Things to Consider Before Choosing a Commercial Security System

With the amount of property crime, theft and vandalism occurring, the consideration of a video surveillance system for a business or facility has become commonplace. However, while it might seem logical to have some type of surveillance installed, exactly what that is can vary tremendously.

A lot of the difference depends on exactly what needs to be protected, where, to what degree, how fast the surveillance needs to be seen and analyzed, and what kind of response it should trigger. These consideration factors shouldn’t be answered by a manufacturer or system provider. Instead, the buyer should plan out what they need first from a business requirement perspective. Then a product provider can point out which equipment and software options work best for that need. Here are some of the more common considerations buyers should have determined before shopping for a new surveillance system.

What Exactly Will be Protected?

A business or customer entity should have a very good idea what the fundamental purpose of the commercial surveillance system should be. Will it be an entire facility or just a specific part of it that needs coverage? Does the protection need to be 24/7 or certain parts of the day or week? Is the protected asset or area accessible from multiple points or one channel only? Who would be in the area normally versus what would be considered abnormal? Is the purpose of the system installed supposed to be a deterrent, a response or both? Businesses that give some time to these questions do themselves a big favor in nailing down exactly what they really need versus what might be cosmetic or nice. That helps pinpoint the actual acquisition size as well as the design for installation.

The Size of the Protected Area

If a surveillance system is to be applied to an entire facility and surrounding area, like a distribution warehouse building, it’s going to require a lot of cameras from different angles, a lot of connection points and traffic on a network, and an architecture robust enough to support heavy traffic data. If none of that exists currently, it will add to a system installation cost well beyond the actual camera and software alone. If, on the other hand, the surveillance is just for a small area, a few cameras and selected monitoring, the installation picture would be very different. Customers who plan out, ideally on a location or facility blueprint, what they need and why come into the selection process with a clear advantage. Providers can use these details to quickly identify the ideal system that meets the need versus time wasted on trial and error.

How is Growth Going to Affect the Installed System?

A business or organization looking into buying a surveillance setup also needs to consider whether their needs are going to change over time. Most organizations tend to physically grow or add locations as the business activity develops. That can end up needing the ability to add on additional points of connection and equipment. If a purchased system has a limitation on growth, it creates a wall that ends up requiring either a separate system being installed or an entire replacement of the original investment. Planning ahead and selecting a system that can handle growth avoids this problem altogether.

Budgetary Constraints

Looking for a commercial security system can be a bit of a candy store experience. There are lots of options, equipment, choices and features to consider. However, if a business already has a financial limit on what can be allocated for an installation, then that should be known and determined up front before engaging in considerations. There’s no point wasting a lot of time and energy looking at a system an organization can’t or won’t afford. Identify the cost up front and then consider what’s possible within that range. If nothing meets the need, then go back and see if a budget change is possible before considering more alternatives.

What Exactly is the Risk Anticipated?

If the concern is a monitoring need at night, then the equipment chosen needs to be able to handle low-light conditions. If, on the other hand, the conditions require the ability to monitor high traffic areas for specific anomalies, then the equipment specifications have to match accordingly. Laying out the exact risk type expected helps match the type of camera and data capacity to the situation where the system will be applied and used. Laying out the use specifications carefully helps avoid a lot of headaches later on with equipment that fails to perform as desired.

What Kind of Network Will be Connected?

While some companies have existing networks that can be used for data transfer, others have nothing in the way of integrated data grids. That can make a big difference in the equipment package and system one should use for their application. Security concerns and protection of data captured also come into play, and those requirements should be known ahead of time as well. Again, there are lots of choices available, but that rainbow of alternatives changes dramatically based on what an organization’s real footprint and restrictions turn out to be. As a buyer, you’re in a far better position knowing these issues ahead of time versus finding out while trying to install equipment that won’t work.

Getting the Best Choice

Again, develop a thought-out approach first before going into equipment and system selection. It really helps to work with a video surveillance system planner who knows how to ask the above questions and more before talking about specific equipment as well. Many of the answers to the above criteria really have a big impact on what’s possible and available for a given business or location. And planning ahead eliminates surprises as well. AES Systems can help. We take a comprehensive approach to surveillance installation, focusing first on company business requirements, operations, and goals. It produces a far better match as well as room for growth in the future.

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