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Security Budgets

Security budgets are changing dramatically. Security magazine’s recent surveys revealed that security spending will double or even triple in 2022 as compared to 2021. Sure, a lot of this relates to the corona pandemic and remote working but that is only part of the story. The annual report also indicated that 43% of companies will spend over a million on security technologies in 2022. The story may begin with Covid-19 but it doesn’t end there. Executive protection and increased workplace violence are both factors in budget increases.

Can Physical Security follow IT’s path?

In an ideal world, security leaders would have maximal influence on their company’s security budget. It happens and it’s frustrating but maybe it’s also about history and how roles are changing. IT started out in the basement to the C-suite, and is now seen as central to the company’s wellbeing. Similarly physical security isn’t something peripheral to the business but just as integral as cyber. In fact without physical security, cyber security is incomplete. You will need to take initiatives to ensure that security systems are aligned with cyber; and more centrally with corporate priorities. The first step on this journey is a complete picture of the cost of risk.

It is a common practice for companies to spread out security and risk budget costs among many cost centers. This makes it much more difficult to assess the cost of risk and naturally, it is much more difficult to determine how spending should be allocated. This isn’t always an easy undertaking. Now you have to go out and collect the numbers – really, truly digging down and compiling all the data so you can put together the full picture. You can do this by identifying the risks, the costs of those risks and costs of all the systems and technology that are currently being deployed. The next step is to pull it together in one cohesive story/picture so that any evaluation is clear to anyone that sees it.

Changing How Security Dollars are Spent

The other important change is how corporations – and even government – spend security dollars. It used to be that companies made large capital expenditures for security and then used those systems ‘forever’.  Then as now, there was a tendency to use them well beyond their useful life. It was easy, there was little or no pushback. Everyone did their jobs using the tools at hand.

Times have changed. Rolls Royce airplane engines are now paid for based on the hours used. Similarly, modern security solutions are more and more often subscription based. Not just monthly monitoring but also VSaas – video surveillance as a service, among others. The upside of this change is that you’re not recommending a capital expenditure for equipment or technology which become obsolete in a year or two – or even five – a time period beyond the basis of  the pro forma you’ve worked so hard to research and validate.

Taking the Lead on Your Security Budget

This makes your job easier and harder at the same time. On one hand, you can engage a solution much more readily since it can slide into your operating component of your security budget without the time consuming steps involved in a capital expenditure. On the other hand, it also means that you, as the leader of security for your company, have just expanded your job description. Now you must constantly be familiarizing yourself with the security services market. You’ll be keeping abreast of the newest technologies and how they might serve your company. It means that you won’t just be busy day to day managing your staff and current systems. Now additionally you’ll be reading, researching and reaching out to learn more about what new technologies might improve your operations. 

The big upside is that you can guide/navigate for your company’s security budget. You can lead through the overwhelming amount of security technologies that are available in the marketplace. You have the experience and expertise to engage and recommend those technologies which will offer your company the best return on their security dollar. And you can maintain a two pronged agility for your company’s changing business goals and the ever-changing developments in security technologies.