to them.